Bad Twin  

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bad Twin
2006, by “Gary Troup,” from the library

You should know
I like Lost. I own the Season 1 DVD. I suffered through Season 2 (what was the point of the Tailies, again?), and I’m enjoying post-hiatus Season 3. I read the spoilers, and I listen to a podcast every week.

In fact, I'm watching Lost right now! (Ok, it's actually a commercial break.)

But if you don’t, let me fill you in. Gary Troup was a passenger on Oceanic flight 815, the one that crashed into the mysterious island where the show takes place. Bad Twin is the author’s final work. Troup had a relationship with Oceanic flight attendant Cindy, and the book mentions such Lost-relevant names as Widmore, Hanso, and Paik. They may not be quite the same as on the show, but they’re close enough that you see the connections. And one character is constantly citing works of literature – reminiscent of when, in Season 1, fans would try to find mythological relevance in any book a character picked up.

It’s a cute little detective novel. It helps to be a Lost fan so you get the subtle and not-so-subtle references; then again, these references jarred me out of the action more than once, so you may do just as well if you don’t follow the show.

The story is about a small-time private investigator who is hired by the heir to a major corporation. The job: to find the businessman’s twin brother. It’s a Prodigal Son story with a twist, and a theme of Evil Twins (hence the title) runs throughout.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I’m glad I didn’t spend money on it. Then again, that’s partly a matter of pride: I’m a fan, but not a fanatic. I can read the message boards, or I can buy the merchandise, but doing both crosses that line.

Borrow it
If you’re a big enough fan to buy it, you’ve likely already bought it. If you’re a mild fan, or if you like an occasional detective story, though, it’s worth a read.

The rest of the Internet
Beware of spoilers...
Lostpedia discusses how the book fits into the Lost universe.
A review at USA Today.
Gary Troup's website.
A discussion of the book at Ain't It Cool News, and another at Th e Tail Section.
A review at Coyote Mercury (and they have a greyhound!).
Juliet Farmer at BlogCritics reviewed the book.
Travis "The Geek" Perkins at Calling All Geeks compares Bad Twin to Hannibal Rising.
HoiPolloi hated the book.
Troup's identity, revealed!
The first chapter, if you want to just check it out.

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