29+ quotes from Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Quotes from Shutter Island

Dennis Lehane ·  369 pages

Rating: (131.6K votes)


“Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“He wanted to ask her what sound a heart made when it broke from pleasure, when just the sight of someone filled you the way food, blood, and air never could, when you felt as if you'd been born for only one moment and this, for whatever reason, was it.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“This world can only give me reminders of what I don't have, can never have, didn't have for long enough.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“The brain controls pain. It controls fear. Sleep. Empathy. Hunger. Everything we associate with the heart or the soul or the nervous system is actually controlled by the brain. Everything. What if you could control it?”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“How many psychiatrists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” “I don’t know. How many?” “Eight.” “Why?” “Oh, stop overanalyzing it.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Maybe there are some things we were put on this earth not to know.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“She smiled darkly and shook her head. 'I'm not crazy. I'm not. Of course what else would a crazy person claim? That's the Kafkaesque genius of it all. If you're not crazy but people have told the world you are, then all your protests to the contrary just underscore their point. Do you see what I'm saying?”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“I loved this woman the way you love ... well, nothing," he said, a note of suprise in his voice. "You can’t compare that kind of love to anything, can you? It’s its own unique gift.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“If you are deemed insane, then all actions that would oherwise prove you are not do, in actuality, fall into the framework of an insane person’s actions. Your sound protests constitute denial. Your valid fears are deemed paranoia. Your survival instincts are labeled defense mechanisms. It’s a no-win situation. It’s a death penalty really.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“She was afraid of all that and so much more, but what terrified her most was inside of her, an insect of unnatural intelligence who’d been living in her brain her entire life, playing with it, clicking across it, wrenching loose its cables on a whim.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“and she was so simply his love, his girl, watching him approach as if she were memorizing him and his walk and those flowers and this moment, and he wanted to ask her what sound a heart made when it broke from pleasure, when just the sight of someone filled you the way food, blood, and air never could...”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“The world didn't give a shit. It didn't bestow. It took”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“I held her, he wanted to say, and if I knew for certain that all it would take to hold her again would be to die, then I couldn't raise the gun to my head fast enough. ”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Got us a full moon too coming tomorrow night. Just make things a whole lot worse. All we need.
- Why is that?
- What’s that, Marshal?
- The full moon. You think it makes people crazy?
- I know it does.- Found a wrinkle in one of the pages and used his index finger to smooth it out.
- How come?
- Well, you think about it—the moon affects the tide, right?
- Sure.
- Has some sort of magnet effect or something on water.
- I’ll buy that.
- Human brain,- Trey said, - is over fifty percent water.
- No kidding?
- No kidding. You figure ol’ Mr. Moon can jerk the ocean around, think what it can do to the head.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“How am I supposed to let you go, that's all I'm asking. I want to hold you again, smell you, and, yes too, I just want you to fade. To please, please fade...”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“We were supposed to grow old together, Dolores. Have kids. Take walks under old trees. I wanted to watch the lines etch themselves into your flesh and know when each and every one of them appeared. Die together.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Waking, after all, was an almost natal state. You surfaced without history, then spent the blinks and yawns reassembling your past, shuffling the shards into chronological order before fortifying yourself for the present.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“...someday..., we'll medicate human experience right out of the human experience.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Believe it or not, Marshal, I believe in talk therapy, basic interpersonal skills. I have this radical idea that if you treat a patient with respect and listen to what he's trying to tell you, you just might reach him. (87)”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Whatever she saw beyond the camera lens, beyond the photographer, beyond anything in the known world probably - wasn't fit to be seen.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“How much violence, Marshal, do you think a man can carry before it breaks him?”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“She died in a fire. I miss her like you... If I was underwater, I wouldn't miss oxygen that much.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Charm was the luxury of those who still believed in the essential rightness of things. In purity and picket fences.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“But as the years passed, he missed her more, not less, and his need for her became a cut that would not scar over, would not stop leaking.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“I think if a man beats you and fucks half the women he sees and no one will help you, axing him isn’t the least understandable thing you can do.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“I know you. I've known you my whole life. I've been waiting. Waiting for you to make an appearance. Waiting all these years.
I knew you in the womb.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“I've built something valuable here. But valuable things also have a way of being misunderstood in their own time. Everyone wants a quick fix. We're tired of being afraid, tired of being sad, tired of feeling overwhelmed, tired of feeling tired. We want the old day back, and we don't even remember them, and we want to push into the future, paradoxically, at top speed. Patience and forbearance become the first casualties of progress.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Chuck said, “Hey. How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” Cawley looked over at him. “I’ll bite. How many?” “Fish,” Chuck said and let loose a bright bark of a laugh.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


“Everyone wants a quick fix. We're tired of being afraid, tired of being sad, tired of feeling overwhelmed, tired of feeling tired. We want the old days back, and we don't even remember them, and we want to push into the future, paradoxically, at top speed. Patience and forbearance become the first casualties of progress.”
― Dennis Lehane, quote from Shutter Island


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About the author

Dennis Lehane
Born place: in Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, The United States
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