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Here at we heart this, one of our favorite things about Lost, is that the show doesn’t have to be over at the end of the hour. Each episode offers so much information, that half the fun is going back through the show to catch all the clues the creators throw out. There’s no shortage of sites on the Internet to comb through all the hints, big and small, to the mysteries of Lost. Not to mention, the official ABC Lost site that is loaded with facts, trivia, images, episode guides and video, sure to keep a Lost fan happy for hours.
Best of all, for these chicks that heart reading, Lost is overflowing with parallels, shout outs, allusions to and appearances of great books! Viewers who pay attention to the books that appear on Lost have been thrilled to dissect the parallels between those books and the characters and plot lines of Lost. And, least you think the books are mere props, Lost writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse even started a Lost BookClub during a seasonal hiatus:
If you are an addicted Lost fan and/or a book lover, do we have a list for you! Get ready to add to your amazon cart, start downloading on your kindle or reserving copies at the library. We’ve gathered the title of Every Book mentioned on Lost (and added some thoughts on a few favorites). How many have you read?
Additionally, since Lost is a hotbed of philosophical ideas, religious overtones, mythological references, and even scientific theories, we’ve added a complete list of what we consider essential reading to further your Lost experience.
Books referenced on LOST
1. Lewis Carroll – Alice In Wonderland
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that several Lost episode titles were taken directly from this book and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Specifically: White Rabbit (season 1), Through the Looking Glass (season 3) and Something Nice Back Home (season 4). Other huge nods to these works that can be found in Lost: rabbits, chess, dreams, the Dharma Looking Glass Station, to name a few. If you are craving better insight into the Lost narrative as a whole, these books are essential.
2. Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness
3. William Golding – Lord of the Flies
4. Richard Adams – Watership Down
5. Madeleine L’Engle – A Wrinkle in Time
6. Judy Blume – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Who can forget tough guy Sawyer reading this teen girl classic on the beach? Was this book just used as a good laugh for the eagle-eyed viewer or can you see a parallel between book heroine Margaret and Lost’s John Locke as they grapple with faith and question their relationship with God?
7. Gary Troup – Bad Twin
8. Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Brothers Karamazov
9. Herbert Mason (tr.) – The Epic of Gilgamesh
10. Aldous Huxley – Island
11. Percy Walker – Lancelot
12. Ambrose Bierce – An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge
13. Charles Dickens – Our Mutual Friend
Aside from the glaringly obvious connection between the title of this book and the story of Lost (everyone in the Lost universe is connected to everyone else and therefore a mutual friend), this book is pivotal to the story of Desmond in particular. Desmondphiles already know that this was the book he took with him to prison, and that he wanted this to be the last book he read before he died. Many years later, in one of the most poignant scenes in Lost history, Desmond discovers that his beloved Penny had tucked a letter to him inside this very same book, proclaiming her undying love to him. Is it a coincidence that he finds this letter at the exact moment that he is contemplating suicide after spending three years in the hatch? (aww – we love this couple – wht)
14. Flann O’Brien – The Third Policeman
15. Henry James – The Turn of the Screw
16. L. Frank Baum – The Wizard of Oz
17. Stephen Hawking – A Brief History of Time
18. Stephen King – Carrie
A wht favorite! Watch the Lost BookClub video for a fabulous Juliet scene and a total smack down – in defense of the brilliance of Carrie – during an actual Island Book Club.
19. Joseph Heller – Catch-22
20. Agatha Christie – Evil Under the Sun
21. Ayn Rand – The Fountainhead
22. Vladimir Nabokov – Laughter in the Dark
23. John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men
24. Stephen King – On Writing
25. Robert Heinlein – Stranger in a Strange Land
26. Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities
27. Lewis Carroll – Through the Looking Glass
28. Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird
29. Philip K Dick – VALIS
30. Adolfo Bioy Casares – The Invention of Morel
31. Jack Kerouac – On the Road
32. Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five
33. C.S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia
34. Jules Verne – Survivors of the Chancellor
35. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – The Little Prince
Probably on just about everyone’s “Top 10 Books of All Time” list, The Little Prince is arguably one of the most important influences on the Lost narrative. The parallels are abundant: a fateful plane crash, a magic box, the longing to go back home, disappearing bodies, a Lamp Post, the list goes on and on. Also, one of Lost’s most important episodes (The Little Prince, season 5) centers around our Losties’ “little prince”, baby Aaron. Just who is Aaron and why is he so darned important? Read The Little Prince for clues.
36. James Joyce – Ulysses
37. Carlos Castaneda – A Separate Reality
38. Flannery O’Connor – Everything That Rises Must Converge
Any fan of Flannery O’Connor knows that there are important secret messages hidden within her writings. Sound familiar? If that’s not reason enough to read this collection of short stories, consider that Jacob is reading this book while sitting on a bench in front of Anthony Cooper’s office…waiting for John Locke to come crashing through the window and fall eight stories to the ground.
LOST Further Reading
1. Paul J. Nahin and K.S. Thorne – Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction
Perhaps nothing is more confusing in LOST than time. Time Machines helps us understand how LOST uses the idea of time along with understanding the paradoxes related to time.
2. Huw Price – Time’s Arrow and Archimedes’ Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time
3. Brian Green – The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
4. Michio Kaku – Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension
5. Dan Falk – In Search of Time: The History, Physics, and Philosophy of Time
1. Alan Watts – Tao and the Watercourse Way
2. The Dalai Lama – The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason
3. Thich Nhat Hanh – Beyond the Self: Teachings on the Middle Way
4. Jeffrey Armstrong – Karma: The Ancient Science of Cause and Effect
I’m not sure how (or if) Lost is using the principles of karma, but this book provides a very interesting examination of karma and karmic law. Since it surely seems that Lost possesses karmic elements, this book is very helpful in understanding Lost’s character dynamics, particularly those characters who have been “reincarnated.”
5. Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo – Rebirth and Karma
1. Aristotle – Metaphysics
2. Plato – Republic (Book VII)
3. Martin Heidegger – Time and Being
4. Heraclitus – Fragments
5. Nicholas Rescher – Paradoxes: Their Roots, Range, and Resolution
Critical thinking anyone? Whenever time travel is used as a story-telling device, there is always the risk of committing specific paradoxes. This book describes what those paradoxes are and how to avoid them. It also provides the reasoning as to why Lost’s narrative had to go in a certain direction, in order to avoid falling prey to these pesky laws of thought.
1. Joseph Campbell – The Hero with a Thousand Faces
2. Joseph Campbell – The Inner Reaches of Outer Space
3. Joseph Campbell – Myths of Light
4. Joseph Campbell – Masks of God (Vol. 1 and 2)
5. Geraldine Pinch – Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt
6. Sophocles – The Oedipus Trilogy
Lost surely has its share of daddy issues and Sophocles’ Oedipus provides some interesting associations with Lost’s daddy-haters.
1. Carl G. Jung – Modern Man in Search of a Soul
2. Carl G. Jung – Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
3. Carl G. Jung – The Undiscovered Self
4. Carl G. Jung – The Earth Has a Soul
Freud’s “Super-Ego” ain’t got nuthin’ on Jung’s The Earth has a Soul. Although not directly related to Lost, Jung’s insights do share some similar characteristics with the island, where “consciousness has slipped from its natural foundations” and where “primitives know how to converse with the soul.”
5. Carl G. Jung – Answer to Job
1. Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses
2. Philip K. Dick – The Divine Invasion
Lost makes several references to one of P.K. Dick’s other novels, VALIS, and as a consequence, The Divine Invasion is a must-read. Period. You’ll thank me later.
3. Philip K. Dick – Radio Free Albemuth
4. Philip K. Dick – Time Out of Joint
5. Kurt Vonnegut – Sirens of Titan
6. Jack Kerouac – Dharma Bums
7. J. D. Salinger – Teddy (Short Story)
8. Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged
9. Jules Verne – The Time Machine
10. Flannery O’Connor – The Donkey Archive
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