K's Reviews > Shutter Island

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Sep 13, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: audiobooks, intense-sad-dark-or-bleak, mysteriesthrillers
Recommended to K by: MAP

I have to be honest and say that I don't know if I really got this book. I'm pretty sure the author was playing with my mind, which is fine except that I was listening to this in fits and spurts on audio with distractions throughout. Putting the bare bones of the story together was difficult under those circumstances, and then having to figure out which parts of the narrative were real just compounded my confusion.

When the story opens, Marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to Shutter Island to help locate a missing inmate, escaped from the hospital for the criminally insane. The plot thickens when other motives for Teddy's presence on Shutter Island are revealed, motives both political and personal. Layers of backstory and dreams/fantasies of Teddy's further complicate the story, creating an intriguing multi-layered and somewhat elusive narrative.

The story was creative and well-crafted overall, I think; the fact that I was left with some questions may not be Lehane's fault (see above, first paragraph). With that said, though, it's hard for me to give more than three stars to a book that left me feeling lost and confused so much of the time. Smarter readers than I would probably appreciate it more than I did.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by MAP (new) - rated it 4 stars

MAP I too didn't know by the end *SPOILERS*


whether the woman he met in the cave was real or if that was part of his imagination. There were probably some other things, but I can't remember them right now. My main problem was, when we got to the end, the doctors were like "We set up this elaborate reenactment to try to help you!" and I was like "HOW IS THAT GOING TO HELP?" I mean, I got ultimately what had happened, but why they thought him actually living out his delusions would cure him was non-sensical. If anything, wouldn't it just cement the delusions? I dunno.


message 2: by K (new) - rated it 3 stars

K Yeah, me too. I had no idea what the rationale was for this elaborate role-play treatment (and I was also confused about the woman in the cave). I liked the book's concept but there were too many holes for me. Glad it's not just me.


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