shutter island, the book

"shutter island" by dennis lehanei’ve already talked about SHUTTER ISLAND the movie. finally, after a few days of sneaking in some reading time into my very hectic real life schedule, i’ve managed to finish the book.

i found, after reading, that i was right in parts of my movie review. the war scenes shown in the movie really weren’t that big of a deal, but they were enough of a deal to come into play into the psychosis of the main character: edward daniels. it needs to be established, but doesn’t need to be hammered into our consciousness.

and yes, the movie’s story threads really are confusing.

in the book, the whole thing plays out in four days. same as the movie. except, in book form, you have “chapters” of sorts that separate the days, and the main character’s descent into his psychosis.

day one introduces us to the first story thread: rachel solando, the missing female patient. by the time this part of the book ends, you know for certain that you are moving away from this thread and into the next: andrew laeddis — the central idea of the second day.

days 2 and 3 brings us more into the psychosis of our main character, turning the book from a conspiracy novel into a book about life, and how we deal with its many challenges. the movement of the story becomes internal — something that really can’t be done visually.

at the end of the book, during the fourth day, you see the story threads connect with each other. snapping into place, instead of being tied up together. there’s a difference for me. tying them up means certain points escaped your viewer/reader. having threads snap into place means they were presented clearly, and doesn’t need extra explanation for the viewer/reader to get what’s going on. and though i preferred the movie’s optimistic ending, the book’s ending is more believable.

after four days of harried reading, i have to say SHUTTER ISLAND never lost me. i’ve had to stop a lot of times because of fatigue, or because of emergency meetings, and sudden hospital check-ups. but when i go back to reading, i quickly pick up wherever i left off without feeling disoriented or displaced. that’s a mark of great writing, in my opinion.

it probably helped that i’ve seen the movie, but i’ve always thought that books and movies are two separate creatures that can share the same material, but are not the same thing. hence why i loved THE LOVELY BONES as a book but not so much as a movie. the same thing goes for SHUTTER ISLAND. i thought the movie was okay enough, but isn’t something i’d recommend readily to other people. but this book? i definitely recommend it to people who are looking for a book that will challenge their minds.

One thought on “shutter island, the book

  1. Pingback: Book: Moonlight Mile | taking a break

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