Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Live by Night" by Dennis Lehane

Throughout the story, Joe Coughlin insists that he isn't a gangster, he's an outlaw. How does he define each? Do you think they are different? If Joe isn't a gangster, who is?

Joe believes his father—"a pillar of the City on the Hill, the Athens of America, Hub of the Universe"—was more criminal than he could ever be, thanks to a lifetime of "payoffs and kickbacks and graft." Is he right? Does Joe's honesty about himself make him nobler—or just more honest—than his father?

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