Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review of The Drop

We've all known people who were stuck in the past—the high school jock who didn’t make the pros or the prodigy who flunked out of college. They spend their days looking backward and lose the way forward. They stop changing, stop growing. And if enough time passes, they’re frozen forever in a single moment—like the dinosaurs in the La Brea Tar Pit.

Which brings me to Dennis Lahane’s fine novel The Drop.

The Drop takes place in the underworld of Boston bars, not far from Mystic River. Bob the bartender is a haunted, lonely man whose life has been stuck in neutral for years. Then he finds a puppy in a garbage can and this small accident changes everything—and not just for Bob. As in real life, Bob sometimes wishes he hadn’t saved the puppy and there are no assurances that his life will turn out for the better—after all, this is Lehane’s Boston. But at the end of the novel, the reader believes that whatever life brings Bob, he’ll meet it on his own terms.

It’s redemption, Lehane-style—plenty of blood and guts, but with a glimmer of hope in all the gore.

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