Book Review: Shutter Island

For this review, I read Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. You might be thinking “Thats a book?! I thought it was a Martin Scorsese movie!” Well it is. It was just a book first. Author Dennis Lehane has a knack for writing phenomenal books that turn into phenomenal movies (Lehane wrote Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone.) Anyway, to Shutter Island. Shutter Island tells the story of U.S Marshals Edward “Teddy” Daniels and Chuck Aule as they are sent to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane to investigate the disappearance of inmate and multiple murderess Rachel Solando. As they deepen their investigation, a bigger picture becomes revealed. A picture of horrifying surgeries and radical experimental treatments. Meanwhile, a massive hurricane strikes the island, knocking out communications and electricity (ergo security measures.) Teddy and Chuck struggle for their lives and their sanity as the truth becomes revealed. Lehane establishes these two characters as well as others including Chief Of Medicine Dr. John Cawley, Daniels’ dead wife Dolores Chanel, inmate George Noyce among others. Lehane makes characters that are deeply defined in their goals and their methods of achieving them. As for the writing, it is flawless. Lehane creates a sense of being lost in a world where there is no truth and no information can be trusted as well as creating suspense that equals that of Stephen King or even Hitchcock himself. But the main reason why I love this book (and why you should either read it, see the movie or both) is a certain major plot twist that is one of the most breathtaking surprises that I’ve ever read or seen. When I read it, I literally flung the book across the room, not wanting it to be true. I cannot recommend Shutter Island highly enough. And I am very anxious to see what Scorsese and DiCaprio do with one of my new favorite books.

Overall Grade: A++

Here is the trailer for the Martin Scorsese film

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Shutter Island”

  1. I am still not sure what happened at the end. Was Teddy really a patient for 2 years, was this elaborate narrative all in his mind/being played out fictitiously or did the psychotropic drugs work and he really wasn’t ever going to get off the island? Are they going to do brain surgery on him or kill him at the very end? The thing that confuses me is in the prologue where dr. sheehan writes about Teddy seeing the island in 1954, this suggests to me that he was not there since 1952 but it makes more sense in the lighthouse scene that he is indeed a patient there but the way this book ended left more questions. I did love the book however and it reminded me a bit of “A Beautiful Mind”.

    Please e-mail me with your thoughts on this book as far as your opinion of what is really happening at the end.

  2. The ending was that Teddy was really Andrew. Teddy was just a persona Andrew created to deal with the guilt of the fact that he killed his wife. As for the very end, it implies that Teddy did regress because the day before he accepted he was Andrew Laedis but then he regresses to being Teddy again. So they are going to give him the lobotomy.

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