Sunday, February 28, 2010
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Shutter Island should be an amusement park. Think about it, you take a ferry to a nice island. You meet new friends, such as the violent crazy people known as patients. After a tour of wards A, B, and C, you can take in the local scenery and wildlife (RATS!!!). If you happen to arrive during a hurricane (It happens), don't fret! Lots of fun can be had playing tag with escaped patients. Four days here and you may never leave...which isn't to say that you don't want to leave, just that you may. Never. Leave.
Shutter Island is the book upon which the new Martin Scorsese film is based. U.S. Marshall Edward "Teddy" Daniels and his newly assigned partner Chuck Aule are investigating Ashecliffe Hospital. The hospital is on secluded Shutter Island and houses only psychiatric patients with a history of violence. One of the patients, Rachel Solando, has escaped from the high security facility and is at large on the island.
Teddy also has a personal reason for taking the case on Shutter Island. He has heard that a man named Andrew Laeddis is being treated at Ashecliffe. Laeddis is the man who set the fire that killed his wife, Dolores. All Teddy wants is to find and kill Laeddis and get some justice for his wife.
Soon, both the search for Rachel Solando and the vendetta against Laeddis are thrown aside when Teddy and Chuck discover that the hospital has been experimenting on patients. Doctors have been using all kinds of newfangled drugs and performing exploratory surgeries, even lobotomies. Teddy has to choose which is more important, exposing the hospital or getting revenge. If that wasn't enough, Teddy encounters several people who tell him he is all alone and that he will never leave the island. Whose side is Chuck on? Will Teddy be allowed to leave? Most importantly, what exactly is going on at Ashecliife Hospital?
Shutter Island is definitely not the type of book I would ordinarily read. Truthfully, I am trying to get out of my comfort zone, if only in regards to literature. This book has lots of suspense and mystery, and it was also breathtakingly tragic. I don't know exactly how much I can say without spoiling the book and movie. There's a pretty good twist at the end, some of which I guessed and some of which took me by surprise.