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Shutter Island (Audio Book Review)

audiobookreview-02Shutter Island

Author: Dennis Lehane

Audio Book Provider: Scribd

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Release Date: April 15th 2003

Total Length: 6 hours

Scribd Link: Shutter Island

Author Website | Book Depository | Chapters/Indigo | AmazonGoodreads

Maria's Rating -4-01Shutter Island had been on my “Books to Read” list for a while now after watching the film based on the novel quite some time ago. Usually, when I hear about a film that was based on a novel, I try to read it before I go and see the film. In this case, I had no idea that Shutter Island was a novel before it was a film. For anyone who has either read or watched Shutter Island, you know that there is a pretty great ending to this story that will ultimately blow your mind.

Goodreads Synopsis: Summer, 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them. But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. And neither is Teddy Daniels. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing. . . .Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there? As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount: How has a barefoot woman escaped the island from a locked room?Who is leaving clues in the form of cryptic codes? Why is there no record of a patient committed there just one year before? What really goes on in Ward C? Why is an empty lighthouse surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards? The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.Because someone is trying to drive them insane. . . .

Whenever there is a film adaptation of a novel with a shocking twist, regardless of whether you read the book first or watch the film, the other will never provide you with the same shock as when you first experienced the story. For example, I read the novel Gone Girl before watching the film. Obviously, while reading the novel I was shocked, but when I went to go see the film, I knew the outcome of the story the entire time. This isn’t always a bad thing, however, as this time around you can look for clues and foreshadowing that you may have missed the first time you experienced the story.

This was the case for me when it comes to Shutter Island. Because I had already seen the film, I knew what the outcome of the story was going to be. Of course I wasn’t as shocked or stunned when I inevitably got to the twist, but the journey towards that twist was definitely a new experience. Knowing what I knew, I was able to pick up on little hints that point toward the outcome that I was oblivious to previously.

The question you have to ask yourself when you know you want to watch/read a suspense/thriller adaptation is “Do I want to feel shocked and surprised while reading the book or watching the film?”

In some cases, the film may be completely different from the book that it is based on. In that case you may still be in for a few surprises here and there. In this case, both the novel and the film versions of Shutter Island are basically identical. I did watch the film quite some time ago, but while listening to this audiobook, I could almost picture the scenes from the film.

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for quite some time, but unfortunately my TBR pile is huge and I often overlook a lot of books that have been sitting there for a while. I had recently discovered the subscription based website Scribd, which allows you access to a large amount of ebooks as well as audiobooks for a monthly fee of $8.99 USD. I decided to give it a try after Whitney from WhittyNovels on YouTube recommended the site. With her exclusive code, you received your first two months for free! While browsing through the site I noticed Shutter Island and decided that now was the time to read/listen to it!

The storytelling within Shutter Island is great. Everything starts out fine and dandy, but the story unravels at a quick pace and you start to realize things aren’t exactly what they seem.

For those of you who haven’t read the book or seen the film, you should ask yourself the question I stated above, “Do you wish to be shocked while reading the book or watching the film?” For those who have either read the book or watched the novel and wish to do the opposite, you already know the final outcome, so this time around it’s all about looking for the little clues and easter eggs left by author and filmmakers.

Shutter Island is a great psychological thriller with a unique story. I highly suggest both the novel and the film for fans of the genre.


3 thoughts on “Shutter Island (Audio Book Review)

    1. yeah, with movies/books like Gone Girl, it’s always better when you first experience the initial shock…once you know what’s coming it feels ruined…except you do get to see all the little hints that are there that you missed beforehand!


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