Literature of Lost

I’m obsessed with Lost. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon until after the fifth season, when I watched all five seasons on Hulu in about two weeks. I suppose it’s easier to get hooked on shows when you watch an entire series over the course of two weeks rather than waiting a week for each episode, as I found out when I had to watch season 6 at the same time as everyone else. Regardless, it’s an awesome show and it’s pretty rewarding because you can follow it on so many levels – anywhere from simply enjoying the acting and storytelling (like my wife) or digging deep and getting over-the-top into it like I have.

I’ve been asked a few times since Lost ended what TV shows I’m now into. I laugh because, in reality, I’m still working on Lost. The writers of the show included many, many literary references throughout the series that provide additional insights and clues into the show. The most obvious examples are the dozen or so books that Sawyer read throughout the series and the bookshelf in the Hatch, but there are countless other hints.

I started reading a few of the books after the series ended when the tremendous Doc Jensen on Entertainment Weekly published this list of fifteen essential pieces of reading to understanding LostThe Essential Lost Reading List. Then a Google search revealed these terrific writeups of 41 books that have either been shown (e.g. Sawyer’s books) or referenced by titles (e.g. Season 1 episode White Rabbit):The Lost Book Club. Finally, Lostpedia has a nearly exhaustive list of about a hundred books that appeared in the series: Lostpedia’s Literary References. In short, the project escalated quickly.

Not sure how long I’ll keep reading these books, but I enjoy reading and most of these books are extremely good reads. I started about 35 posts behind – now I am finally caught up. I will post new books as I read them. I’ll post the reviews on this page to keep them all in one place.

I have also made the executive decision to remove a few books from Lostpedia’s list. Several books appeared on the Hatch bookshelf in the background, but weren’t published until well after the Hatch was built. I was skeptical already about these books and after reading their synopses online, I agree with those that argue these books are prop errors. These books include: After All These Years, The Coalwood Way, High Hand, and Rainbow Six.

General Influences:
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Keep by F. Paul Wilson
Odyssey by Homer
The Stand by Stephen King

Season One:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Watership Down by Richard Adams
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Season Two:
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Bad Twin by Gary Troup
The Epic of Gilgamesh an early Mesopotamian epic poem
Island by Aldous Huxley
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Lancelot by Walker Percy
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Season Three:
Animal Farm by George Orwell
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov
The Moon Pool by A. Merritt
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On Writing by Stephen King
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Season Four:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Shining by Stephen King
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
VALIS by Phillip K. Dick

Season Five:
Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda

Season Six:
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Deep River by Shusaku Endo
Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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