Book #9 & Short Story #12

Book #9: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

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.

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 …

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. (via Goodreads)

Saw the film last summer and wanted to see how the novel had managed to tell the story. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, there is a significant twist. Honestly, the movie follows the books quite closely scene/action-wise. To some degree, it’s an easier story to tell as a book because not everything needs to be described or elaborated upon. The movie has to show everything.

Except for Teddy’s migraines. The book has a very good description of what it’s like to have migraines with auras. Those are lacking from the movie.

Much of the dialogue is word for word, but one significant deviation makes the ending of the film slightly better. This is the second book of Lehane’s that I’ve read, and both of them on response to a movie. The other, Mystic River, also seemed to have a weaker ending than the film version. Now, I’m curious about Gone, Baby, Gone, though I’m likely to pick up the Kenzie & Gennaro  series from the beginning.

Overall, this reads like a Gothic mystery, and that ain’t half bad.

Short Story #12

The Heat Death of the Universe” by Pamela Zoline

This story was mentioned over at SF Signal as a  challenging SF/F story that is worth the effort to read. It sounded intriguing. I didn’t find it challenging, per se, but it is a tad thought-provoking.

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