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Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island (original 2003; edition 2011)

by Dennis Lehane

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5,220249852 (3.9)328
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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» See also 328 mentions

English (236)  French (5)  Swedish (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  English (248)
Showing 1-5 of 236 (next | show all)
I wasn’t really a fan of this, it was completely predictable and towards to end it turned into this boring, drawn out “oh, but let me explain…” story and then the end just…happens and it happens quickly.

I only wanted to read this so that I could watch the movie. I have this thing where I have to read the book before I see a movie that is based off of it. I sort of don’t want to see the movie now, not that I was really thrilled because I’m not a huge fan of DiCaprio. I think the only two movies I’ve ever sat through from beginning to end that he starred in were What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Titantic. The latter was not by choice.

Meh. ( )
  joshanastasia | Oct 20, 2016 |
Atmospheric thriller races along like a bullet train with a mystery that holds pretty strong into the home stretch. Lehane's writing evokes a desperate mood of isolation on the titular island that takes the novel into Gothic horror territory echoing the moors of Baskerville Hall or the dying lands of the House of Usher. The camaraderie between the leads is quite amusing to read, especially as the tension mounts. The undercurrent theme of Cold War American culture is fascinating to pick up on, especially against the backdrop of the field of mental health. Chuck's ferry monologue on the price of progress works as a perfect summary of the fears and anxieties of the times. Likewise Teddy's shower scene memory calls up the gender role combat that followed the end of the war. Teddy rejects Dolores' assertiveness and foul language, both qualities that he himself holds in spades as a 'man's man'.

This book demands to be read in a short amount of time, as the structure of the novel is a perfectly timed genre machine, dropping maddening clues the closer you get to the end. The prose is such that after the final reveal, your mind reels with the clues that were always right in front of you from the beginning. The dream/nightmare sequences work to build the unreliable narrator so once the reveal is known, it s easier to dismiss certain scenarios in the novel that may on the surface seem contradictory.

The ending might be too much for some readers to swallow, but Lehane's characterizations pull you through, as does the creepy atmosphere of the novel. ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
First book I have read by this author, and while I did enjoy it, the ending spoiled it for me. That hasn't put me off reading more of his works.. ( )
  gogglemiss | Sep 22, 2016 |
I was completely shocked at the end. Much, much better than the movie. ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |

“Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?”

When I saw the movie in theater, I had no idea it was based on a book. I think that in this case, seeing the movie before slightly dampened my enjoyment. Being a faithful adaption, I knew every step of the way what would happen, what would be revealed, and the screen even covered much of the same dialogue. It had been two years since I saw the movie, but I guess it was still fresh enough on my mind when I began reading the book.

It’s an eclectic mix – noir, mystery, nearly gothic. Teddy, a recovering widow/cop, pairs up with a partner to find a mentally ill female inmate who has gone missing from a secure island institute. The mystery grows as more and more doesn’t add up, and while storms start to dangerously brew outside, so do imaginations. Soon the mystery strengthens – who is really friend, who is really foe, and what is this place really?

To me this book took awhile to grab my attention cells. I if I recall correctly, the same thing happened with the movie. Its set-up is essential for the sake of story, yet my brain didn’t initially take much interest. I blame this mainly on Teddy and Chuck’s interactions. While their relationship is convincing and they are both likeable by themselves, their dialogue and unusual banter irritates me for some I will likely never understand. Perhaps it was the overuse of the title ‘boss’, maybe it just…really, I don’t know why it bugged me. That will stay the biggest mystery. Since the book covers a four day period, pacing is strong and consistent.

The heady dreaminess and uneven mental shifts cause this book to be delightfully disorientating and mentally mesmerizing. Dennis Lehane writes poetically and the impact of strength and self-confidence.
The ending was a little predictable, but it was also fascinating, excellent, and truly unforgettable. It is the gem of this story. When the book is all read and done, I was surprised at the bigger picture. Potent sociological message, history, and future effect. This is in no way just another chilling tale or staple mystery – it’s a freaking nuclear bomb potency lesson.

What’s sad is this is a lesson written in the past which we ignored and that most of us still ignore even as we reap it’s effects. Odd how that works right?

Completely worth a read, especially before seeing the movie. This kind of entrancing tale rarely comes around.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 236 (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)
Verano de 1954. El agente federal Teddy Daniels llega a Shutter Island, isla en la que está ubicado el hospital Ashecliffe, un centro penitenciario para enfermos mentales. Junto con su compañero, Chuck Aule, se propone encontrar a una paciente desaparecida, una asesina llamada Rachel Solando, a medida que un huracán azota la isla. No obstante, nada es lo que parece en el hospital Ashecliffe. Y Teddy Daniels tampoco.¿Ha ido hasta allí para encontrar a una paciente desaparecida? ¿O le han enviado para investigar los rumores acerca de los radicales métodos psiquiátricos que se utilizan en esa institución? Unos métodos que posiblemente incluyan la experimentación con drogas, pruebas quirúrgicas terribles, contraataques mortales en la guerra encubierta en contra de los lavados de cerebro soviéticos...
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:03 -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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