Interview: Dennis Lehane

By JIM SULLIVAN  |  September 25, 2008

And there’s the police strike. As a reader, i’m sometimes thinking it’s valid, sometimes not.
At the end of the day, my heart’s gonna lie with the working class. But I don’t want to be a cheerleader for it, and I don’t believe in the inherent nobility of the poor and working class. At the same time, I also believe the battle of the ages — which has been fought since we were cavemen — is between the haves and the have-nots, and I’m gonna come down on the side of the have-nots most times. But if I were just to say the policemen were screwed — which they were — then the strike was completely justified. Once I started looking into the effects — the rioting, the rapes — I said, “Is it okay for anybody in charge of public safety to walk off the job?” And then it becomes the question of the book. I don’t think I answered it, but it’s not my job to answer it.

You’ve had two books made into movies. A third film, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, will be out in 2009. Do you consider film now when you write?
I truly never allow that to come into my head. There is a book, there is a movie, two different animals, and I write books. With The Given Day, when I’m asked that question, I say, “If I was thinking of a movie, I wouldn’t have written a 700-page book.”

And yet, Sony/Columbia optioned The Given Day and Sam Raimi is set to direct.
Good luck, guys. It’s worked for me so far.

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