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Shutter Island
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Archive - Group Reads > Shutter Island - September 2013

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message 1: by Leigh (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments Our group read lead for Shutter Island is Laura G. Look forward to an intro to the books and the author, and to a cracking discussion.

As usual please not we discuss all aspects of the books we read - the plots, the characters, the settings and so on - on our discussions threads. Hence the discussion threads will contain spoilers from the start. if you haven't finished the book yet be careful not to read others' posts until the end.





Summary:

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new -partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades--with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.


message 2: by Laura/Mystery in Minutes (last edited Sep 07, 2013 05:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Hello All! I'm Laura G., and I am very happy to be leading this month's discussion of Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane!

In an October 3, 2012 review of Live By Night, Janet Maslin of the New York Times called Mr. Lehane the best of the current practitioners of crime noir fiction.
Dennis Lehane is an American writer who was born and raised in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He continues to live in Boston, the setting for most of his books. He is the youngest of five children, and both of his parents emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland. Mr. Lehane has written many books, at least one play, and he has also done writing for television, namely on The Wire, for which he won an Edgar Award, and on Boardwalk Empire. His first book, A Drink Before The War (1994), won the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel. Mystic River (2001) was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and won the Anthony and Barry Awards for Best Novel, the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction, and France's Prix Mystere de la Critique. Mr. Lehane's 2012 novel, Live By Night, was chosen by Publisher's Weekly as one of that years' finest books, and Live By Night won the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Several of his novels have been made into successful films, and his most recent novel, Live By Night, is anticipated to be adapted into a film as well. In addition, Dennis Lehane has an eponymously named imprint at HarperCollins Publishers.
In an online interview with Tokyo Pop for the graphic novel adaptation of Shutter Island, Mr. Lehane listed three main inspirations for writing the (prose) novel. When he was a boy, he used to cross a bridge from Boston and play in the rooms of a decommissioned minimum security mental institution. Also, Mr. Lehane said that he wanted to write something very different from his critically acclaimed novel, Mystic River. And lastly, he had a political motivation, namely The Patriot Act, which he felt at the time was " the greatest assault on our freedom since McCarthyism". Mr. Lehane has described Shutter Island, published in 2003, as "gothic noir" - an homage to gothic settings, B movies, and pulp fiction. Shutter Island is a very atmospheric, psychological mystery-thriller with much to analyze and talk about, and some delicious surprises!

To facilitate discussion and for ease of reference, I am going to list many characters of the book:

(Main Setting) Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane
Edward "Teddy" Daniels, US Marshal
Charles "Chuck" Aule, US Marshal
Rachel Solando
Dolores Chanal, Teddy's wife
Deputy Warden McPherson
The Warden
Dr. John Cawley, Chief of Staff
Dr. Jeremiah Naehring
George Noyce
Andrew Laeddis
Dr. Lester Sheehan
Senator Hurly

I invite everyone to join in the discussion!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments I read Dennis Lehane's work for the first time this summer. I began with Gone, Baby, Gone, #4 in Mr. Lehane's Kenzie & Gennaro series. Then I immediately read Shutter Island, and finished with Mystic River. Since I read Shutter Island back in June, and have read many books since, I decided to re-read Shutter Island for our discussion, which I am currently doing. I am about halfway through my second reading. While I already know the secrets and surprises of the novel, I am noticing so many more details this time around - details that I am eager to explore with all of you!

Why don't I kick off the discussion by asking if Shutter Island is your first Dennis Lehane novel. Have you already read the book, and if not, how far along are you, page or percentage-wise? What other works by Mr. Lehane, if any, have you read?


Jenny Regalia (jennyrph) | 81 comments it is my first dennis lehane. I really liked the book. I had an idea of what it was, then had to evolve into a new prediction. my husband and I kept changing what where we thought the book was going. I have seen his movies but this book was great!


Aditya | 1869 comments This is the only Lehane book I have read(would start with his Kennie & Genaro series once I have time) & I read it a couple of months back.It was an excellent book, one of the best mysteries I have read.Though I had already seen the equally good movie which closely followed the book it did not hamper my enjoyment of the read which is a testament to the writing skills of Lehane.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Jenny wrote: "it is my first dennis lehane. I really liked the book. I had an idea of what it was, then had to evolve into a new prediction. my husband and I kept changing what where we thought the book was goin..."

Welcome to the discussion, Jenny! Yes, I seem to recall that maybe a little more than halfway through the novel I started feeling very suspicious of one of the characters, trying to figure out what his/her motivations might be exactly, and I was completely blown away by where the novel eventually took me. That is so great that you and your husband share the experience of a book that you both enjoy!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Aditya wrote: "This is the only Lehane book I have read(would start with his Kennie & Genaro series once I have time) & I read it a couple of months back.It was an excellent book, one of the best mysteries I have..."

Hi Aditya! Welcome to the discussion! I'm so glad you enjoyed Shutter Island! After I read the three Lehane novels mentioned in my post above, I watched each of the corresponding film adaptations. While I thought they were all good, I felt the film version of Shutter Island was almost, almost as good as the book, which is not a common thing, I think, because books usually have so much more detail. I, too, intend to read more of Mr. Lehane's work.


Jenny Regalia (jennyrph) | 81 comments we take turns picking an audiobook for road trips. I have learned to like clive cussler and made it all the way through 'the great influenza'(excellent nonfiction account of Spanish flu) and he as come to like Stephanie plum as much as I do!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Jenny wrote: "we take turns picking an audiobook for road trips. I have learned to like clive cussler and made it all the way through 'the great influenza'(excellent nonfiction account of Spanish flu) and he as ..."

I had to look up Clive Cussler because I wasn't familiar with him. Does he incorporate his expertise in shipwrecks, maritime, and naval history into his fictional writing?


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

This will be my first Dennis Lehane book. I am looking forward to reading it with all of you! It sounds like a creepy story and I hope I don't get nightmare! :)


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Janessa wrote: "This will be my first Dennis Lehane book. I am looking forward to reading it with all of you! It sounds like a creepy story and I hope I don't get nightmare! :)"

I'm happy to have you join us for this discussion, Janessa! Everyone has their own unique threshold for what might give them nightmares, of course, but I don't think this is that kind of book. I don't recall any gore or gratuitous physical suffering. It's funny, but when the movie version was first released in theaters, I would not go to see it because it looked like it was going to be too horrifying and nightmare-inducing. Now that I have seen it, the movie is actually a lot less scary and creepy than the trailer made it look like it was going to be.


Jenny Regalia (jennyrph) | 81 comments Laura G. wrote: "Jenny wrote: "we take turns picking an audiobook for road trips. I have learned to like clive cussler and made it all the way through 'the great influenza'(excellent nonfiction account of Spanish f..."

yes, that is the basis of most of hos books. He is a cross between Indiana jones and tom Clancy lol.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I am glad to see that Mr. Lehane has written for other genres as well. Broad walk Empire is one of my favorite shows on t.v. right now:)


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Janessa wrote: "I am glad to see that Mr. Lehane has written for other genres as well. Broad walk Empire is one of my favorite shows on t.v. right now:)"

I just read in an online Boston Herald article from back in late November of 2012 that fellow writer George Pelecanos was coming aboard at that time to Executive Produce Boardwalk Empire. The two had worked together on The Wire.


Aditya | 1869 comments Laura G. wrote: "Hi Aditya! Welcome to the discussion! I'm so glad you enjoyed Shutter Island! After I read the three Lehane novels mentioned in my post above, I watched each of the corresponding film adaptations..."

Hello Laura.I am an avid movie watcher and have seen all the movies made from Lehane's books and felt that Shutter Island was the best of the lot closely followed by Gone Baby Gone which was also very good.However I did not enjoy Mystic river though it got an Oscar as I felt the treatment was a bit heavy-handed.But I had watched it a long time ago so maybe I will give it another watch after I read the book.

On the note of films it is worth noting that most other modern thriller writers be it Grisham, Connelly often attracts lesser directors.But the story material of Lehane is so strong that all 3 of his films had been directed by people who had already made or eventually went on to make a movie that won The Best Picture Oscar & hence their quality of movies is often superior than the run of a mill thriller.


Carol (countesscarola) | 31 comments I finished this book this morning-it was a horror novel rather than a mystery for me. I am still not sure what is real and what is not. I am looking forward to comparing the film to the book.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Aditya wrote: "Laura G. wrote: "Hi Aditya! Welcome to the discussion! I'm so glad you enjoyed Shutter Island! After I read the three Lehane novels mentioned in my post above, I watched each of the corresponding f..."

Having read Mystic River, at first the style of Clint Eastwood's film didn't appeal to me. But it ended up growing on me (I may have watched it a second time). I think it is amazing that Mr. Eastwood not only directed and co-produced the film, but also wrote the music. Personally, I think a different composer could have taken that film from a very good one to a great one. I found the score to be inappropriate at times to the action that was happening on the screen. I'm wondering if anyone else remembers feeling that way?

I just read that Ben Affleck is in pre-production, as director and lead actor, on Live By Night, Mr. Lehane's 2012 novel that beat out Gone Girl for the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Novel.


message 18: by Laura/Mystery in Minutes (last edited Sep 04, 2013 09:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Carol wrote: "I finished this book this morning-it was a horror novel rather than a mystery for me. I am still not sure what is real and what is not. I am looking forward to comparing the film to the book."

Welcome to the discussion, Carol! We will be getting into the meat of the book very soon, but for now, let me just say that the reality issue is something that we will certainly explore, and for me, one of the truly ingenious aspects of the novel! I would certainly recommend complementing your reading experience by watching the film adaptation.


Jenny Regalia (jennyrph) | 81 comments Laura G. wrote: "Carol wrote: "I finished this book this morning-it was a horror novel rather than a mystery for me. I am still not sure what is real and what is not. I am looking forward to comparing the film to ..."

hi carol
I usually like straight forward mystery or polce procedural. This book was kind of interesting with determining what was real. I liked the movie because I read the book and it helped to have the scenes play out visually for me. It wasn't as weird as some 'what is reality' movies like inception.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Jenny wrote: "Laura G. wrote: "Carol wrote: "I finished this book this morning-it was a horror novel rather than a mystery for me. I am still not sure what is real and what is not. I am looking forward to compa..."

Inception is really interesting visually and very exciting (now THAT is an example of a score complementing and furthering the action on the screen), but boy, without multiple viewings, that film can be confusing!


Heather (trixieplum) | 193 comments This was my first Dennis Lehane, and I enjoyed it enough that I'm definitely going to pick up another. If anyone has a recommendation on which I should read next, I'm all ears! As for Shutter Island, I've always been intrigued by institutions of any kind (particularly abandoned ones), so I was hoping for a really creepy read, and I wasn't disappointed. I won't say more until the discussion starts delving deeper into the book just in case others haven't finished yet! The movie is on my "to watch" list now - I'm thinking it might be perfect for a cold October evening.


Malina | 1844 comments I read Mystic River and I loved it,especially with it being set in my hometown.
I have also read Shutter Island and watched the movie of course the book is always better, but I thought the movie was very well adapted.
I started reading Live by Night and I must admit I couldn't get into it.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Heather wrote: "This was my first Dennis Lehane, and I enjoyed it enough that I'm definitely going to pick up another. If anyone has a recommendation on which I should read next, I'm all ears! As for Shutter Isl..."

Hi Heather! I'm very glad that you joined us for the discussion! I've only read three of Mr. Lehane's books. But I would highly recommend Mystic River. In fact, many believe it to be Dennis Lehane's magnum opus, thus far. I'm re-reading Shutter Island for our discussion, but especially the first time that I read it, I found it to be one of the most atmospheric books I had read. I just love the setting of the institution on an island in outer Boston Harbor, rendered inaccessible and cut-off by a hurricane bearing down on them - it doesn't get much better than that!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Malina wrote: "I read Mystic River and I loved it,especially with it being set in my hometown.
I have also read Shutter Island and watched the movie of course the book is always better, but I thought the movie wa..."


Hi Malina! I have not yet read his historical novels (The Given Day and Live By Night), but I do get the sense that some people absolutely love them, and others don't care for them nearly as much as his Kenzie & Gennaro series, or his previous standalones. I have to admit to being intrigued about, especially, Live By Night, given that it won an Edgar Award. Welcome to the discussion!


message 25: by Suzy (new)

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) I have not read any Lehane books but have several on my To Read shelf and as with many, I've seen a few movies (but not Shutter Island). I just joined the group and am glad to see this is the September read. I just downloaded it to listen and hope to complete it by the end of the month. I'm listening to Paris: A Novel in prep for a trip there the last 2 weeks of Sept. It's 30 hours of listening! It's fun to see everyone's comments - what a good way to get more enjoyment out of a book.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Suzy wrote: "I have not read any Lehane books but have several on my To Read shelf and as with many, I've seen a few movies (but not Shutter Island). I just joined the group and am glad to see this is the Septe..."

Hi Suzy! Welcome to MCT and welcome to the discussion! I am totally jealous - Paris is one of my favorite places that I have visited! I have been there in September and it is a lovely time to be in that beautiful city! We are going to be really delving into the novel very, very soon, but I will be very clear when that happens, so as not to spoil the enjoyment of the book for anyone who has not yet finished it.


Shannon (shannondisbell) | -113 comments I read this book back this summer i really like As much as i love his Mystic river i love this one more. I am hoping my library get more books from him


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Shannon wrote: "I read this book back this summer i really like As much as i love his Mystic river i love this one more. I am hoping my library get more books from him"
Hi Shannon! I'm very happy to have you join us for this discussion of Shutter Island! I, too, get most of my books from the Public Library.


message 29: by Leslie (new) - added it

Leslie (lesmorecats) | 72 comments I liked the movie very much but predicted the ending before the halfway mark. Will give it a try. My husband and I have luvved everything of his on film so far.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Leslie wrote: "I liked the movie very much but predicted the ending before the halfway mark. Will give it a try. My husband and I have luvved everything of his on film so far."

Hello Leslie! You are probably much more clever than I am, because I was totally surprised by how the book ended (I read the book before I saw the movie version). Thanks for joining us in this discussion of Shutter Island!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments SPOILER ALERT!!!

Hello Shutter Island readers! From this point forward I am going to be asking very book-specific questions, some of which will be inspired by, or adapted from, online book group questions, such as those on litlovers.com, or on pvccbookclub.wordpress.com. These questions will most assuredly result in responses containing SPOILERS.

Let's start off by talking about WATER. When we are first introduced in the novel to Teddy Daniels, he is a boy, and we learn that he has a very uncomfortable relationship with water and the sea. As we progress through Shutter Island, we learn that water is something that has affected Teddy's life in several profound ways. Water reappears throughout the novel, whether it be in the setting, in the actions that are taking place, or even in Mr. Lehane's choice of words and language.

LET'S DISCUSS THE WAYS THAT WATER IS SYMBOLIC IN SHUTTER ISLAND. To give everyone an opportunity to participate, why don't we each just talk about a couple of the ways that water is meaningful in Shutter Island.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments I just finished my second reading of Shutter Island. It was just as satisfying as the first time I read it (though less shocking, naturally). It is such a good book!!!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Carol wrote: "I finished this book this morning-it was a horror novel rather than a mystery for me. I am still not sure what is real and what is not. I am looking forward to comparing the film to the book."

Now that I have re-read the ending of Shutter Island, I can understand how you could describe it as a horror novel, Carol. There are some disturbing descriptions and some really horrifying things that occur in the book, but thankfully, for me at least, I don't think they play out in a gratuitous way.


Agnes (BookBubbe) (bookbubbe) | 40 comments Since I see so many 5* here I just had to download it to my Kindle. And since this is looking like a restful weekend, will start it and get back to you. Sounds like my kind of book....ahh suspense!


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Agnes (BeaderBubbe) wrote: "Since I see so many 5* here I just had to download it to my Kindle. And since this is looking like a restful weekend, will start it and get back to you. Sounds like my kind of book....ahh suspense!"

Welcome to the discussion, Agnes (BeaderBubbe)! I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Donna | 64 comments This was my first Lehane novel and I enjoyed it very much. I can see how you would see things you missed rereading the book a second time. The story was such a work out (a good one) for my brain. I had to go back when I finished to see who was telling the story. It reminded me of the 60's show The Prisoner.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Donna wrote: "This was my first Lehane novel and I enjoyed it very much. I can see how you would see things you missed rereading the book a second time. The story was such a work out (a good one) for my brain. I..."

Yes, I consider Shutter Island to be a literary mystery/thriller - a good workout for anyone's brain! I am hoping that some or all of the discussion group will join me in really analyzing the novel and looking at it on a deeper level. My husband loves The Prisoner (he owns it on DVD). Maybe I can use that as leverage to have him read Shutter Island! I'm very glad that you joined us, Donna!


message 38: by Donna (last edited Sep 08, 2013 01:51PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Donna | 64 comments With regard to the water imagery, I found its use interesting because we usually see rain and water being used to symbolize redemption or it might be used to refer to Jung's collective consciousness in literature. But here I don't see it being used in a conventional way.

The main character Teddy is afraid of water. His father takes him fishing in the beginning and when the dad sees his son's fear of water, he tells him that some people don't take to water while others do. Does the water imagery reflect Teddy's inability to fit in or deal with life?


Michelle (shelld79) Gee I wish I could be reading this with everybody. I've been wanting to read this book for so long but just don't think I will be able to fit it in this month.
I'll just have to live vicariously by stalking everyone else's comments instead :-)


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Michelle wrote: "Gee I wish I could be reading this with everybody. I've been wanting to read this book for so long but just don't think I will be able to fit it in this month.
I'll just have to live vicariously b..."


Hi Michelle! Stalk away! Just please be careful because we are starting to get into the nitty-gritty of the novel, and I would hate for the wonderful surprises to be spoiled for you. Sometimes these discussion threads continue into future months, and if that turns out to be the case with the Shutter Island discussion, perhaps you'll have a chance to join us in October.


Susan Elizabeth (susan_e_lizabeth) Hi All,

I read Shutter Island twice a few years back and it's continued to be one of my favorite novels, so I'd love to join the discussion.

Mystic River was my first Lehane, quickly followed by Gone, Baby, Gone and then Shutter Island. Since that summer, I've been a big Lehane fan. I've had plenty of people to discuss the movie with, but only my mom to discuss the book with.

Laura - in regards to water, I noticed right away the mention of Teddy getting seasick and that he blames water for his troubles. It wasn't until the second time around that I noticed how this was connected to the ending and his tragic experience in which water played a large part. I found it very interesting that Teddy is aware of his water issues, but is not able to connect it to the big picture.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Susan wrote: "Hi All,

I read Shutter Island twice a few years back and it's continued to be one of my favorite novels, so I'd love to join the discussion.

Mystic River was my first Lehane, quickly followed by ..."


Hi Susan! Welcome! Yes, the second time that I read Shutter Island, while less shocking and surprising, of course, I picked up so many more details than the first time that I read it. I was also looking much more closely for those details, knowing that we were going to be having this discussion.

Teddy does get sick at sea near the very beginning of the book. It is important to clarify for our discussion that Mr. Lehane tries to make clear to us that it wasn't the motion of the sea, but rather an extreme fear of it, that caused Teddy to be sick (this is one of those details that might be difficult for anyone to remember without a copy of the book in front of them). Water does indeed play a huge role in the tragic events that are revealed at the end of the novel. Water also played a big part (indirectly) in events that may have not-so-positively shaped his childhood, and (much more directly) in another tragedy that probably had a profound effect upon his very young adult life.

I invite anyone in the discussion group to talk about what the two events that I am referring to might be.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Donna wrote: "With regard to the water imagery, I found its use interesting because we usually see rain and water being used to symbolize redemption or it might be used to refer to Jung's collective consciousnes..."

Thank you, Donna, for taking "the plunge" and being the first to comment on how water is meaningful and possibly symbolic in Shutter Island. You asked the discussion group if the imagery of water could reflect Teddy's inability to fit in or to deal with life. I am not certain if this is what you meant exactly by the question that you posed, but your question made me look at that section of the novel, when we are first introduced to Teddy as a boy, in a way that I hadn't before considered.

SPOILER ALERT




I am now asking myself if Mr. Lehane included the description of Teddy's extreme fear of water partly as a foreshadowing of the potential for Teddy's mind to be unstable, or perhaps it was already slightly unstable.
Or, conversely, could it just simply be common for a fairly young child, an 8 year old, to be that afraid of "all that water"?


message 44: by Donna (last edited Sep 09, 2013 07:16PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Donna | 64 comments Laura G. wrote: "Donna wrote: "With regard to the water imagery, I found its use interesting because we usually see rain and water being used to symbolize redemption or it might be used to refer to Jung's collectiv..."
Laura, that is exactly the question I posed. I have to admit that I am grappling with the water imagery. I do find your suggestion that Teddy's father may be foreseeing problems interesting. As to the second part of your question, I wonder if you were a child living and growing up near water and your father makes a living on the water would you fear it?
The image of water pouring from Teddy's wife during a dream strikes me as important. If one considers water being connected to life and then considers that it pours from her belly and then we consider how the children die...As I say I am grappling with this. Perhaps there is some Jungian explanation after all since this is Teddy's dream.


Laura/Mystery in Minutes  | 57 comments Donna wrote: "Laura G. wrote: "Donna wrote: "With regard to the water imagery, I found its use interesting because we usually see rain and water being used to symbolize redemption or it might be used to refer to..."

SPOILER ALERT




Hi Donna! Actually, I think that Teddy's father thought that Teddy threw up because of sea-sickness, brought on by the motion of the sea. I am wondering if Dennis Lehane wrote about Teddy's visceral, fearful reaction to the sea as either evidence of Teddy's mental instability, even as a child, or a foreshadowing of the potential for Teddy to "crack", given the right circumstances.
On page 79 of the hardcover edition, during what I think might be the first dream sequence in the book, Mr. Lehane writes, "Her belly springs a leak and the liquid flows through his hands." At the bottom of that page, "His tears spill down her body and mix with her pouring belly." For me, though I didn't realize it while I was reading it and can only now say this having finished the book, I believe what these actions in the dream represent is Andrew shooting his wife in the belly, after he has discovered what has transpired at the cabin. I think you make an excellent observation about the significance and possible symbolism of the location of the shot, or, put another way, the location from which liquid is pouring out of Dolores, in Teddy's dreams.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1006 comments Laura G. wrote: "I felt the film version of Shutter Island was almost, almost as good as the book,..."

I have to disagree. And the only reason I disagree is Leonardo Dicaprio. Both his face and his voice are too young for his part. He played the main character, so that spoiled the whole movie.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1006 comments Although I always review the books I read, I didn't review this one. That's because there was too much I wasn't sure I understood correctly. And I didn't want to make stupid-sounding statements.

I should reread this book. Probably I'd see lots of details that eluded me the first time. But I have so, so many books to read, I hate to spend time rereading.

Maybe this discussion will help.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1006 comments Malina wrote: "I started reading Live by Night and I must admit I couldn't get into it..."

LIVE BY NIGHT and THE GIVEN DAY are quite different from Lehane's other books. I've read all of them, and I, like you, never got into LIVE BY NIGHT or THE GIVEN DAY. While Lehane's other books are fast-paced suspenseful mysteries/thrillers, LIVE BY NIGHT and THE GIVEN DAY are historical fiction. I especially disliked LIVE BY NIGHT.

Yes, it won the Edgar Award in 2013, which may lead some to believe that I am wrong. But I'm not.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1006 comments Laura G. wrote: "Live By Night, Mr. Lehane's 2012 novel that beat out Gone Girl for the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Novel..."

LIVE BY NIGHT shouldn't have won that award. "Edgar," as in Edgar Allen Poe, implies mystery and thriller. LIVE BY NIGHT is neither of those.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1006 comments Carol wrote: "I am still not sure what is real and what is not."

that was my problem, too.


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