Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Weekly Read: 4

This is my last week reading exclusively from the Lost Lit List, but there are still a few I didn't get to. Hopefully in February, I will have time!

READ: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass | Lewis Carroll
I'm surprised it took me this long to read these books: they would have been right up my alley as a kid. There are several episodes of Lost which reference these books, most notably two episodes titles: "White Rabbit" and "Through the Looking Glass". Also, the underwater station is called "The Looking Glass", possibly a reference to how to is a sort of gateway to the Island.  I found Alice to be both strange and fanciful.  It was funny, because while most of the scenes from the Disney movie were taken exactly from these books, the inherent nature of animation makes them more whimsical and less ridiculous. Playing croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs seems cute and silly when animated; On the other hand, reading the same scene in the book seems outrageous and bizarre. Overall, though, I did really enjoy reading this one. Alice is a funny little girl, with a fascinatingly diverse imagination. I enjoyed Looking Glass a bit more than Alice, if only because it had more structure and seemed to have more of a connection to Lost. Like the Looking-Glass world, the Island seems to exist in a place where strange and fantastical things can happen, where explanations for mysterious things tend to only bring more questions.

READ: Slaughterhouse-Five | Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five has never appeared in any episode of Lost, but owes its place on the Lost Lit List due to the distinct similarities between Billy's moments of being "unstuck" in time to those Desmond experiences throughout Season 3. The main difference between their time travelling moments is that Billy accepted the Tralfamadorian view of time, that you can see all past and future events but cannot change them, while Desmond was intent on changing his visions of the future. This book differed greatly from my expectations - I assumed it was entirely about war. That is true, it is about war - the inhumanity of sending children off to die, the ridiculously arbitrary unfairness of who lives and who dies - but in the end, it is about way more than just war. Simultaneously funny, sad, and shocking, Billy's travels through time become a coping mechanism to help him deal with the tragedy and injustice of his wartime experiences. And it's not just in his head - how could he has predicted his own death otherwise? The ability to see all the events in your life and choose to live in the happy ones is a vitally important part of Billy's psychologically well-being, and is a good lesson to all of us on how to survive through difficult times.  This is a frankly truthful tale of war, but the uniqueness of the telling seems to cushion the sharp edges of the actuality of war, life, and death.

STARTED: Watership Down | Richard Adams
Bunnies! I'm sure if someone had told me that this book starred rabbits, I would have read it as a kid. :) I'm only about 20% in to this one, but so far, it is interesting. This is another one from the Lost Lit List: Sawyer is seen reading this one on the beach several times; Apparently, Boone brought it with him to read in Australia.

I'm happy that I was able to read so many books from the Lost Lit List this month! Other than The Strain for my book club, they were all from the List. :) There are still a few more from the List that I want to read soon, but I will have to put those on hold for the next week, including finishing Watership Down, because I have to read some books that are due back to the library on Saturday! So on the schedule for this week are The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, and Flow by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim. Happy reading! :)

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