I disliked the book--I thought its little headgame was cheesy and implausible, as though Lehane decided to take the "it was all just a dream" thing that we don't let our undergrads do to its farthest extreme. But it may play better onscreen. I'll get it from Netflix, probably.
Me, too, Jack. I know lots of readers probably thought the ending was brilliant, but it really felt to me as though Lehane bailed. I'm all for thwarting convention, as long as it's done in a way that's actually innovative, but that ending seemed more like an "oh, fuck it" move than any serious attempt to push the envelope.
The basic plot/big reveal was done before in Peter Blatty's "Twinkle Twinkle 'Killer' Kane", which was made into the movie 1980, The Ninth Configuration, written + directed by Peter Blatty. While Shutter Island is all about the big reveal, Blatty's book and movie is far more ambitious (and in my opinion superior) where he uses the big reveal as a jumping off point into subjects such as the absurdity of life, existence of God, and the goodness of man.
Lehane meant to do that (to use a Pee Wee Herman allusion). I read an article once about how he developed the book. He knew how it would end from the start. Typically, he writes without knowing where the story is going.
I read the book and hated the ending. What a cop out! I was disappointed since I loved Mystic River. Lehane's next book is just coming out, a return to the detective duo featured in Gone Baby Gone. Not wild about that series, but I'll give it a shot.
No way the ending was a cop out, when on reading the book you realize that the author had set it up all the way. That being said, I too was disappointed at the ending. I really did hope that Martin Scorsese would have come up with a better ending with Lahane's blessing.