It's good to be back at home. I had a fun time on my trip despite the wind and the cold and the discovery of a bald spot on my head. I think I'm going to call it Emerson. Why? Hmmm, I really don't know. I like the name. I was going to call my first son Emerson, but Heidi Vetoed it. Luckily for Jackson, I vetoed the name Lipton. Of course, he could have been the poster child for some lovely teas and we would've reaped the spoils of commercial wealth. Heidi was on to something, but my stubbornness prevailed.
My how the mind wanders.
Aside from eating garden grubs, at least 10 pounds of prime rib, and enough Mountain Dew to make me an honorary member of the fire department, I relaxed, laughed so hard I cried, and read Andy Hueller's book recommendation, Shutter Island.
First, let me preface this review. For all of my readers that are below the age of 18, beware. This book is not for the faint of heart. Honestly, I never knew some of those words could be used in that context. Having said that (and I strongly caution), I LOVED this book. Man, was it a page -turner. There have only been six other books in my memory that have kept me that enthralled throughout. Tommyknockers by Stephen King, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by somebody (the name escapes me) I know I blaspheme! Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides, The Shack by William Young, The Croata by Owl Goingback, and The Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton. In all fairness to the hundreds of other books I have read throughout my life, these books (with the exception of The Shack) were read while on vacation or an airplane. Two of them are in my top 10 (Order of the Phoenix and Ghost Soldiers), but the others were note-worthy. Shutter Island falls into that category of note-worthy page turner.
The setting is an island where the criminally insane are imprisoned and, in an attempt to "find a cure", are the subjects of very radical and gruesome testing. One of the mental patients, a woman with a sad and twisted past, has done the impossible by escaping out of her heavily guarded cell and out of the prison. All evidence suggests an inside job and two U.S. Marshalls, Teddy and Chuck, have come to investigate the mysterious prison on the eve of a disastrous hurricane. As each chapter passed, I was drawn waist-deep into a plot that seriously boggled my mind. I'll probably have to read it again, now that I know the outcome, because I want to see how Dennis Lehane (the author) wove in the subtle hints and details in the early chapters. The characters were so strong. I wish I could write characters like that. Simply brilliant.
I'm not very good at assigning a rating to books. 4 stars, two thumbs up and a pinkie, 7 angry aardvarks. I don't know, it's just not that easy. So, I will say this; I really enjoyed it. Do I recommend it?
WHAT??? How can you possibly give a review like that and not recommend it?
There, there, Emerson (yes talking to my bald spot), let me explain.
If you've read my review, have taken heed to my warnings, and from that deemed this a book worthy of your perusal, then so be it. If not, oh well. I just don't want to take the chance of someone reading Shutter Island and exploding on me for content issues. It's definitely not for kids and to be frank (which I am) it's not for many adults. I enjoyed it and hopefully learned a thing or two about characterization for my future books.
I do feel rejuvenated. Perhaps my slump of reading is over. I sure hope so. Reading books is the greatest form of entertainment. I'll be so bold to say it's better than high octane sporting events, 3-dimensional blockbusters with blue alien jaguar people, awards ceremonies with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin cozying up to each other while donning Snuggies, and of course an entire day's worth of Alton Brown Food Network programming.
You should be happy to know since finishing Shutter Island, I dove right in to my next reading adventure. I've always been fascinated with Cormac McCarthy, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road and No Country for Old Men. So, I've decided to read his personal masterpiece, Blood Meridian. So far, zzzzzz, but I anticipate it getting good shortly. Too bad I don't have another cruise to go on anytime soon. I'm going through Mountain Dew withdrawals.