Re: RE : Re: RARA-AVIS: Who changed the noir writing ?

From: Patrick King (
Date: 26 Mar 2007

The character in Shutter Island is not so much a villian as he is a victim of circumstances that caused a psychotic break. The reader doesn't understand this until the end of the book. You think you're reading one story, and it turns out to be a very different story. It's very well done. While critics and publishers give Lehane his due, this list has been lambasting him so anyone reading these comments would think he was on a level with Dan Brown: hyped mediocrity. In my experience, this is certainly not the case.

Patrick King
--- wrote:

> Patrick:
> "I don't think I've ever read anything that
> completely reversed the
> entire view of the story in the last third of the
> book. I really thought
> it was brilliant. To set up a character as a
> protagonist, and then turn
> him into the focus of the problem. I think it
> approaches 'great
> literature.' Can't really think who it's derivitive
> of, can you?"
> I haven't read Shutter Island, so I can't say
> whether of not it is
> derivative, but there is certainly precedence for a
> seeming protagonist
> turning out to be the antagonist, a seemingly
> reliable narrator turning
> out to be very much the opposite. For instance, I
> can think of at least
> two private eye books, one vintage, one pretty
> recent, in which the PI
> is investigating a crime or series of crimes he had
> committed, trying to
> cover them up and/or frame a fall guy. I'd been
> wanting to bring this
> up here, ask about others, but couldn't think of a
> way to discuss them
> without spoiling them. How do I ask for books in
> which the narrator
> turns out the be the bad guy without knowing
> whodunnit? Would kind of
> kill the suspense.
> "I think Lehane may be the most under-rated writer
> of the present day."
> Lehane underrated? How do you figure? He sells
> well and gets rave
> reviews -- the cover of my paperback copy of Mystic
> River, for instance,
> proclaims it was a New York Times Bestseller (and
> this was before the
> movie, which probably led to even more sales);
> inside are five pages
> filled with excerpts of raves from most of the
> respected book reviews.
> I'm sure many authors wish they were so underrated.
> Mark

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