Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Bad Twin": A LOST Cause

In the television show LOST, there is a character who was on board Oceanic Flight 815 by the name of Gary Troup. He's the guy we see in the pilot who gets sucked into the jet engine when Locke distracts him. Later, in Season 2, we see Sawyer reading a book manuscript, saying that the author was on the plane and had the manuscript in his luggage. That book was "Bad Twin", which was actually written (in real life) as a tie-in to the show, and distributed by ABC Studios and Bad Robot.
Unfortunately, it's lame-sauce.
"Bad Twin" is about some private detectvie named Paul Artisan, who lvies in New York and doesn't know what to do with his life. Then he gets a visit from some rich bastard named Clifford Widmore, who asks Paul to find his missing mirror-twin brother, Zander. The rest of it is just by-the-numbers detective mystery, and not even the good kind.
Aside from a main character having the surname "Widmore", a passing mention of Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, and the blurb at the back of the book mentioning Gary Troup's disappearance on Oceanic 815, there's very little in the story to tie into the canon of LOST. Judging by everything the book says about Troup himself, he's rumored to have had a romance with Cindy Chandler, the flight attendant from LOST who gets kidnapped by the Others (she even appears as a character in the book). But judging by the way she was flirting with Jack Shephard in the pilot, chances are that romance wouldn't have lasted anyway.
The book just drags on and on, with Paul questioning odd people who keep turning up dead, and finally finding Zander in a somewhat anticlimactic (and bizarre) conclusion involving Zander's stepmom's jealous ex-husband...yeah, I know.
The worst part of the book is Paul's best friend, an old professor named Manny. Throughout the entire book, Manny constantly irritates Paul (and the reader) with fucking anecdotes about Dante and Shakespeare and The Iliad. Seriously, that's all the guy ever talks about. At one point, Paul calls him to see how he's doing, and Manny responds with, "Oh, not bad. I was just sitting at home, thinking about King Lear. Did you know that..." WHAT? Who the fuck just sits at home ruminating about characters from 400-year-old plays? And then he goes on to explain the most obvious goddamn things, and you can't help but groan. "Hey Paul, isn't it funny how you're looking for the left-handed twin, which is called sinister in Latin, which is funny because he's supposed to be the bad twin?" Oh, my God, shut the hell up!
All in all, it was a totally unremarkable book, completely blase' in every way, and if it weren't for the LOST tie-in, I'm sure nobody would even look twice at it. It's really too bad that a show as good as LOST has so little in the way of good merchandise. This book is lame. The board game is lame. The video game sucked to high hell. The action figures, while impressively detailed, can't pose well, and there's only a few of 'em. I demand decent LOST merch, damn it!
I give "Bad Twin" 48%, and I think I'm being generous with that one.


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