February 24th, 2008

I finished 'Coronado' by Dennis Lehane today.

Dennis Lehane is one of my favorite authors. I could read (and re-read) some of his books a number of times, even though they aren't what you would ever call 'great literature' style fiction.

'Coronado' is a book of short stories, however, and while some of the stories work, some of them don't. I think he's at his best describing grimy inner city living. Where those elements pop up in these stories, the book works well. Where they don't appear, the story is missing something I feel.

I don't know whether I was less satisfied with this book because it didn't live up to what I was expecting from Lehane or if the book isn't that good (I sometimes wonder if I've got the intellect to decide that sort of thing -I rather suspect I don't, I just know what I like), but either way, I was left wanting him to return to stories like Mystic River or Gone Baby Gone, both of which are great books in their way.

Incidentally, The book gets its title from the last story, which is written in the form of a play. I always feel a little like I don't know how to read that sort of writing particularly well, which is why I might be a bit ho-hum about the book.