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Posts tagged ‘LOST’

The Third Policeman

The Third Policeman The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien

rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bizarre, wacky, mind-trip of a novel. I am still thinking about The Third Policemanseveral weeks later and am only now making an attempt to put my thoughts into words.  For those of you are are extremely irritated by the usage of footnotes in works of fiction (a la Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao), Third Policeman contains clever footnotes on the numerous theories and philosophies of de Selby…so you may not want to pick up this novel.

The Third Policeman is set in Ireland and is narrated by an unnamed man who grew up as an orphan and while at school becomes fascinated with the works of de Selby. He ends up committing a murder while robbing a man. After this event, the plot of the book takes a turn for the weird. The book is riddled with characters with bizarre theories about time, life and bicycles.

I really enjoyed this book but I do tend to enjoy books with a touch of the surreal and a smidge of meta. I can see how this book could be one that some people I know would throw against the wall…but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love reading books that surprise you page after page. The book was clever and original.

 The Third Policemanwas featured in the LOST episode “Orientation”.  Desmond was reading it when the Losties first broke into his HomeSweetHatch.

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A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time A Brief History of Time by Stephen W. Hawking

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am totally throwing myself under the nerd-bus here, but I have to admit that I already knew something about most of the concepts in Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. I guess that is what a couple of semesters of college physics and a bunch of engineering courses does to a girl. That being said, I am not sure how readable this book would be to someone without a technical background. The book is touted to be written in a way that allows laymen to understand these advanced topics.

The book discusses space and time, the origins of the universe and how our understanding of the concepts has developed over time. Hawking delves into quantum mechanics and also explains the concepts of the Big Bang and what a black hole is. And while the book may indeed be brief at under 200 pages, it is quite dense. I did enjoy how Hawking let his own personality shine through the writing and offered up his own opinions, beliefs and philosophies instead of just having the book read like an objective text book.

 A Brief History of Timehas been shown twice on the television show LOST. It was shown in Ben’s bedroom in the episode “The Man from Tallahassee” and a character was also shown reading it in the episode “Not in Portland”.  I guess those Lostees really like learning about time and the universe.  Based on the recent episodes it would seem that time is definitely a favorite topic of the show’s writers.

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Laughter in the Dark

Laughter in the Dark Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov

rating: 4 of 5 stars

 Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich. respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.

With that opening line, Nabakov summarizes the entire plot line of Laughter in the Dark.  This is the second Nabakov novel that I’ve read; the first being Lolita, which is one of my all time favorite novels. Laughter in the Dark pre-dates Lolita and has very similar themes, the most prominent of which is an older man becoming obsessed with an inappropriately young women. Margot, the focus of Albinus’s attentions is 16 and is fully aware of how she affects older men. Albinus pursues her and gets discovered by his wife who promptly leaves him and his life starts spiralling out of control as Margot becomes his puppet master.

I found Laughter in the Dark to be an engaging read.  The tale was an ironic, dark comedy that is filled with disturbing, selfish characters.   Albinus is a pathetic man who proves how little he cares for his family when he readily gives them up. Albinus enters into his deluded romance with the lovely, young, evil Margot. Margot manipulates Albinus into constantly getting her own way.  The novel is definitely darker than Lolita. The novel was a very quick read since the only edition I could find was a really tattered one with gigantic font. ,

And…because I live to check things off lists, I can also check this book off as another one that I’ve read from the LOST Book Club list.  Laughter in the Dark was shown in the LOST episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes” when Charlie takes the book from Sawyer’s pile of books and then gives it to Hurley who is shown reading it.  I have to say, if I was going to be trapped on an island, I wouldn’t mind having some Nabakov novels with me to help pass the time.

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The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics) The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’d never read any books by Henry James and decided to read The Turn of the Screw  since it was part of the LOST Book Club, which contains books that were featured on the TV program LOST. LOST is one of my favorite shows.  The Turn of the Screwwas shown in the background of a season 2 episode. In the episode, the Dharma Orientation film was hidden on a shelf behind a copy of The Turn of the Screw.

The unnamed narrator of The Turn of the Screw tells the tale of a governess at a house called Bly. This governess watches over two orphaned children who are under the guardianship of their absent uncle. The governess begins to suspect that the house is haunted.

Was there a ‘secret’ at Bly — a mystery of Udolpho or an insane, an unmentionble relative kept in unsuspected confinement? I can’t say how long I turned it over, or how long, in a confusion of curiosity and dread, I remained where I had had my collision; I only recall that when I re-entered the house darkness had quite closed in.

The book was extremely verbose and dense. This is not a light, quick read at all.  It read much like other Victorian novels with a young woman moving into an immense house with a mystery. It raises lots of questions that are never truly answered. A lot is left for the reader to decide for themselves what is going on. As proof of this, some think the book is a ghost story and others think that is a look at a woman slowly slipping into insanity. I still haven’t decided which way my thinking goes. I will have to think about it some more. Being that this book is such a mystery wrapped in an enigma, I can see why the creators of LOST are fond of it and gave it cameo appearance in their show.

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LOST Books Challenge

Three facts:

  1. I LOVE the television show LOST.
  2. I enjoy a good challenge.
  3. I read a lot.

So, why not combine all three and participate in the LOST Books Challenge hosted by Amy.


LOST is a show that features many literary references. They often have characters read a book and some of the plots and themes of the show are inspired by literature.  The goal of the challenge is to read 5 books that have made an appearance on or inspired something on the show.  The deadline for this challenge is the series finale in 2010.

I’ve already read a bunch of books (okay, 15 of them)  that are on the LOST reading list including A Wrinkle in Time, Lord of the Flies, Watership Down, and Slaughter-House Five.

The five books that I plan to read for this challenge are:

  1. An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
  2. The  Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  3. The Third Policemanby Flann O’Brien
  4. Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. A Brief History of Time by Stephen W. Hawking

Have you read any of these books?  Are you a fan of LOST?