Ever since Sawyer was shown reading “Watership Down” in Season One of “LOST,” an abundance of carefully placed works of literature have been featured on the show (in gym bags, on book shelves, in episode titles), spawning “LOST” book clubs and blogs filled with eager readers combing for clues to the fate of the stranded Oceanic Flight 815 survivors.
The unpredictable nature of the show left fans hungry for answers week after week and the referenced books have provided plenty of theorizing and heated discussions, even as the show moves towards its conclusion.
Executive producers and writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse grew up reading a lot of the same authors (Stephen King, John Steinbeck and Kurt Vonnegut) and have acknowledged literature’s influence in the way they have shaped the show.
“It’s a nod to that process,” Lindelof (who is also co-creator) explained last year. “We pick the books with a great deal of meticulous thought and specificity and talk about what the thematic implications of picking a certain book are, why we’re using it in the scene and what we want the audience to deduce from that choice.”
Because “LOST” was not a carbon-copy cop show, legal drama or medical show, there was not a lot of precedence for its unique structure. Lindelof and Cuse found inspiration in the making of the show in books as opposed to movies or other TV shows.
They noted Stephen King’s “The Stand” as a blueprint for early episodes. “It was this very long, character-oriented book that hung on a high-concept premise that the entire nation had been infected with this super-flu, and it was the equivalent of people crashing on this mysterious island. Both based on incredibly intricate and involved character dynamics,” Cuse said.
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