Shutter Island : Good; Leo : Not so Good

Shutter IslandThanks goodness for books! I saw the trailer for “Shutter Island” and before I could even say how great I thought it looked, the dreaded words “Starring Leonardo DiCaprio” came up on the screen. For most people, that would be enough to stop them experiencing this psychological drama, but I’m not a mere movie-goer, I’m a movie-going Librarian!  I looked it up on the Read the Book – Then See the Film section of our website and found that the movie is based on a book written by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone.

I got it out, read it in two nights and it totally sucked. No, not really, it was actually AWESOME! And not an aged-teen-heart-throb-on-the-decline in sight. So if you like psychological thrillers that slowly ratchet up the pace to a zenith, you should definitely grab Shutter Island.

If you like to read the books on which movies and TV shows are based you can check out either Read the Book – Then See the Film which has a listing of books that are in the process of being made into movies, or Books into Film which lists books that have already been made into movies or adapted for television.

Either way you can annoy people you know by telling them the ending or complaining about how the TV/Film adaption “missed the point”, is obviously “not as good as the book” and if you particularly don’t like someone you could say that the film is a good introduction for people who may not have it in them to read the proper version.

A good chunky holiday read.

Dennis Lehane of Mystic River fame (although I prefered Shutter Island for the great twist at the end) has written a new book called The Given day.  I wasn’t sure when I first started if it was going to be the one for me – starring baseball players and tough policemen plus a good healthy dose of American history, I struggled for the first part of the book.  However, it turns out to be a good rollicking read and before long I was an expert on baseball, the Boston Police strike and the susequent riots of 1919.

There are a large number of people to keep track of , but thankfully the list of  characters at the start of the book is a help. The 700 odd pages are filled with plenty of action and there is rarely a dull moment;  from the great flu epidemic, bent cops, undercover work, terrorists, a smattering of romance, home runs and lynchings, plus a few riots thrown in for good measure.

So if you like your fiction filled with characters, with a good dose of action and punch-ups, plus a healthy slice of history, then this could be your holiday read.