Monday, June 25, 2007

Laughter in the Dark

I'll talk about other things in the post, but part of me really thinks that the whole reason they showed us Laughter in the Dark is one quote. The main character is hooking up with his new mistress for the first time. "As in his most reckless visions, everything was permissible; a puritan's love, priggish, reserved, was less known in this new free world than white bears in Honolulu."

Charlie found LitD in Sawyer's stash in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", and Hurley picked it up and started to read it. It's from the same author as Lolita, but it's less disturbing, less sexy, and just generally less good. It's a long and twisty story, but here's a basic plot. A basically happy married dude, Albinuis, becomes infatuated with a teenager, and eventually leaves his wife and daughter for her. But she's no angel, manipulating him for his money and influence. She starts hooking up with an old lover, and Albinus doesn't notice for about 50 pages. He finally figures it out, but then he almost immediately drives into a telephone pole and is blinded. So he has to rely on his mistress for everything, and he convinces himself he was mistaken. Mistress and old lover sneak around him in all these crazy mean ways, and are only stopped when Albinius's brother-in-law steps in and saves him. Or he would be saved, if he didn't decide he had to shoot mistress. Do you remember he's blind? Not surprisingly, it doesn't go well, and he ends up dead.

So there's a little bit of Lost stuff in there, with the conning, and the attempted revenge, but I think it's a bit of a stretch. There's a couple of big coincidences—old lover just happens to be a business associate of Albinus's, Albinuis turns out to have a painting that's actually a forgery that old lover made years ago—but they don't seem like Lost to me. They're handled a little too ironically. The whole book has a detached melodrama to it that's not very Lost at all. So I guess I really think it was just the polar bear quote. It's a fine book, and I enjoyed it, but I can't see as it's very relevant to our beloved show. Read Lolita instead.

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