|Released||May 2, 2006|
Bad Twin was written by Gary Troup and was released on May 2, 2006.
Bad Twin is a tie-in novel for the television show Lost. The novel is attributed to the fictional "Gary Troup". On June 18, 2006, Daily Variety revealed that Bad Twin was ghost authored by novelist Laurence Shames. The novel is the story of a down-and-out private detective, Paul Artisan, who is hired to find Zander Widmore, the degenerate twin of Cliff Widmore, a wealthy and successful heir. As do many such stories, the case leads deeper and deeper into a sinister world of betrayal and confusion as Artisan follows on Zander's heels all over the world, from Manhattan to Florida to Cuba to Australia. He is aided in his quest by Manny Weisman, Artistan's old college classics professor, with whom Artisan shares a dog named Argos, named after Odysseus's faithful dog. Manny provides historical context to the events in which Artisan finds himself, and often provides philosophical commentary on the actions of the various members of the Widmore family.
Paul Artisan, P.I. is a new version of an old breed—a righter of wrongs, someone driven to get to the bottom of things. Too bad his usual cases are of the boring malpractice and fraud variety. Until now.
His new gig turns on the disappearance of one of a pair of twins, adult scions of a rich but tragedy-prone family. The missing twin—a charismatic poster-boy for irresponsibility—has spent his life daring people to hate him, punishing himself endlessly for his screw-ups and misdeeds. The other twin—Artisan's client—is dutiful and resentful in equal measure, bewildered that his "other half" could have turned out so badly, and wracked by guilt at his inability to reform him. He has a more practical reason, as well, for wanting his brother found: their crazy father, in failing health and with guilty secrets of his own, will not divide the family fortune until both siblings are accounted for.
But it isn't just a fortune that's at stake here. Truth itself is up for grabs, as the detective's discoveries seem to challenge everything we think we know about identity, and human nature, and family. As Artisan journeys across the globe to track down the bad twin, he seems to have moved into a mirror-world where friends and enemies have a way of looking very much alike. The P.I. may have his long-awaited chance to put his courage and ideals to the test, but if he doesn't get to the bottom of this case soon, it could very well cost him his life.
Troup's long-awaited Bad Twin is a suspenseful novel that touches on many powerful themes, including the consequence of vengeance, the power of redemption, and where to turn when all seems lost.
Bad Twin exists both as a novel in the real world, and as a metanovel-in-progress within the world of Lost. The apparent manuscript of Bad Twin was discovered by the characters of Lost in Season 2 and is read by Sawyer in the episode "Two for the Road". Sawyer claims to Jack that he may be the only person to ever read it, although Hurley had also read it earlier in the show. The last few pages of the manuscript are then set on fire by Jack before Sawyer has finished reading them. While the novel's plot has no direct link to the television show (aside from the use of the Widmore name and Alvar Hanso), Bad Twin contains many references to it, (see below).
Bad Twin is part of the Lost Experience, an interactive game connected to the storyline of Lost but not directly part of it. In the clues about Dr. Thomas Mittelwerk's authenticity there is a statement about dealing with Gary Troup. On May 9, 2006, the fictitious corporation The Hanso Foundation ran a quarter-page ad in several major newspapers, including The Washington Post (on the 10th), The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Chicago Tribune. The ad repudiates Bad Twin for its "attacks" and "misinformation" about the Hanso Foundation. Additionally The Hanso Foundation website contained a press release that was equally critical of Bad Twin.
ABC has also released several videos in a nine part interview of Gary Troup, played by Laird Granger, on a fictional show called "Book Talk". The videos were released on the Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble web sites on their respective Bad Twin pages.
References to LostEdit
While the novel Bad Twin never makes explicit reference to the events of the show, there are a number of references in the novel to things mentioned in Lost. These include:
- When first visiting Cliff Widmore in his office, Artisan accidentally stops off on Floor 42, which is a Hanso Foundation facility. Notably, 42 is the last number in the Lost number sequence.
- Cliff's father makes a passing statement about Mittelwerk being distasteful as a member of the board of his family's company, and that he preferred Alvar Hanso before he was replaced by Mittelwerk.
- While in Los Angeles, Artisan stops by at a restaurant called "Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack." This is the same restaurant where Hurley worked prior to winning the lottery.
- Several plane trips are made throughout the book using Oceanic Airlines, the same company that would have the crash in Lost.
- A flight attendant on the flight to Australia is a deliberate reference to the character Cindy Chandler, who was Troup's supposed girlfriend. He was said to have worked the character in as a wink to his beloved. Incidentally, Cindy's last name may be a reference to Raymond Chandler, one of the most famous authors of the private detective novels that Bad Twin is modeled on.
- Zander and Cliff, while twins, were born on either side of midnight, making their birthdays different. Their birthdays are August 15 and 16, or 8-15 and 8-16. 8, 15, and 16 are three of the notorious Lost numbers. Their birthdays are also used as the passcode to their father's estate, which is 81516. When entering this code, one of the characters even comments during this scene about how "there are certain numbers you remember all your life."
- The Widmore family is central to the novel, and Penelope "Penny" Widmore, daughter of Charles Widmore, is featured in the Season 2 finale as Desmond's lover before he shipwrecked on the island.
- The central idea throughout the whole novel is dualism, be it the duality of twins or the opposing forces of good and evil, the narrator is constantly relating the events of the story in terms of a dualistic sense of the world. This ties in perfectly with the recurring motif of black and white in Lost.