Dennis Lehane Writing Styles in Live by Night: A Novel

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Live by Night: A Novel.
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Point of View

This novel is presented in third person, almost exclusively from the viewpoint of the protagonist, Joe Coughlin. He is in almost every scene, although when Joe is in prison, his father goes home after visiting him, and a brief scene is depicted from Thomas Coughlin's point of view. The author appears to have made a good choice in deciding to tell the tale in third person, rather than using first person for Joe's voice. One technical difficulty that would have presented itself is the story would have been filled with the use of "I," given the almost constant presence of Joe in it. Also, a drawback of first person is that the voice can become generic-sounding. With the exception of characters who are insane or extraordinary in some other way, first-person narrative has a tendency to sound alike. By looking at Joe from the distance of...

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This section contains 1,077 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Live by Night: A Novel Study Guide
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Live by Night: A Novel from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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