Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: Shutter Island...Book and Movie

These are going to be short reviews because to talk too much about either would give away surprise plot twists.  Without further ado...

Shutter Island--Dennis Lehane


Summer, 1954.

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.

And neither is Teddy Daniels.

Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe?s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing. . . .

Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount:

How has a barefoot woman escaped the island from a locked room?

Who is leaving clues in the form of cryptic codes?

Why is there no record of a patient committed there just one year before?

What really goes on in Ward C?

Why is an empty lighthouse surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards?

The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.Because someone is trying to drive them insane. . . .

My review:

Shutter Island is a first-rate thriller.  Dennis Lehane has succeeded in writing an atmospheric period piece that echoes the conspiracy theories and such that abounded after World War II and at the start of the Cold War.  The book draws you in and then pulls you along...quite the shocking conclusion.  Along the way, the protagonists do not know who to trust and even begin distrusting themselves and each other.  More than just a mystery, Shutter Island is a master class on the workings of the human mind. 

Shutter Island...the movie.

My take:

Very seldom is there a movie that does not totally obliterate the book it is based on.  This is one of them.  Scorsese takes Lehane's book and makes a movie that is so very like the book, even large portions of dialogue are exactly the same.  DiCaprio is spot on as the detective who is trying to solve the mysterious disappearance while he wrestles with personal demons from his past.  All the performances are excellent, which I'm sure Scorsese has a hand in, as he is a fantastic director.  The movie may even one-up the book in being even more atmospheric (did I just say that?!).  Some of the critics out there have been less than kind, with which I totally disagree.  And I was shocked the other day when a newscaster on ABC World News Now gave away a major plot surprise!  Very badly done.  If you dislike the movie, say so, but do not give away the plot or at least give a spoiler warning!

Shutter and movie...definitely a must-read and a must-see!

For the following challenges:

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge  2 / 4
Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge   2 / 12
100+ Reading Challenge  5 / 100+
Pages Read Challenge  1429 / 30,000
Monthly Mixer Mele  6 / 74 
A Buck A Book Challenge

Click on any one of these challenges and you will be taken to my challenge blog.  Become a follower...when I reach 40 followers I will be hosting a giveaway!


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. It means so much.

I apologize for word verification, but as soon as I changed the settings from only users with Google accounts, I started receiving a ton of spam comments...within one hour of changing the settings. The bots are on high alert apparently.

  1. oh wow! i finally found this book after searching all over the past few days, even Barnes & Noble was out of it! I'm on the 4th chapter and man oh man am i loving it! i can't wait to finish it and then watch the movie! thanks for the great review (without any spoilers)

  2. You are so welcome! And thanks for stopping by and following. I'm now following you as well. Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

  3. Is this movie terrifying? I'm really interested in seeing it, but am a little nervous about thrillers after I Am Legend completely freaked me out.

  4. No, it's not terrifying...maybe mildly creepy. No where near as scary as I Am Legend.

  5. I keep meaning to read this book, and I want to before I see the movie. I'm just not sure how close to the plan I'll end up sticking.

  6. I can't wait to read the book and watch the movie. Not sure which one I will do first though.

  7. Just got the book out of the library! Looking forward to reading it then seeing the movie!

  8. The movie looks creepy. I can't believe you said it might be better than the book! :O

  9. I have to read this book. The movie, I'll wait for DVD

  10. Okay, this is definitely a must-read/must-see combination. Thanks for the reviews!

  11. Great review!I bought this book a week ago but I won't be able to get to it for awhile...

  12. What a rarity- a movie that takes after the book it's based on.

  13. Really enjoyed this book when it first came out, so glad to hear that the movie sticks to the book so closely. Tempted to go see the movie as I really like Scorsese, but may wait for it to come out on cable. Great review!

  14. I want to see this movie and read the book so badly I'm gonna have to break down and just do it! I love, love, love Leo :) He is my dream guy! hahaha :D

  15. Thank you everyone for stopping by. Glad you liked the review! Incidentally, I didn't think the movie was better, just maybe more atmospheric. =O)

  16. We didn't read the book but agree with you that the movie is fantastic. Now I want to read the book too!

  17. I'm going to have to get this book. The movie will probably have to wait until I can get it on video--I can't watch movies like this in the theater!

  18. Lisa--I think you will enjoy the movie on DVD. It's not one that would be better in the theater.

  19. My husband and I are dying to see this movie - thanks for the review!

  20. Thanks for stopping by Jordasche! I'm glad you liked the review. I hope you enjoy the movie!

  21. Thanks for the reviews! Shutter Island is on both my TBR and TBW lists.

  22. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts

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