'Lost' Book Club: 'Through the Looking Glass'
All the world's a stage, for sure, and the people in it merely players. When it comes to "Lost," there may be more to that idea than SAG cards and camera-ready smiles. While we've been distracted by pretty faces, smoke monsters and some of the best dialogue on TV, "Lost's" main characters have been sliding in and out of precise positions -- think chess board here -- in what is building up to (we hope) one hell of an endgame.
But who is the pawn and who the prime mover?
This month's selection -- the final book we'll be reading in the "Lost" Book Club discussion series -- also draws heavily on chess imagery ... and we all know how much John Locke loves his chess. Like last month's selection ("A Wrinkle in Time"), it also takes our understanding of time and turns it on its head, with the notion of a chronological progression exploded by a timeline that moves backward.
What book is so vital to the understanding of "Lost" that we've saved it for last? Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass," of course. It's so important that last season's finale -- the episode that introduced the first flash forward -- was titled after it.
Why It Matters
Beyond the homage in last season's closer, one of the Dharma Initiative's stations -- the underwater location where Charlie ended his life -- is also called The Looking Glass. The concept of time moving backward may also relate directly to Desmond's hints that he experiences time either backward or (as in "Watchmen") all at once. The mysterious Jabberwocky that Alice learns about in the story just may be connected to the ever-elusive smoke monster that snuffed out poor Mr. Eko. And, just a hunch, but it probably isn't possible to overprepare for the time-shifting bound to take place on future episodes. We need all the help we can get. (Jen also thinks that Tweedledum and Tweedledee are the not-so-distant cousins of Nikki and Paolo. But more on that at a later time.)
Why You Should Read It:
Like "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," the story that preceded Carroll's "Looking Glass" sequel, this is a well-told tale that makes as fantastic a read now as it did back in 1871, when it was first published. "Wonderland" and "Looking Glass" tend to get mashed-up in the public's mind; together they have influenced an infinite number of artistic and pop-culture creations, from several Beatles songs to the Disney movie to this awesome video from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Also, we suspect Carroll was either high or at least way loopy when he wrote this. And that would explain a lot.
So, happy new year. Get reading -- we'll be back to discuss it on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Noon ET. Which just happens to be the day before "Lost" returns -- yes, as you may have read, it's moving to Thursdays, starting Jan. 31.
-- Jen and Liz
| December 19, 2007; 12:50 PM ET
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