Monday, September 14, 2009

#50 - Shutter Island

I am this-close to being all caught up with my book reviews. I've got two more after Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island, and then I'm almost current. What a shock to my system that'll be: actually talking about my life in real time. Like The Best of Everything, Shutter Island was another book that I read in pretty much one sitting.

Here comes the confessional. [whispers] I cheat and sometimes read the endings of books first. I know. It's terrible. But it's something I started doing when I was a kid and can't control. So, after I started Shutter Island, I just had to know what happened. Like, HAD to know. Like, COULDN'T wait until I actually got to the end, and I resisted. Oh, I resisted until early evening when everyone else was playing cards and I was still reading. And then I couldn't stop myself. Flipping the book over I scanned the last few pages and said, "WHAT? No, that can't be right. I don't understand."

Serves me right.

Back to the traditional old-school read it from beginning to ending. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive on Shutter Island for a routine missing persons case. Except, is it really all that routine when the island, separated from the mainland by high tides, rocky outcrops and cold water, is home to a prison for some of the country's most disturbed and dangerous offenders? So, one of them has gone missing -- she's utterly disappeared from her cell (not unlike Andy in The Shawshank Redemption only without the giant poster and the actual explanation) and no one knows what's happened. But when Teddy and Chuck step off the ferry, nothing is as it seems. The staff are cryptic and unhelpful. The clues are confusing and don't make sense. And soon Teddy's not only lost his partner but he's on the verge of losing his mind too. He can't get off the island. No, wait, let's rephrase that, they won't let him off the island.

Let me tell you: I did not expect the ending. It came out of left field for me so much that I had to re-read the prologue AND the last few pages more than once. Lehane's such a convincing writer that you get swept away in Teddy's story the moment he tosses his cookies on the ferry ride over. That's a part of why the novel's so masterful too -- that for a twist of this magnitude to work, you need to be with the main character from the very beginning. You need to sweat when he sweats, so to speak, and sweat you do.

I'm stoked for the movie, even if they've delayed its opening until next winter. Here's the trailer in case you've been living under a rock these last few months:




Is it just me or is it totally terrifying? Trust me when I say that the book throws the same kind of punch.

1 comment:

Petty Witter said...

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