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Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island (original 2003; edition 2011)

by Dennis Lehane

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,717234998 (3.9)316
Title:Shutter Island
Authors:Dennis Lehane
Info:Harper (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012, fiction, boston, psychiatric hospitals, delusions, u. s. marshals

Work details

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane ****

My first book by this author. I had yet to see the film and came across the book so decided to give it a go.

It isn't one of those books where I will describe the plot in too much detail as it would detract from any twists and turns (and there are many) that appear throughout. Sufficed to say we follow US Marshall Teddy Daniels as he visits the mental institute on Shutter Island to investigate the whereabouts of a missing patient. Things are not as they seem, and with the added confusion of a hurricane will he be able to complete his mission with his sanity intact.

A very tight thriller, that keeps the reader second guessing until the very end. From other reviews I have read it seems that this type of novel is a little different from the ones Lehane would normally write, so I am unsure if I would look up any of his other works based on Shutter Island.

My only two criticisms are that at times the plot did seem a little unbelievable, but that is something that new readers will have to make their own mind on. The other is the ending. Lehane made it quite ambiguous. And if there is one thing I hate it's an ambiguous ending. I like things clear cut so the story can be put to rest. ( )
  Bridgey | Jan 2, 2015 |
Lehane takes a departure from his regular series and takes us to Shutter Island. This book is full of twists.

Lehane called his book, homage to gothic, but also homage to B Movies and Pulp!" Teddy is on Shutter Island to find a missing mental patient. As you travel with him the story becomes more and more twisted, and more focused on Teddy’s case. The story looks at mental health treatments of the past compared to methods used today.
You hear the whispering echoes of the past as you find more and more clues. All illusions of control and all surefooted terrain ware away as you get deeper and deeper into the twists of the story. You will haunt your mind into many knotted knots. Your breath becomes stilled as you get caught in the currants off Shutter Island’s shore. The story line however stays constant and will all make sense in the ending conclusion. This book is a true joy.
Lehane asks his readers, "What is the fine line between treatment and sterilization of the mind?
This books is A definite cluck, cluck, cluck. It will appeal to readers who like to read books with faulty narratives. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It's an extremely clever book that follows two U.S. marshals to an island, which was a mental institution. They were there because a patient escaped her cell and was living on the island. Their job was to find her. The book delves deep into the human mind, and it scared me sometimes, but then again, I read it when I was twelve, but there were some scenes that I will never forget like when, at the end, Teddy, the main character, charges into the lighthouse with a rifle and the head doctor is there to tell him that he is a murderer and a patient at the institution. And the part when Teddy's wife drowned their kids in the lake outside their house.
The only reason I give this book four stars is because the ending was ambiguous, and I hate ambiguous endings. You, the reader, never really figure out whether or not Teddy is a murderer or a marshal. I prefer endings that tie up nicely; and are therefore, more fulfilling. I really shall endeavor to read more Dennis Lehane novels in the future. ( )
  jburkett16 | Nov 2, 2014 |
A hauntingly stunning piece of work that combines psycho-horror, mystery and normal horror. It's set on an insane asylum on an island. A detective comes to the island to investigate a murder, only to be trapped there by the worst hurricane in years (symbolism!). It's exciting and thought provoking. You should read it a second time, you'll be making all the connections you missed the first time. Worth it. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
Almost Kafkaesque, this story reminds you that the distance between sanity and insanity might be no wider than the gap between laughing and crying. I thought the ending a bit odd, but, then again, maybe it wasn't... ( )
  davevanl | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
Moving out from the working-class Boston neighborhoods where his hard-boiled private eyes and blue-collar cops normally conduct their realistic business, Dennis Lehane takes a leap into unknown genre territory in SHUTTER ISLAND (Morrow, $25.95). But whichever genre he's aiming for in this misguided effort -- psychological suspense, cold war thriller or Grand Guignol melodrama -- he misses it by a nautical mile.
The primary force of this book comes from Teddy's grief and his anguished memories of World War II, when he helped liberate inmates at Dachau. ... But its hidden power has a different source: Mr. Lehane's insight into his book's most disturbed figures. Suffice it to say that this is a deft, suspenseful thriller that unfolds with increasing urgency until it delivers a visceral shock in its final moments. When it comes to keeping readers exactly where he wants them, Mr. Lehane offers a bravura demonstration of how it's done.
added by eromsted | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Apr 17, 2003)
Lehane takes a departure form his regular series and takes us to Shutter Island. This is a book that stretched both the author and the reader.

Lehane called his book, homage to gothic, but also homage to B Movies and Pulp!" Teddy is on Shutter Island to find a missing mental patient. As you travel with Teddy the story becomes more and more about Teddy than about the missing mental patient. The job of the reader is to decide what is real and what is make-believe as you travel with the main character Teddy. You hear the whispering echoes of the past as you find more and more clues. All illusions of control and all surefooted terrain ware away as you get deeper and deeper into the twists of the story.

The context of the book has been written once, and then written completely anew, and then twisted once again the third go around of writing this twisted tale. The story line however stays constant and helps one misunderstand the novel. You will read yourself to a knotted rope, for the author has left enough chords to twist around your neck and hang yourself by. Breathing becomes something you need to remind yourself to do as you get caught up in the current of Shutter Island.

The story looks at mental health treatments of the past compared to what methods are used today. Lehane asks his readers, "What is the fine line between treatment and sterilization of the mind?

Enjoy the twisted mind of Dennis Lehane in his book Shutter Island, A definite cluck cluck cluck.
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. . . must we dream our dreams and have them, too?

--Elizabeth Bishop,
"Questions of Travel"
For Chris Gleason and Mike Eigen. Who listened. And heard. And sometimes carried.
First words

May 3, 1993

I haven't laid eyes on the island in several years.
Teddy said, "Who's "she"? Where did "she" come from, Chuck?" - "There's always a she, isn't there?"
Waking, after all, was an almost natal state. You surfaced without a history, then spent the blinks and yawns reassembling your past, shuffling the shards into chronological order before fortifying yourself for the present.
"How many psychiatrists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" - "I don't know. How many?" - "Eight." - "Why?" - "Oh, stop overanalyzing it."
Charm was the luxury of those who still believed in the essential rightness of thing. In purity and picket fences.
He struck Teddy as the kind of guy who needed watching, too secure in his own fulfillment of his parents' wildest dreams.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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One of the editions has the ISBN and cover for Mystic River, not Shutter Island.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The story takes place in 1954 on Shutter Island, home to a psychiatric hospital called Ashecliffe. U.S. Deputy Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando, who had committed multiple murders. The deputy marshals search the island for the patient as a hurricane bears down on them, and they find that the hospital has practiced sinister measures during its existence.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038073186X, Mass Market Paperback)

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades -- with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:26 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Verano de 1954. El agente federal Teddy Daniels llega a Shutter Island, isla en la que esta ubicado el hospital Ashecliffe, un centro penitenciario para enfermos mentales. Junto con su companero, Chuck Aule, se propone encontrar a una paciente desaparecida, una asesina llamada Rachel Solando, a medida que un huracan azota la isla. No obstante, nada es lo que parece en el hospital Ashecliffe. Y Teddy Daniels tampoco. Ha ido hasta alla para encontrar a una paciente desaparecida? O le han enviado para investigar los rumores acerca de los radicales todos psiquiatricos que se utilizan en esa institucion? Unos metodos que posiblemente incluyan la experimentacion con drogas, pruebas quirurgicas terribles, contraataques mortales en la guerra encubierta en contra de los lavados de cerebro sovieticos... --Cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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