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Has Lost inspired you to read a new book?

By Sarah Clarke Stuart,

  Filed under: Lost News
  Comments: 42

Hey Lost fans. While you wait for the final frenzy to begin please take this brief, 3-question survey designed to examine Lost‘s influence on literary tastes.

Click  on the link above to take a quick 3-question survey and let me know what you’ve been reading. Results may be used for research purposes but no personal information is required or necessary. Thanks for participating!

From TVFrenzy:

  • dp2

    I’ve added a few books to my list of things to read eventually, but I haven’t read anything from Lost during Lost. I started reading Flannery O’Connor shortly before Jacob did, and I read “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, which I felt had a lot of Lost themes in it.

    • dp2

      Oh, I also just started the Riverworld series, which is often mentioned in theories.

  • notsoshaggy

    I’m a Jorge Luis Borges nut, so I was peripherally familiar with The Invention of Morel (Borges and Bioy Casares were buds). And though that book has moved considerably higher on my reading list. . . uh still hain’t red it. Derp.

    Higher on my list:
    The Shadow of the Wind
    The Raw Shark Texts

    • DeSelby

      I’m also a Borges fan, and I gotta tell you to get on that. It’s like a hundred pages and moves along pretty nicely, so you might even read it in one sitting. Very relevant to Lost, but I would absolutely recommend it to a non-Lost fan based purely on literary value.

      • notsoshaggy

        Noted, friend! Thanks for your rec.

  • gusteaux

    Although they were not specifically referenced in the show proper,I read Stephen King’s entire Dark Tower series last summer to help fight the boredom of the hiatus. The Dark Tower series was referenced many times during the first five seasons of LOST by Darlton during interviews and podcasts as having been influential. And, at the time, they had purchased the film rights and were planning to make Dark Tower their next project after LOST. Unfortunately, they have since decided not to pursue the project for fear of screwing it up and out of respect for the books. I probably would never have read the books had it not been for Darlton’s references to them. I have to say that the joy of reading King’s masterpieces was almost equal to my LOST experience (even though the ending to the Dark Tower series was spoiled in a LOST discussion in the forums of this site before I finished reading the book series).

    • Cody

      Ditto, to every word. I dont know if it was you who posted that on here last year that you were going to read a Dark Tower book a month leading up to this season but thats why i decided to do it. Loved every word of it, so if it was you thanks for the idea.

      • gusteaux

        Yep, it was me…but the plan didn’t work so well…I enjoyed the books so much that I read all seven books in about five weeks! I am honored to have inspired you to read them.

        • Cody

          Same here, not quite in 5 weeks but i think i was done with the series by the end of summer. Recently started reading The Stand, dug out my old Of Mice and Men, and last week purchased Valis and Slaughterhouse Five. oh, and hadn’t read a book in about 5 years before Lost and now i can’t stop. so you could say it has inspired me to read.

          • Sarah Clarke Stuart

            Good to know, Cody. Thanks for sharing! Your comment above–“Loved every word of it”– reminds me of Desmond’s claim that he has read all of Charles Dickens’ works, “every wonderful word” (except, of course, Our Mutual Friend).

          • DeSelby

            Valis and Slaughterhouse are very good choices. I envy that you still get to read them for the first time

        • Gusteaux

          I purchased the Slaughterhouse Five movie and watched it again. It has always been one of my favorites ever since I first saw it back in the ’70’s. Never have read it in book form though.

  • Rams

    I read Watership Down and one of the short stories in Flanney O Conner’s collection. I’m planning to do a serious read of Lost-referenced books after the series is over, including The Dark Tower series.

    • amy

      ditto on that, I only have a limited amount of “me” time, so when LOST is no longer taking up that time i plan to start on some reading….and it has been years since I picked up a good book….

  • NSBZero

    After reading part of the book in an Existentialism class I took a few years ago, I’ve decided to write a term paper for a class this semester using Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling” (and “Repetition”, another theme that fits well for the characters in LOST) to show concepts that inspired Samuel Beckett in writing “Waiting For Godot”.

    Now I’m procrastinating my reading of Kierkegaard by writing this comment here. But I enjoy reading Kierkegaard’s theories again, thanks to a skeletal member of the Besixdouze.

    • Sarah Clarke Stuart

      LOL to the Kierkegaard reference–I have the same guy to thank for returning to Fear and Trembling. Funny you should mention the Besixdouze–of course you probably know that it’s the name of the planet in The Little Prince, another Lost book.
      Good luck on that term paper!

  • Matthew Perry

    I read Stranger in a Strange Land and The Stand entirely because of their connections to the show. Really glad I did. Two of the best books I’ve ever read.

    I coincidentally read Of Mice and Men and Laughter in the Dark prior to them being mentioned on the show.

    I also bough The Turn of the Screw and Watership Down, but I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet.

  • dissolved

    So far I’ve read Valis and The Third Policeman and found them both to give good insight into the series, Valis could be taken to have a large influence or at least similarity to Lost over and above what’s already mentioned in the Lostpedia article.

    I tried Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses but I always end up getting distracted.

  • The Magician

    The only books I actively sought out because of Lost were ‘the dark tower’ series (I’ve read the first 3 books) and ‘the stand’.

    I found the stand very enjoyable apart from the ending. Dark Tower is fun too.

    Not a Dickens fan so I won’t be reading our mutual friend anytime soon. Like some other posters on here, I’m quite a big fan of Borges, and I’ve read Ulysses (and everything else of Joyce’s apart from Finnegans Wake.)

  • dd

    We all known LOST has inspired many recappers to pretend they’ve read these books and then pretend they are experts in literature, science, and philosophy.

    • The Magician

      LOL! A certain someone springs to mind…

    • Casey

      Amen to that.

  • dharmalchemist

    Y: the last man, slaughterhouse 5, and Hotel (which I don’t think was on Lost, but resembles Lost they way it’s written and everything is connected.

    • Sarah Clarke Stuart

      Yes–Hotel is on my “Lost books” list but was never directly referenced on the show.

  • Kendra

    Reread The Stand, and for the first time read Slaughterhouse 5, Of Mice and Men, Catch-22, Carrie, The Island, and Flannery O’Connor’s collection.

  • theloveshow

    THE STAND is the best book I have ever read, and I read it because I heard several comparisons between Randall Flag and The Man in Black.

  • DeSelby

    I’d read a few of the longer alluded to books before they were on Lost, like the Fountainhead, and I was midway through the Brothers Karamazov when that one showed up. That one is amazing, and deals with patricide, which is appropriate given that we saw Ben reading it and discussing it with Locke. I tried to read Ulysses a few times before it was on Lost but never made it far. I read the Third Policeman after it was in the hatch and loved it…which I’m sure is obvious to anyone familiar with that book.

    • The Magician

      I want to start on the brothers Karamazov at some point, although I’m not really into Dostoyevsky – I tried to read Crime & Punishment a few years ago and found myself giving up after 50 or so pages.

      • DeSelby

        I’d still try it. It’s long but has a lot of short stories within to break it up. A friend of mine and I both read the Brothers Karamozov at around the same time and both loved it, then we both tried Crime & Punishment and got only about as far as you did.

      • cajuncook

        Funny, but I was the opposite. I thought C&P was a masterpiece; definitely one of my favorite books every written. Brothers Karamazov was a masterpiece to me, too, but in a very different way that made it so difficult to read as a novel. It was terrific to analyze in an academic sense, but so freaking difficult to read page by page for joy.

  • I attempted to read “Watership Down” after seeing it on LOST. But I was 14 and it was boring.

  • Vincent1

    Flannery O’Conner’s Everything that Rises Must Converge
    *There’s an excellent short story in it about a doctor named “Shepard”

    Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov
    *The character development is very LOSTian
    *but I did not agree with Ben’s quick analysis of “martyring prophets”. The apex echoed deeper themes that also relate to LOST such as “what goes around comes around”, patricide, false judgment.
    *Also read Dostoevsky’s Demons for similar themes.

    I’m saving Our Mutual Friend for a special day…

  • The Magician

    I found John Fowles ‘The Magus’ very Lost-ian. It’s never been specifically mentioned in the show, but it definitely evokes that sense of being ‘lost’. A very mysterious, dark book.

    Vincent, I’ve heard Demons is good, so I’ll probably check that out at some point. The only two (short) novels of his I’ve read are the double and the gambler.

  • Kevin

    It inspired me to finish writing one I started some 20 years ago.

    • Fosca

      …and is it now finished?

      • Kevin

        I’m about three chapters away from finishing it. 🙂

    • Sarah Clarke Stuart

      Very cool, Kevin. I’m curious too. How’s it going?

      • Kevin

        Almost done. The mythology for the story is probably longer than the story itself, but again, I started it back in college in 1989 and developed it over the years, including who my main characters were, their pasts and how they got involved with the FCA. I have a potential agent who read the first three chapters and wants to see the rest before she makes a decision (I refused to write an outline…it doesn’t do the story justice).

        The book has been a major obsession over the last few years since I’ve finally sat down to write it. Like Lost, I’ll be sorry when it’s over…but left room for a trilogy type thing in case I sell the first one. 🙂

  • KrisK

    I read ‘The Stand’ because of LOST and I’m so glad I did. One of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m tempted to start the Dark Tower series but I’m afraid I will be disappointed. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole ‘western bad cowboy’ thing it’s got going on.

  • Jack’s Beard

    Great question, Sarah, and, by the way, good luck with the survey. L O S T has inspired me to become a better reader, since it usually took me about a MONTH to finish a 193 pages book. I read The Stand in about four days, which felt right since it involved the numbers. Then, I read the first three books of the Dark Tower series and I can’t wait to return to it. I’m currently reading The Invention of Morel and I gotta say, it’s my favorite, so far. Also read The Mysterious Island, by Verne; Through The Looking Glass and Valis. Oh, and it inspired me to read Watchmen, as well.

    • Sarah Clarke Stuart

      How interesting. Not only were you inspired to pick up a new book, but you improved your reading comprehension skills. This is certainly a new phenomenon for a TV show–to create readers out of viewers. I have hundreds of responses to surveys that supports this theory too!

  • Fosca

    The Fountainhead, The Third Policeman, The Invention of Morel, Slaughterhouse Five, Catch 22, Fahrenheit 451, The Turn of the Screw