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Shutter Island (2003)

by Dennis Lehane

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,2892741,125 (3.9)378
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, come to Shutter Island's Ashcliffe Hospital in search of an escaped mental patient, but uncover true wickedness as Ashcliffe's mysterious patient treatments propel them to the brink of insanity.
Recently added bycjw509, Arina40, Carol420, sprainedbrain, AnnaBookcritter, xrissley, private library
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English (260)  French (5)  Swedish (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (272)
Showing 1-5 of 260 (next | show all)
A great plot that pulls you along trying to guess who is who and what's coming. But then you are on an island in a hospital for the criminally insane after all.

Good luck figuring it all out ... until the end.

This one was a nice escape into complicated characters. I liked the movie also but sooo glad I read the book first.

You do not want to know the ending ... until it happens.

Later I will share other favorites from this author who touches with words ... such as this quote:

“He wanted to ask her what sound a heart made when it broke from pleasure, when just the sight of someone filled you the way food, blood, and air never could, when you felt as if you'd been born for only one moment and this, for whatever reason, was it.” ( )
  LJCain | Aug 14, 2020 |
This isn't my usual type of read but I happened upon a copy and found myself hooked. I enjoyed being pulled along, trying to figure out the mystery. The story takes you along on a "who can you trust?" ride that doesn't end until the very end. Dark subject matter and tough setting but still an enjoyable read. ( )
  jjpseattle | Aug 2, 2020 |
Great.! ( )
  Timault84 | Jul 31, 2020 |
So this book was okay, but the ending was a letdown especially since when you think about things in a logical way you realize that what was really going on was pretty dumb. The book drags a lot too. The movie managed to move things along quickly with a lot of great imagery. Lehane in this book though makes you go over and over things and you quickly get tired of the investigation. It's not until the final reveal of things that the book gets moving in my opinion. I thought the prologue did a nice job of setting things up, but the rest of the book did not read like the same person was supposedly writing about Teddy Daniels.

"Shutter Island" takes place in 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando. Rachel murdered her three children years earlier and is fixated on finding them now. Rachel has been sent to Shutter Island, the home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Apparently only the worst of the worst are sent to Shutter Island. Teddy we find has lost his wife and is coming to grips with losing her and has constant memories of her while on the island. Teddy and his new partner, Chuck Aule quickly set up a rhythm with each other. Teddy though also starts to see that Rachel has left clues about herself and the island and Teddy wonders what is really happening at the hospital and starts to suspect that something fairly sinister is happening with the doctors and patients.

I can't say much about the other characters in this book. We focus mostly on Teddy and his run in with the doctors and in some cases patients that he finds locked up.

The writing was okay, but started to get repetitive to me after a while. There's a reason for that we find out later on. The clues and numbers that Teddy is trying to figure out just take long to go off in the later part of the book with the reveal. The flow was pretty bad though. I thought this book would be exciting to read I watched and loved this movie when I saw it years ago. I remember being in the theater and gasping at the reveals and loving the images on screen.

The island is a pretty perfect place for an investigation I thought. Shutter Island feels ominous and the beginning about rats trying to swim away from the island was not only bleak, but a creepy bit of foreshadowing.

The ending was a letdown in this one. I liked how more clear it was about Teddy's choice in the end in the movie. The book sets it up and you realize what is happening, but wish it had been more explicit. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
this is a fast paced thriller that feels pretty predictable (the storm that puts all the power out, the migraines, even the fear of water were all pretty convenient) until it picks up toward the end. i was thinking that it was probably my least favorite lehane until we got almost 300 pages in. but since i love it when an author screws with the reader like this, making the narrator unreliable without warning, i reallyenjoyed the last 70 pages of this. is he crazy or isn't he? are they fucking with him or aren't they? who can we trust? i am kind of pissed at myself for not seeing the obvious, although of course the point of the book is that the reader wouldn't. still, to not suspect that he was a patient there... i'm ashamed of myself, but it made the book so much more enjoyable to have that revealed. and his ending was perfect, as it wasn't likely he would actually recover his sanity, regardless of freud's theory that facing your fears can do that. i do also like that there is a point here, about psychopharmacology and the way the mentally ill are treated. (i'd thought for a bit that this was going to be the first book of his that i'd read without a social issue, and am glad to be wrong.) super strong ending pulls this book up for me, and made it super fun by the end.

"'Right now, the balance of power is in the hands of the surgeons, but that's going to change fast. The pharmacists will take over, and it won't be any less barbaric. It'll just seem so. The same zombiefication and warehousing that are going on now will continue under a more publicly palatable veneer.'"
( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jun 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 260 (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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One of the editions has the ISBN and cover for Mystic River, not Shutter Island.
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U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, come to Shutter Island's Ashcliffe Hospital in search of an escaped mental patient, but uncover true wickedness as Ashcliffe's mysterious patient treatments propel them to the brink of insanity.

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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.
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