Podcast: Dennis Lehane reads from "The Given Day"

After spinning such gritty urban yarns as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and some cracking episodes of The Wire, Dorchester native Dennis Lehane decided to go ahead and not write the great American novel (he claims), but a great, sprawling Boston novel instead.

In The Given Day, Lehane surveys the vortex of chaos that gripped 1919-era Boston -- a city rocked by anarchist terrorism, Spanish influenza, World War I, the Great Molasses Flood, and the Boston Police Strike -- through the eyes of a black ballplayer and an Irish cop. (It may come as no surprise that this book got snapped up by Hollywood a good three months before it hit bookstore shelves; at the moment, Sam Raimi is set to direct.)

Lehane kicked off his Harvard Square appearance (held in the cozy First Parish Church Parlor Room last Friday) by reading a few tantalizing passages, including his brutal account of the 1916 terrorist bombing of a North End police station. He then turned the floor over to the audience for a lively 40-minute Q&A session. Lehane's a born storyteller, on the page or off the cuff, and he kept the crowd enthralled with his musings on The Given Day's deleted Molasses Flood chapter, the historical usage of the word "motherfucker," and how crime fiction broke out of the literary ghetto.

Listen to the full reading and Q&A session here:

DOWNLOAD: Dennis Lehane reads from The Given Day [MP3] (recorded October 17, 2008)


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