Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lost IT

I just finished all 1090 pages of Stephen King's IT. I decided to read IT because it was recommended by another person on a LOST board. While not the most overtly LOST-connected book in the Stephen King pantheon, there are some similarities between the two.

One clear connection has to do with the method of story-telling. There's real time stories, flashbacks and differing points of view constantly in the book. Part 5 in particular changes back and forth from main characters in the past to main characters in the present to subordinate characters in the story. And there's often a blending of past and present. As one character reflects: Is something really stapling the past and present together here, or am I only imagining it? A regular mobius strip.

There's also a circularity or repeating of patterns that take place throughout the story. But rather than literally having things repeat, patterns repeat but with the circumstances varying every 25 or so years. What's more the main characters who realize they need to repeat this pattern can't remember what they had done before. Their memories are blank when it comes to key items, and part of the story is them regaining their memory in order to accomplish the task they need to accomplish.

This repetition notion intrigues me looking forward to the O6s return to the Island. Will they have to try to re-do something? Will they have all their memories of the Island or have they successfully repressed them? And of course Ben's incredible ability to outplay everyone still makes me wonder if he's somehow repeating a pattern.

Another huge thing similarity between IT and LOST is the nature of the bad guy. IT's bad guy can appear to you as whatever your personal worst nightmare is. That's clearly reminiscent of what the Island or Smokey is up to when it appears as things from your personal experience. And in IT others can see your nightmare just like Sawyer saw Kate's horse.

According to the book this type of creature exists in many cultures -- a Glamour in Gaelic, a Manitou by the Plains Indians, a Tallus or Taelus in the Himalayas, an Eylak in Central Europe and Le Loup-Garou in France. While I think Smokey is manmade (and out of control), it's interesting to think of a culture creating a machine that would duplicate this sort of monster.

Also looking forward to the return of the O6 to the Island, the children in IT found that 7 was a magic number that gave them power. I guess if you count Locke and Ben, but not Aaron and Ji Yeon you could get to 7 Island returnees in LOST. Of course you could also get 7 by adding Ji Yeon to the O6. While 7 is not one of THE Numbers, I think we're about in need of some magic numbers. Maybe 7 will be one.

Place is key in IT as it is in LOST. The pull and power and magic doesn't exist outside of Derry, Maine. The Island on the other hand seems to have much more influence outside of its physical sphere. How much of that is real, how much is psychological remains to be seen.

As a side note for those who've read Watership Down as well, Derry, Maine reminds me of Cowslip's Warren. Derry has made an unacknowledged deal with IT same as those rabbits. Every so often loved ones will be lost, but in general there will be prosperity as long as those losses continue.

And finally -- there's a love triangle. ;-p (and reproduction problems.)

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