Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shutter Island

I am not a scary book/movie kind of person. I hate being scared and generally refuse to indulge in things that make me jump, except around Halloween when I allow myself to watch one scary movie.  I don't mind suspenseful things, but even then I'm not the first one to jump on board. Which explains why I waited until 2011 to read Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (and I still haven't seen the movie).

The story is set in 1954, when two U.S. marshals are sent to Shutter Island, a hospital/prison for the criminally insane.  A patient, Rachel Solando, has gone missing without a trace. In fact, no one can figure out how she got out of her locked cell, past three guard checkpoints, and a group of guards playing poker without being seen.  It's up to Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule to find her before she harms herself or someone else.  But Teddy quickly realizes that things aren't as they appear, and as he falls deeper into the mystery of the missing patient, he becomes caught up in the secrets of the hospital itself: there are rumors of illegal brain surgeries and doses of toxic drugs that dull a patient's senses.  And on top of everything, does Teddy have an ulterior motive for being on the island in the first place?

Part mystery, part psychological thriller, this book is sure to please anyone looking for an escape from everyday life.  And, while I thought this book was good, I have to dock it two stars.  The first mainly because there were times I didn't know if I could finish it without hiding it in the freezer (anyone else seen the episode of Friends where Joey hides The Shining in the freezer when it gets too scary?) and because when I started explaining the plot to my husband, he guessed the major plot twist ending.  So perhaps it's a bit predictable, at least to those who aren't wrapped up in the details.  3 out of 5 stars, but definitely worth a read.

Has anyone seen the movie?  How does it compare to the book?  I really want to watch it, but I'm thinking it's going to have to be in the middle of the day with a buddy so I don't get scared.


  1. I saw the movie last fall. I didn't think it was scary. I don't usually try to figure out plot twists, and it wasn't obvious to me. It was weird however. They used the scariest parts for the trailers. I read The Shining before I saw the movie. I can see putting that book in the freezer. It was scary! After that the movie was a disappointment, although it was suspenseful and did make me jump. I haven't read anything by Stephen King since!

  2. If it affected you to the point that you wanted to put it in the freezer because it scared you, you should add a star, not subtract one.