The Drop

Lehane, Dennis

Published by William Morrow, 2014
ISBN 10: 0062365576 / ISBN 13: 9780062365576
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Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane returns to the streets of Mystic River with this love story wrapped in a crime story wrapped in a journey of faith—the basis for the major motion picture The Drop, from Fox Searchlight Pictures directed by Michaël Roskam, screenplay by Dennis Lehane, and starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini.

Three days after Christmas, a lonely bartender looking for a reason to live rescues an abused puppy from a trash can and meets a damaged woman looking for something to believe in. As their relationship grows, they cross paths with the Chechen mafia; a man grown dangerous with age and thwarted hopes; two hapless stick-up artists; a very curious cop; and the original owner of the puppy, who wants his dog back. . . .

Review:

David Nicholls Interviews Dennis Lehane

David Nicholls, is the international bestselling author of One Day and the forthcoming Us: A Novel.

David: Some of your past books have been adapted into major movies— Mystic River; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Shutter Island. How did the process for The Drop, the book and the film—evolve?

Dennis: 10+ years ago, I attempted a novel in which one of the characters rescued a dog from a trash can. I couldn’t pull the novel together, though. It broke my heart because I loved several of the characters—the guy who found the dog, his cousin who owned a bar, a woman he met, a messed up but well-meaning cop. A few years later, I went back to the first chapter, where Bob Saginowski finds the dog, and turned it into a short story. Some folks in Hollywood asked if I’d adapt it into a screenplay. The idea appealed to me because I still had that bench of secondary characters I hadn’t gotten a chance to use.

David: The Drop is your screenwriting debut. How does writing a screenplay differ from writing prose? Which do you prefer?

Dennis: A novelist is God; all originates from him and he has final say over his universe from a single blade of grass to breadth of the Milky Way. A screenwriter is an employee, one of maybe 150 people who contribute to a film. It’s so much less stressful being the employee than it is being God, no question, but maybe I like stress.

David: What was it like to revisit characters you initially created for a short story and bring them into a full length novel?

Dennis: It was like bringing them home. They’d belonged in a novel all along; it just took me over a decade to figure out what that novel/script/film actually was.

David: What’s it like to see characters you’ve created in print come to life on screen? Do you find that actors surprise you, draw out qualities that you didn’t recognize on the page?

Dennis: Great actors have no skin. They’re all exposed nerve and naked heart. To watch someone as gifted as Tom Hardy, Sean Penn, or Amy Ryan, to name just three, inhabit my characters and take them to places I never could have predicted—but to do so with conviction and honesty—has been profoundly gratifying.

David: The dog plays such a central role in this story. Where did your inspiration for him come from?

Dennis: I love dogs. Got one snoring at my feet as I write this.

David: The setting of Boston has always played an important role in your novels. What brings you back there?

Dennis: I was blessed to grow up in a unique city during difficult times. It’s given me a lifelong affinity for unique and difficult things.

David: The Drop is a gritty, dark story, and there are no conventional “heroes.” Do you ever have an author’s anxiety about characters’ likeability? Dennis: No. We loved Tony Soprano, a murderer who destroyed most of what he touched, because he was harried by his mother and couldn’t get his basic household appliances to work when he needed them to; we loved Othello, even after he murdered his wife, because most of us understand the pain of being treated as second class, regardless of our achievement. Audiences don’t what likeable characters, they want relatable ones. In The Drop what the characters want—absolution from past sins; respect; a knight to come to their rescue; confirmation of their faith—strikes me as pretty common stuff. Not dark at all. (Okay, a little dark.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Drop
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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