I thought this post would come out in October. It didn’t happen. You know when the movie SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to come out, don’t you? Then, it wasn’t. Leo can’t do “press” for the movie. So, no matter what the reason is for a February release date, one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not good.
Look I’m going to be honest with you: I didn’t like SHUTTER ISLAND. I really liked the 50s setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and the Hurricane’s impending doom, so I think this book is great. In fact, I found even the setting of the story interesting. But how it turned out didn’t work for me. Interesting characters, great set pieces, but the ending came out with a thud that didn’t go anywhere. Is the movie still on? It’s Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo, so of course I’m interested in them. Anyway, here is the list.
Prayers for Rain – 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a man who scares women into taking their own lives. If you watched the show “The Equalizer,” then this book was like an episode. There wasn’t a lot of tension or conflict in the book. Mr. Lehane’s stories usually have a lot of blood in them, but Kenzie-Gennaro always comes out on top in the end. This book was the same as the last one, but the action and writing were a little dull here. I think Mr. Lehane was really stressed out by the fact that he had to write a new book every year. That’s not true at all. This is the last book that was written without a big break in between.
Sacred – 1997
Tough read. DARKNESS, TAKE MY HAND is such a great book that this book seemed like it was going to be bad. A lot of people remember how these two PIs put their lives back together after the events of their previous book. I almost wish that Mr. Lehane had done this alone. Time could have helped this book more.
Shutter Island – 2003
Finally: Isn’t this the last? This book would seem to be bad, based on what I said at the top. But there are too many good things in this book to not read. The fact that it didn’t work out now only seems like a small disappointment. It doesn’t matter, though; minor Lehane is still great. He’s better than almost anyone else out there.
A Drink Before the War – 1994
As far as I remember, this book was not very good. The characters had not yet been fully formed. It was hard. The story didn’t make me want to read it. I had two things left. One is when Patrick is running after a bad guy who is also black. In the beginning, Patrick starts to curse him, yelling the word “N-word.” I thought it was a brave thing for a young author to do. The second thing that happened was that at the end of the book, I knew that Dennis Lehane was going to be a huge author. To be honest, I didn’t have a reason to read the next book. I knew this guy was going to write a lot of great books.
The Given Day – 2008
There has been a lot of trouble with this book. Before or after MYSTIC RIVER, this is either what comes before or after. The audacity of the book makes it interesting, and I like that. The confidence of the stories really shows. Some authors never learn how to write a good story. They just know when to use the right plot devices. Writing by Mr. Lehane always feels fresh, immediate, and real. I can’t help but think that I will like this book more as the trilogy goes on.
Mystic River – 2001
It changes how I think about the book because the movie is so well-known. His most eerie book is this one. He may have written the best thing he has ever written. Why did Dave get chosen instead of his friends? What I like most about this book is that Mr. Lehane has the courage to ask the question and leave it unanswered, like most of the mysteries in our lives.
Darkness, Take My Hand – 1996
That doesn’t mean this is Dennis Lehane’s best book, but this is by far his best work. I know, it’s weird. In the Kenzie-Gennaro story line, this book casts a long shadow over it. The threads of what happens here spread to the next book and the next page. The evil on display here is so easy to believe that it shook my faith in the goodness of people. It was heartbreaking and eerie. A beautiful piece of human horror.
Gone Baby Gone – 1998
This has the most heartbreaking ending I’ve ever read in a crime story I think I’ve ever read. As I read, I often think about the end of the book. It makes me think about what is right and wrong all over again. If you choose to be on the side of GBG, you’ll be wrong.
My favorite movie from the 1980s. Some actors might be able to compare to Bob Hoskins’s performance in this movie, but very few can. In a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses, who else could have fully explored the depths of unrequited love and real heartbreak? Besides Neil Jordan, who else could have embodied the anger and hope that were at the heart of his dreamy masterpiece so well? There is no one. There isn’t anyone.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
I still don’t know what happens in this movie, even though I’ve seen it three times already. Each frame is so beautiful that you could hang it on the wall. Peter Weir says so many important things about repression, innocence, and the price of sexual awakening in an indirect way that he casts a shadow over other films about the same subject.