August 09, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Coronado (Book - Dennis Lehane)

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dennis Lehane
publisher
William Morrow
genre
Fiction, Short Stories
We gave it a B+

Dennis Lehane has a startling capacity for assessing broken people — i.e., who can be restored to the fold of humanity and who should be put down like animals. These five stories are filled with hard cases, and the answer to whether someone can be salvaged is all in the eyes. In ”Running Out of Dog,” he describes the disturbed friend of a Vietnam vet: ”that look in his eyes — that boiled look.” The best tale, ”Until Gwen,” one of several interlocking stories in Lehane’s play Coronado (also included here), follows the nightmarish errand of a father and son who are more like two feral dogs tied together. A redemption of sorts is available, but it’s an ugly one.

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