World Gone by

World Gone by

Book - 2015
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Baker & Taylor
Working as a consigliere to the Bartolo crime family, traveling between Tampa and Cuba, former crime kingpin Joe Coughlin, who has everything--money, power, anonymity, and a beautiful mistress--is forced to pay for his lifetime of sin when the dark truthof his past emerges.

HARPERCOLL

Dennis Lehane, the New York Times bestselling author of Live by Night—now a Warner Bros. movie starring Ben Affleck—delivers a psychologically, morally complex novel of blood, crime, passion, and vengeance, set in Cuba and Ybor City, Florida, during World War II, in which Joe Coughlin must confront the cost of his criminal past and present.

Ten years have passed since Joe Coughlin’s enemies killed his wife and destroyed his empire, and much has changed. Prohibition is dead, the world is at war again, and Joe’s son, Tomás, is growing up. Now, the former crime kingpin works as a consigliore to the Bartolo crime family, traveling between Tampa and Cuba, his wife’s homeland.

A master who moves in and out of the black, white, and Cuban underworlds, Joe effortlessly mixes with Tampa’s social elite, U.S. Naval intelligence, the Lansky-Luciano mob, and the mob-financed government of Fulgencio Batista. He has everything—money, power, a beautiful mistress, and anonymity.

But success cannot protect him from the dark truth of his past—and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full.

Dennis Lehane vividly recreates the rise of the mob during a world at war, from a masterfully choreographed Ash Wednesday gun battle in the streets of Ybor City to a chilling, heartbreaking climax in a Cuban sugar cane field. Told with verve and skill, World Gone By is a superb work of historical fiction from one of “the most interesting and accomplished American novelists” (Washington Post) writing today.

 



Baker
& Taylor

Working as a consigliere to the Bartolo crime family, traveling between Tampa and Cuba, former crime kingpin Joe Coughlin, who has everything—money, power, anonymity and a beautiful mistress, is forced to pay for his lifetime of sin when the dark truth of his past emerges. 300,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2015
ISBN: 9780060004903
Branch Call Number: FIC LEH
Characteristics: 309 p. ;,24 cm.

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s
seeker472
May 15, 2017

Good story with a surprise ending. I enjoyed this book.

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

A page turner with a clever setup to a bloody "reorganizations" at the top ranks of the Tampa mafia. The prevalent verdict is: a thriller filled with ethical gangster questions but with a weird ending.

f
fmdidgad
Dec 08, 2015

When Lehane started to write these Joe Coughlin "sagas" he became a bore. Two dimensional characters, campy details, no depth - lowest common denominator, phone it in, made for TV garbage. He may continue writing, but I'm retiring from reading him - UGH!

n
nhoj
Aug 26, 2015

Set post WW2 it features the American gangster world of murder and violence and the contradictory ethic that this applies to everybody but family wives and children.
The author recreates the gangster world well with lots of killing and brutality. The protagonist Joseph seems to be the only one with a moral centre while still being a murderous gangster

t
Tim M. McCurry
Jul 17, 2015

Absolutely ridiculous premise and plot. Throw a few real life Mob names in and a load of garbage around it.
Really tried to like this book, finally had to stop reading it. The talking ghost baby stuff is just so high school plot twist crap.

b
bigfeet
Jul 08, 2015

This book has a complex page turning plot. The author has a knack for taking a nasty gangster type character and making him just human enough that the reader can invest in him.

d
davemac
Jun 22, 2015

Very disappointing and historically inaccurate. Dennis Lehane's recent work has not been on par with his older books that take place in contemporary Boston.

j
JackPurcell
May 20, 2015

A fairly entertaining read. I gather it must be the final book of a series involving some of these same characters.

athompson10 May 19, 2015

Joe Coughlin in Florida and Cuba, contemplating a life of crime and his deeds. Lots of twists and turns, great dialogue, great ending. Read this one.

f
fjvalentin
May 14, 2015

I just couldn't get into this novel. To me it was just another mob story with some real names.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

Saw 12 quotes in goodreads now, now sure any below are included:
His father and mother, as morally upright as two people without wings could get,
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Your girlfriend started out as a bunco artist who turned into a grifter and then a damn good thief and then a contract killer. She doesn’t have any friends because they’re too afraid that at some point she’ll con them, rob them, or kill them. Or all three.
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“But that’s lying.” “Well,” Joe tried to keep the frustration from his voice, “it’s a white lie. There’s a difference.” “What’s the difference?” “White lies are harmless and small. Regular lies are big and hurtful.” Tomas looked at his father, eyes narrowing.
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Most members of the Tampa elite had never seen a Negro pass through a party without a serving tray on his palm, ...

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

Anyone can be killed. At any time. For any reason.
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“Something I loved about your mother’s face was that the whole world was in it. I’d look at her sometimes and I’d see some condesa walking through her vineyard in Spain. Other times, I’d see a tribeswoman carrying water from the river. I’d see your ancestors crossing deserts and oceans or walking the streets of the Old City with puffy sleeves and swords in their scabbards.”
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... absolute power was that it was never absolute; the instant you had it, someone had already lined up to try to take it away. Princes could sleep soundly, but never kings. The ear was always tuned for the creak on the floorboard, the whine of a hinge.
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Joe looked over at his son and wondered how it was they were related. “You take after your mother.” “You say that a lot lately.” “Do I? Well, must be true then.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

“You think feeling bad about your sins makes you good. Some might find that kind of delusion contemptible.”
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Joe wondered, not for the first time, if men in their thing soiled all women whose paths they crossed, or if certain women came to them because they preferred to be soiled.
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“Is everyone we know broken?” Joe had looked back at her and told the truth. “Pretty much.”
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... about the only difference I see between a thief and a banker most times is a college degree.
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For the past three weeks, Wyatt Pettigrue had driven into Ybor City every day, crossed the white/colored border at Eleventh Avenue, and driven down streets where the only pale men the inhabitants had seen in five years were milkmen, icemen, firemen, policemen, and the occasional landlord.
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“He made Eve,” Father Ruttle said, “because seeing Adam alone was more than He could bear. Being alone, you see, is the worst of hell’s punishments.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

Power—most power anyway, certainly Vidalia’s brand of it—was the fly that called itself a hawk. It could only govern those who agreed to call it a hawk instead of a fly, a tiger instead of a cat, a king instead of a man.
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“I heard the reason nobody ever finds the bodies Lucius drops is because they eat them.”
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“They trust him that much?” Dion asked. Joe shook his head. “They fear him that much.”
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I didn’t sleep in the same place two nights running for six weeks. I had my back on more couches than a bad actress.
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I never made an honest buck in my life, and I don’t want to learn how.
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He’s smart, he’s mean, and he’s not satisfied with his spot at the table anymore. Wants his own dining hall.”
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“But what if there’s no such thing as time after this life?” “I don’t understand.” “No minutes, no hours, no clocks. No night turning into day. I like to think your mother’s not alone, because she’s not waiting for us. We’re already there.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

If the sins were big enough, Ned knew, the guilt didn’t recede. It grew stronger. It took other forms. Sometimes, when outrage begat outrage with enough frequency, it threatened the fabric of the universe, and the universe pushed back.
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“Younger men don’t fear death?” “Some do, but most don’t really believe it’ll happen to them.”
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“Chain-smoking.” “Newfangled cure for that.” “Yeah?” “Stop chain-smoking.” “Clearly,” Joe said, “you attended a top-notch medical school.”
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... her smile, rare as it was, was the smile of a young girl who’d just developed a woman’s appetites.
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“I’m scared shitless.” “Then run.” He shrugged. “Lived my whole life on the theory that my brains are more helpful than my balls. But this is the first time I can’t tell which of them is making the decisions.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

He had no romantic notions about men like Joe Coughlin and the life they lived—it was steeped in greed and penalty; the men who lived it died bloody or made sure others did. No overriding principle or moral code was at work except those that served self-interest while reinforcing the illusion of the opposite—that all was done for the greater good of the family.
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To be a ghost. I mean, what do you do with your time? You walk through places where you don’t belong at three in the morning, scare the hell out of the cat or, I dunno, the missus, and then you vanish into a wall. What’s that take—a minute tops? What’re you doing with the rest of your time? Because, as I said, if you believe in ghosts, then you believe in an afterlife. You have to. The two go together. No afterlife, no ghosts, we’re all just decayed meat for the worms. But if ghosts, then an afterlife, a spirit world.

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

“We were under fire for six months straight, lost fifteen hundred men, but we didn’t lose one fucking foot of ground. Not one. Never had a man taken prisoner either. You think about that. We stood our fxcking ground till they got tired of dying. Not us. Them.
===
... he shot a glance at Joe’s groin. “Gotta check your snake, man. Heard the stories.”
... Joe nodded. “Try not to linger.”
“Just so you make sure it stay the same size, hear?”
...“There.” He stepped back. “I ain’t lingered and you stayed small.” “Maybe that’s as big as I get.” “Then God musta been drunk day he made you. My sympathies.”
===
They didn’t kill families, true. They just amputated them.
===
“I mean, they tell you as a parent don’t do this or you’ll get this type of kid; don’t do that, or your kid’ll grow up to be that kind of kid. Truth is, they are who they are in the womb.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

... he was thirty-six and too old to be a soldier, too Irish to be a boss.
===
They smiled more down south, Joe had learned, but they forgave less.
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He pulled out two more pistols and added them to the pockets of the raincoat, then removed a shotgun from the highest shelf, turned and looked across the room at Joe. “How do I look?” “Like the last thing Little Lamar’s going to see on this earth.”
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“It’s a nice dream.” “What’s wrong with it?” “We’re mom-and-pop, they’re Sears and Roebuck. We’d get a week—two, tops—before they’d come down here and crush us. Turn our bones to gravel.”
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In his time on earth, he’d learned one truth above all else when it came to power—those who lost it usually didn’t see it vanishing until it was already gone.

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

Make you a prince, you want to be a king. Make you a king, you want to be a god.
===
They said if Sam glanced at a nickel it turned into a dime.
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... if, on the other hand, you sniffed for money anywhere near his turf, the bayous occasionally burped up parts of someone who’d confused where Marcello borders began and their right to breathe ended.
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They called Vivian “Saint Viv” because more men had prayed to him just before they died than had ever prayed to Saint Anthony or the Blessed Mother.
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I’m older than you,” Joe said to Vanessa, his words rushed and desperate, “so I know you don’t regret the things you do in this life. You regret the things you don’t. The box you didn’t open, the leap you never took.
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“You say that with pride.” “It’s not pride. It’s will.”
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“And he could die.” “No.” “No?” Dr. Blake shook his head. “He will die.”
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“Are you a bad guy?” “No, son. ... I’m just not a particularly good one.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 15, 2016

... and he hoped this wasn’t what life was—a series of departures. But he suspected it was.
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... we don’t believe in kings or princes or presidents. We believe we’re all kings and princes and presidents. We’re all whatever we decide to be and no one tells us different.
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Meyer lit a cigarette from the butt of his previous one, Meyer capable of filling an ashtray faster than a roomful of junkie gamblers.
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“I wish we were still outlaws.” “But we’re not,” Joe said. “We’re gangsters
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“What’s the word for when you know one thing but you still believe the opposite?” “I don’t know,” Joe said. “A paradox?”
===
Armed men watched the fields, ostensibly to protect the plants from thieves, but really to keep the workers in line or the ones with debt from running off. And all the workers carried debt. This isn’t a farm, ... it’s a prison.

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