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GROUP READS > Shutter Island Discussion

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message 1: by Cynthia (last edited Aug 30, 2009 08:19PM) (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1378 comments If you choose to read Shutter Island for the Group Reads task (or another task for that matter) please feel free to discuss it here.




message 2: by Barb (new)

Barb (bcutillo1) | 5 comments I highly recommend this book - I read it a few years ago and I may have to make it a re-read - it is that good, and the discussion on this will be great!


message 3: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrisa-uk) | 233 comments I have never heard of this book! It looks good though ... but I have Shadow of the Wind sitting on my shelf (and voted for that one)... hmmmmm, decisions, decisions! I might see if I can track down a copy here ...


message 4: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (teresainohio) SuzieR wrote: "I have never heard of this book! It looks good though ... but I have Shadow of the Wind sitting on my shelf (and voted for that one)... hmmmmm, decisions, decisions! I might see if I can track dow..."

shadow of the wind works under the translation task :)


message 5: by Erin (new)

Erin (dindrane) | 5 comments I have to say that I was very disappointed with Shutter Island and found it pretty dull and predictable. HOWEVER, most of my friends really liked it, so I would still probably recommend it to people--I might just be a freak who should be ignored. :) It is a very interesting premise, and Lehane writes solid prose.


message 6: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Erin wrote: "I have to say that I was very disappointed with Shutter Island and found it pretty dull and predictable. HOWEVER, most of my friends really liked it, so I would still probably recommend it to peop..."

And it is coming out as a movie this winter with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley. I don't think it will be in time for this challenge though. I saw the trailer the other day.


message 7: by Candace (new)

Candace (candacerenee) The movie was supposed to come out in October, but it was delayed until February now, so for those of you who were wanting to use it for my task, it won't work anymore :( (I had thought of it too, now I'm using New Moon instead).


message 8: by Sara ♥ (last edited Aug 31, 2009 02:28PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments Candace wrote: "The movie was supposed to come out in October, but it was delayed until February now, so for those of you who were wanting to use it for my task, it won't work anymore :( (I had thought of it too, ..."

New Moon.... How is it that I didn't think of that?


message 9: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrisa-uk) | 233 comments Teresa wrote: "SuzieR wrote: "I have never heard of this book! It looks good though ... but I have Shadow of the Wind sitting on my shelf (and voted for that one)... hmmmmm, decisions, decisions! I might see if ..."

Yes .... trouble is I've already planned out the whole challenge and really want to read every book! Maybe I shouldn't plan so much next time .... I just can't help it though! Still, I can always shuffle things around ....


message 10: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (teresainohio) Erin wrote: "I have to say that I was very disappointed with Shutter Island and found it pretty dull and predictable. HOWEVER, most of my friends really liked it, so I would still probably recommend it to peop..."

I HATED mystic river, so not holding out much hope for this one.


message 11: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 95 comments I LOVED this book. I read it on my honeymoon 5 years ago and was totally sucked in. I wish I could forget the ending and go back and read it again for the surprise. I'm hoping that the movie will do it justice.


message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy (signgirlamy) I HATED mystic river, so not holding out much hope for this one.


Mystic River was not my favorite Lehane book. If that's the only one you've read, then I strongly recommend Shutter Island or A Drink Before the War (first book in his detective series).

I read this 4 or 5 years ago, and REALLY enjoyed it. I read it while on vacation, and spent most of the week with my nose in the book instead of visiting with relatives. I was planning on rereading it before the movie came out, but I may wait a little while since the movie has been delayed until February.




message 13: by Bonnie (last edited Sep 01, 2009 06:12PM) (new)

Bonnie | 111 comments It's always a bad sign when a movie is delayed until February. January/February are traditionally where movies go to die (or at least usually are light-weight fares that aren't expected to perform spectacularly). Don't know how a Leonardo DiCaprio and Scorsese film got shuffled to February. Still really want to see it, though.

Also, I want to know whether we can talk about spoilers here. No way to really talk about the ending without spoilers.


message 14: by Candace (new)

Candace (candacerenee) Bonnie wrote: "It's always a bad sign when a movie is delayed until February. January/February are traditionally where movies go to die (or at least usually are light-weight fares that aren't expected to perform ..."

True, but they did delay Harry Potter 6 from last November until July of this year and it was pretty good. (which I will still point out was NOT Twilight's fault!!!) But true... February isn't the best time to release a movie in my opinion either :)


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy (signgirlamy) Supposedly, the main reason they delayed the movie was because they couldn't pay Scorcese and DiCaprio this year with their budget so they moved it to next year. They've said that a film released in Feb can still be nominated for an Oscar, but it seems too late to me since all the other movies are out.


message 16: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Bonnie wrote: "It's always a bad sign when a movie is delayed until February. January/February are traditionally where movies go to die (or at least usually are light-weight fares that aren't expected to perform ..."

Just based on the trailer, the movie looks like it's going to be awesome. In fact, it got my husband to read the book (and he's not much of a reader). He'll be deployed when the movie comes out and he was so intrigued that he didn't want to wait!

We both read it two weeks ago and loved it. It made for some good conversation between the two of us, and I think the same will hold true for this group.




message 17: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments I'm also curious about the spoiler thing too. It would be virtually impossible to discuss this book without mentioning spoilers.


message 18: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I really enjoyed this book. It seemed quite predictable, but the ending was unpredictable that it made the entire book worth reading. It's like going through something and expecting a certain ending and getting there and PLOP! its something you never quite expected. It was great!


message 19: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 263 comments I just checked the audiobook out of the library yesterday and I'm hoping to get through it this weekend while we're camping.


message 20: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristenma) | 101 comments I am itching to talk to someone about the ending of this book but I am not sure if we should put spoilers in this section.


message 21: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1378 comments I intended these posts to be for discussion for those who have finished reading the books so you wouldn't be spoiling anything but you might want to put a spoiler heading at the top so people can skip over your post if they haven't in fact finished the book.


message 22: by Roseann (last edited Sep 05, 2009 10:07PM) (new)

Roseann | 140 comments Cindy wrote: "I really enjoyed this book. It seemed quite predictable, but the ending was unpredictable that it made the entire book worth reading. It's like going through something and expecting a certain end..."

But, was it something completely unexpected?? Could he still be who he thought he was in the beginning and it was the drugs making him believe the other story? I thought that was what the author had in mind, to keep the reader guessing.



message 23: by Clarice (new)

Clarice (clariceasquith) | 5 comments

I loved this book and am so grateful for having joined the group as otherwise I would have never come across the author.

As a result, I am going to go back to Lehane and give Mystic River a go.


message 24: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Cynthia wrote: "But, was it something completely unexpected??:

I didn't expect it, but I maybe the author suckered me in. Seemed like if you stayed with him in character throughout, that in the end, when you realize he's the patient, not the savior, that it was unexpected.




message 25: by Clarice (new)

Clarice (clariceasquith) | 5 comments What do you think abou the ending??? What is the white thing carried across the lawn by the orderlies at the very end? Could it be a straightjacket and are they going to perform surgery on him?



message 26: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 95 comments ***Spoilers**** (Just in case-this is not a book you want to have ruined!)






Christine wrote: "What do you think abou the ending??? What is the white thing carried across the lawn by the orderlies at the very end? Could it be a straightjacket and are they going to perform surgery on him?
"


It's been over five years since I read this so I'd have to go and read the end to remember what they are carrying. I do remember being totally shocked by the ending and then going back and re-reading passages for clues. I found it unexpected but like Cindy said-I think I was so sucked into the story that I never considered the possibility that he was a patient but it also wasn't so outlandish an ending that I felt ripped off. It was fun to go back once I did know the ending and look for things I missed. I loaned this one out and never got it back but I may see if I can get it to go through it again. I really hope the movie is good!


message 27: by Joy Marie (new)

Joy Marie | 140 comments ****SPOILERS*****

I just finished this book yesterday and I loved it. I didn't feel the ending was outlandish at all. Psychiatric illness can do terrible things to people and many medical professional will go above and beyond to try to reach patients. I am a nurse, and maybe that is why I enjoyed the book so much. I would assume that the white thing at the end was more than likely a straight jacket to take him to surgery since playing into the patient's fantasy obviously did not work as a treatment modality. The doctors warned the patient that this was his last chance to see reality and that if it didn't work, he would be sent for surgery. The doctors also stated that Andrew was very violent and had injured numerous staff in his 2 years there, so a straight jacket would probably be the only way to subdue him due to his military and law enforcement training.


message 28: by Ryan Mac (new)

Ryan Mac | 18 comments I figured that the white bundle at the end was a straightjacket as well. I read this book pretty quickly as I enjoyed the two marshall characters but thought that the story was just too predictable and ridiculous. I had a hard time suspending disbelief that everyone on the island would go through so much effort, planning and risk to help this one patient. Sorry, I couldn't buy it.


message 29: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Goding | 34 comments I did not find the book completely unpredictable. In fact I began to sense the end about three quarters of the way through. However a still found the book and its picture of mental illness and pshychiatric treatment sadly intriguing.


message 30: by Alice (new)

Alice (aliceg) | 429 comments I'm still trying to work out whether I believe that he is Andrew and mentally ill or whether he is Teddy and the place has drugged him. I think I do tend to go more towards him being Andrew though as the story didn't really follow if he was Teddy. I didn't really understand at any point why 'they' would've got Teddy there just to turn him into a psychiatric patient which is why I am more believing he is Andrew and ill. However saying that, when I was reading it I was all for Teddy and when it got to the ending and the drs where telling him he was Andrew I was behind Teddy and felt that the drs were the 'baddies'!


message 31: by Mélody (new)

Mélody (melody___t) I read Shutter Island during summer and in a short time. I had already read Mystic River who did not have me specially like, but with Shutter Island, Lehane really bring me on his universe. We have the impression to lead the investigation too, and feel we the dismay in front of the madness of the patients, the image criminal that gives the doctors. Everything push us to believe that the staff of this prison is composed of true criminals. We suspect something indeed on, but we do not see (at least it was my case). I really liked this book and advise it all!


message 32: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 1 comments Ryan wrote: "I had a hard time suspending disbelief that everyone on the island would go through so much effort, planning and risk to help this one patient. Sorry, I couldn't buy it.
"


I think it makes it more believable if you consider that Teddy really is who he thinks he is throughout the novel. That way, the staff aren't really acting out everything just for his benefit.
Overall, I'm not convinced Teddy really is Laeddis. I can't quite put my finger on it, or pull it off the top of my head why I feel that way, but I do.

PS: Sorry if this is breaking some rule, I'm not entered in the challenge, but I just finished this book and just HAD to discuss it with someone. Thanks!


message 33: by Bonnie (last edited Sep 17, 2009 06:59PM) (new)

Bonnie | 111 comments I can't decide whether he's Laeddis or Teddy...and I don't know which choice is happier, because either way he ends up as a vegetable trapped on the island (I assume that at the end they're taking him to get a lobotomy...doesn't that usually mentally inhibit people?).

I knew the twist when I started the book, because I'm a spoiler whore and wanted to know the twist for the movie. Keeping that I knew Teddy = Laddis and the partner = the missing doctor from the beginning, there is really no indication until half way through when Teddy starts getting paranoid after taking the pills. It really does seem they've lured him to the island to capture him and if the author gives hints it's unbelievably subtle. But then the ending doesn't make any sense if he IS Teddy, especially the last scene.

Two things that bug me if he isn't Teddy is

(1) Everyone keeps telling him to get the frack off the island and I don't think random orderlies and the lone sane patient would tell a dangerous patient that; they'd want to keep him on it. The only way this can resolved is if Teddy was hallucinating these scenes, which is always possible.

(2) While I can believe that an insane Laeddis created the names Teddy Daniels and Rachel Solando out of anagrams of his and his wife's name, it is overly clever that his imaginary name is NOT ONLY an anagram of his real name (Andrew Laedis) but ALSO a combination of the names of his two sons (Edward and Daniel Laedis). Seriously, what are the odds that his sons names are an anagram of his full name?!?!? It's then either a fake-out and Dr. Cawley is a liar, or it's the author being trying too hard to be clever. Oh, and Rachel's name could've been created by the hospital staff (and this is the 1950s; his wife would be Dolores Laedis/Daniels, not Dolores Chanal anyway), so the fact it's an anagram of his wife's name means nothing. And Chuck's funny name (Chuck Aule) would also be created by the hospital, since either way he was not a real marshall, but a plant. So that evidence is void.

On an unrelated note, the beginning of the story about the sea/his father/being a poor sailor was incredibly boring and pointless and unnecessary. I was two seconds away from giving up on the book as dull.

Also, poor, poor Leonardo DiCaprio. I have yet to see a single movie that ends happily for his character (closest thing is Catch Me If You Can). It's getting to the point that if I see him in a role I can assume his character has an unhapy end.


message 34: by Joy (new)

Joy I just got this from the library yesterday. I've only read 23 pages but I'm hooked already!


message 35: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristenma) | 101 comments I want to believe that he is Teddy and not Laeddis and my reasoning for believing this is that I find it hard to believe that the hospital would put on that big of an act for one patient especially knowing that he could be so dangerous. WOuld they really put that many people in harms way.

Also, Bonnie I agree with you about the different people warning him to get off the island. But if you look at it the other way I guess you might think that it was part of his paranoia that mad him think that people were telling him to get off the island.

At one point in the novel I was convinced that he was crazy but by the very end I was not so sure anymore. Anyways, I can't wait to see the movie!


message 36: by Bridgit (new)

Bridgit | 515 comments Just finished it a few mintues ago. It seems that a lot of people are having trouble buying the story because they can't believe a hospital would go to all this trouble for just one patient. But I disagree. That is in fact the very premise of Shutter Island. It is an experimental psychiatric hospital. They state in there that they have a 2 to 1 ratio of doctors/staff to patients and that there could easily be hundreds of patients, when really there are only 67.

At several moments the doctors/Teddy discuss the fact that the hospital does radical treatments on patients - and I think that this sort of 'radical treatment' is what they are discussing.

Dr. Cawley shies away from both surgery and drugs as primary treatment options and has been investigating alternative measures of treatment. Given all that, I think that we should be able to suspend our disbelief about the feasibility of a hospital using such a radical method.


message 37: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 111 comments I searched google for help deciphering the ending and on other forums people mentioned the prologue written by one of the hospital doctors that seem to differentiate between Teddy and Laeddis. I don't have my copy anymore; can anybody who's read it re-read that part and give their take on what it means for the ending? It also talks about a rat escaping the island and how Teddy would've clapped if he'd seen it. I don't remember much of that prologue because it was so boring and confusing when I read it I kind of blocked it out!


message 38: by Bridgit (new)

Bridgit | 515 comments OH! also forgot to mention my absolute favorite part of the book! It was definitely when Teddy interviews the other patients, Bridget Kearns, the axe-murderess. Bridget is obviously not an unheard of name, but I can count the number of other Bridget's I have met on one hand - and the amount of times that I have read a character named Bridget - well this may be the first. But to make matters even better - my last name (maiden) IS ACTUALLY KEARNS. How cool is it too see yourself as a character in a book??? Especially when you get to be an insane, husband-killing, ax-murderer?? SOOO COOL!


message 39: by Joy (new)

Joy I've only just started but right away I can see why they made a movie of this book - very cinematic!


message 40: by Petra (new)

Petra I read Mystic River after seeing the movie and was disappointed. The movie was thrilling but the book was rather lacking somehow. I felt the same about Shutter Island. It didn't really keep my interest in places. I'm sure the movie will be thrilling and I'll probably go see it.
I think I'll wait for Lehane's books to be made into movies from now on and go see them, instead of reading the books. I don't usually say that.
As to whether he was Laeddis or Daniels, I'd prefer that he's Teddy Daniels but that doesn't explain why, throughout the book, his dreams of Delores always included her with a weeping hole in her belly. That had me wondering throughout. The story of Laeddis explains that hole. For that reason, I lean towards him actually being Laeddis and not Daniels.
What a sad story, if he truly is Laeddis.


message 41: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 111 comments Joy wrote: "I've only just started but right away I can see why they made a movie of this book - very cinematic!"

I agree, it's written almost as if it's meant for a film. I can't wait to see it...I wonder how the film is going to handle the is he or isn't he Laedis aspect?


message 42: by Alice (new)

Alice (aliceg) | 429 comments Bridgit wrote: "OH! also forgot to mention my absolute favorite part of the book! It was definitely when Teddy interviews the other patients, Bridget Kearns, the axe-murderess. Bridget is obviously not an unheard ..."

Hey that's scary!!!


message 43: by Helen (new)

Helen Southall (hsouthall) | 359 comments I read this book two years ago as an audiobook and was totally entranced. Have just finished rereading it in book form as a group read and am equally overwhelmed. It is a psychological thriller that holds you enrapt until the very end. Mind-blowing ending which catches you totally unprepared. Much better than Mystic River.



message 44: by Cindy AL (last edited Sep 22, 2009 01:37PM) (new)

Cindy AL (cangelmd) | 664 comments Yes Teddy in Laeddis - Andrew Laeddis = Edward Daniels... it's an anagram. Also, maybe because I had to learn to do psychiatric interviews back in med school way back when, the whole book reads like a psychiatric interview. The slow disintegration of Teddy's character, the blackouts when things get painful, and the elaborateness of his story. When you interview someone who is an active paranoid schizophrenic they often start out sounding pretty normal. The longer you speak with them, the odder the conversation gets. In the book, Teddy begins as cop with no past, then as people or events or his own thought process points out holes in his backstory, he begins making up more and more elaborate explanations for the inconsistencies. Like the whole business with OSS and how the docs are drugging people, and his explanation that there's all this behind the scenes nefarious activity going on at the hospital. Those are classic thinking patterns for paranoid schizophrenics.
There really were a lot of clues, ways the story just didn't fit.


message 45: by Cindy AL (new)

Cindy AL (cangelmd) | 664 comments Oh, and I think the reason why Lehane had the other patient and sympathetic orderly tell Teddy to get off the island is that they suspected that he was to be locked away forever soon, or, in the case of the orderly, if he didn't respond to the treatment this time. I think that was setting the stage for this being Teddy's last chance for a cure/breakthrough.



message 46: by Julia (new)

Julia | 41 comments Cindy, I'm with you about the psychiatric interview. I work at a psychiatric hospital for forensic patients and I can totally buy that Teddy is actually a delusional Laeddis. Many parts of his story (again the OSS, medications being out to poison him, and not wanting to face evidence that would cause him pain) remind me of a lot of my patients. I loved the scenes where the other patients and their crimes were discussed; I thought it was fairly realistic and showed patients with various degreed of mental illness. Actually, the creepiest thing about the book for me was realizing how horrifying it must be to be so paranoid and delusional. I like that the book left some gray area as to whether the character is insane or not, but for me he was definitely Laeddis.


message 47: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 693 comments I just finished Shutter Island last night and loved it. I like psychological thrillers. After reading all the hints that there was a surprise twist at the end, I felt pretty smart early in the book when I broke the code and figured out the anagram. So I had my suspicions about Teddy possibly being the patient, but wasn't able to put the pieces together. This kept me on the edge of my seat til the end. It's been awhile since I read Lehane and I'm glad this was part of the challenge.


message 48: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Julia wrote: "Cindy, I'm with you about the psychiatric interview. I work at a psychiatric hospital for forensic patients and I can totally buy that Teddy is actually a delusional Laeddis. Many parts of his s..."

He was definitely Laeddis for me too. My husband and I went back and forth debating it for awhile. I think the kicker for me was the dreams he was having (the water pouring out of her, the logs, etc. - all before the conversation at the end with the doctor). It was like his subconscious, his real non-delusional self, was trying to break through.




message 49: by Joy (new)

Joy Bonnie wrote: "Joy wrote: "I've only just started but right away I can see why they made a movie of this book - very cinematic!"

I agree, it's written almost as if it's meant for a film. I can't wait to see it....."


I assume Leo DiCaprio will be playing Teddy - he's great! Now that I've read the book I can read the stuff about the movie I've been avoiding. I didn't want to read anything that would spoil the book for me. I thought I read that the movie won't be shown until next year - something about the budget caused them to postpone it.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Ok - just finished the book and really loved it. I gave it 5 stars. I have read two other of his books, Mystic River, which was OK and Gone baby Gone, which was pretty good, but this one was the best one yet. I like the fact that we never REALLY know whether he is Teddy or Laeddis. I also agree with those that think that he is most likely Laeddis. For one thing, he says several times that Laeddis killed his wife, but if she actually died in a burning apartment, why does he always "see" her with a weeping whole in her stomach?

I actually liked that his anagram of his name was a combination of his sons names and that the anagram of his wife's name used his daughter's first name. I thought it was clever and gave some reason for him to use these names. As for whether he could have come up with these types of anagrams, or whether it is too clever, remember, he was a code breaker in the war, so codes and puzzles are obviously his thing.

As for whether the book was predictable, I think each piece of the story allowed you to predict what was going to happen next, but not the whole sequence of the book, at least not for me. As I figured out each piece of the puzzle, I couldn't wait for the end to see how it all fit together. There were many clues throughout that I caught, but didn't know how exactly to put them together. I had my guesses, but had to read on to have them confirmed.

I went on line and read the list of actors and their characters for the movie, and I think they have made some spot on choices. The only one I don't really get is Mark Rufalo and Chuck. It just doesn't seem a fit.


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