Monday, April 4, 2011

Shutter Island

Shutter IslandShutter Island – Dennis Lehane
Evan’s ESS = 9.5 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = R (Language, Violence, Language, Eerie Settings)

Why:  Shutter Island will absolutely make you shutter (in a good way). 

The book opens as US Marshal, Teddy Daniels, arrives via ferry boat at a hospital for the criminally insane.  His assignment is to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an inmate on the island.  Seems pretty straightforward, right?  Wrong.  Almost at once Teddy realizes something is terribly amiss on the creepy and harsh island.  No one can be trusted and in the end, the web of deceit is arguably more preferable than the truth. 

As a rule, psychological thrillers aren’t really our favorite genre, but Shutter Island knocked our socks off (and turned them a little yellow).  The novel is fast paced and veiled in lies and half truths.  It’s impossible to know who to trust and even more difficult to predict the ending – we tried multiple times and failed.  Teddy Daniels is an incredibly complex character and extremely well written.  In fact, all the characters received our Two Bibliomaniacs stamp of approval for realness.  Additionally, the setting is epic-scary and enough to give any reader nightmares for a week to ten days.

We should also mention that our primary motivation for reading this novel was to allow the viewing of the movie.  (We maintain a very strict book before movie policy in our family).  We are very happy to report that the movie also scored high on our Likeability Scale.  Probably an 8 out of 10 or a 4 out of 5 depending out your preferred rating methodology.  While it was a little difficult to actually watch the pivotal lake scene from the book, overall the screen play was faithful and the suspense was maintained throughout.  

For us, its full speed ahead to Mystic River... as soon our library copy becomes available.  Hopefully Lehane will deliver for us again! 


  1. I also have a strict book before movie policy but my husband doesn't abide by it. He watched the movie the other night and while I tried to stick to my book and not catch any of it I have to admit it pulled me in...

  2. Awesome. I have been wanting to read this one. I'll have to make sure it doesn't continue to slip further down the TBR pile.

  3. Let me just tell you about Mystic River... It is awesome. One of the best books I've read in the last decade awesome.

  4. I also have a strict book before movie policy!

    But I didn't like this book. At all. After reading it, I was convinced that the movie (that I hadn't seen, nor have I seen it since), had to be better than the train wreck of a book. This saddened me, because I loved Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone (my favorite Lehane novel).

    I'll be back to check out your review of Mystic River!

  5. I saw the movie but didn't read the book. *shame*

    BUT, I will give the book a shot, since I am a fan of psychological thrillers.

  6. I'm shocked to say that I saw the movie first. I know, I know, bad Teacher/Learner :/ But at least I'll have a better hold on the plot. My copy is waiting for me to pluck it off teh shelf. I hope you like Mystic River. It was quite deep and very well written. The movie is even better, IMO.