Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Published: 2003
Pages: 369
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels visits Shutter Island, home to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, with his new partner Chuck Aule. They've been sent to investigate the escape of Rachel Solando, a dangerous murderess. As they discover more and more disturbing information surrounding this institution, it becomes clear that nothing at Ashecliffe is remotely what it seems.

Wow. I still (even after previously seeing the movie) cannot wrap my mind around this shocking ending. This is certainly the biggest twist in a novel that I've read in my entire life, and I'm dying to tell you what happens. But, you'll have to read it for yourself. And let me tell you - you're going to be blown away.

The whole atmosphere of Shutter Island is creepy, eerie and disturbing. I think that seeing the movie before reading the book had a huge impact on me. I've never experienced this before - I was able to remember each scene in my head while I was reading and watch it unfold. If you're one of those people who are frustrated when movie producers change too much of the story, I recommend Shutter Island to you. The movie was practically identical to the novel, often right down to the same words spoken by the same characters.

But this is a book review, so I shall continue with my thoughts! Dennis Lehane's writing wasn't bad at all, but it's nothing to get excited over either. I have to admit that I was reading extremely fast and not fully absorbing all his words. (I was anticipating the ending too much for my own good!) But like I said before, his descriptions weren't that effective on me simply because I've seen the movie. If I didn't see the movie before I read the book, I'm not sure the novel would have had the same effect on me.

Recommendation: This book should be read by everyone, even if you're not a mystery or thriller lover. I say this purely because of the ending. I can't get over it! It's incredible and unlike anything I've ever read. I wouldn't call this a literary masterpiece by any means, but you honestly forget about Lehane's flaws once you finish the last page.

As an ending to this post, I'd like to include a quote that I found on the back of the novel from Washington Post Book World that sums up this book pretty well:

"Shutter Island...is brilliantly conceived and executed...Its shocking outcome kept me awake deep into the night as I began to grasp what the author had done to my innocent mind."

15 comments:

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Aths said...

Some of my friends who watched the movie said the same thing to me. I guess I am pushing off this book unreasonably. Let me bump this book up. Thanks for the recommendation!

Luanne said...

I loved the book too and can't wait to see if the movie does it justice!

Dana said...

Thanks for the great review. I generally don't read thrillers, but it sounds like this one is a must-read.

That's happened to me before with seeing a movie before reading the book - I'll just let the actor's voice from the movie completely take over the character.

Simply Stacie said...

I really really want to read this!!

Stopping by to say hi from The Saturday Network. I just became a follower :)

http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com/

Jan von Harz said...

Love Shutter Island. It keep me going till the end and shock the hell out of me. I did not see the end coming. I have yet to see the movie though.

Stopped over from Sat Network. Hope you will check out me interview with Sharon Draper.

Emidy said...

Aths - I'm glad you're wanting to read this book now! It's full of excitement!

Luanne - Yes, the movie definitely does do it justice. It's one of the few movie adaptations where I have no complaints whatsoever!

Dana - Yep, you must read this one! I know it's classified as a thriller but I wouldn't really call it that. And I know exactly what you mean! It's so easy to visualize the movie.

Simply Stacie - Wow, thanks so much! Now I'm off to visit your blog.

Emidy said...

Jan von Harz - Oh I know, I know. That's what I felt like too! You have to see the movie. It's very well done.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cindy said...

I found your blog through the book blogger hop and I'm now I'm a follower!!!

Emidy said...

Cindy - Great, thanks! I appreciate new followers.

Ashley said...

Yes! I'm glad you loved it as much as I did! And they ending is so amazing, I agree! And it is still so amazing how well the movie matched the book!

Sara said...

Wow Emidy-really amazing review! I wasn't sure about this one, but now I'll definitely check it out. Then I'll be off to see the movie :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wonderful review :D

Lisa R said...

I love a good mystery so off to put this on my wishlist. I always see the movie before reading the book if possible cause if I don't, then I tend to pick the movie apart instead of enjoying it. Thanks for the recommendation.
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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MarceJ said...

Thanks for sharing your review, i'm excited for the ending. I am going to read this and then watch the movie. I have heard reading it first allows you to understand some scenes in the movie more so.