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- For the character, see The Man in Black.
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Bad Twin is a book in the Lost universe, released as a real life semi-canonical tie-in novel. It is available in hardcover and audiobook. Authorship is credited to the fictional Gary Troup; the actual ghostwriter was revealed to be Laurence Shames. Read More
Hyperion Publishers tout the book as "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."
The book centers on Paul Artisan, a private investigator who suddenly finds himself hired by a high-profile member of the Widmore dynasty, Clifford Widmore, to search for his identical twin, Alexander. Alexander was always seen as the bad apple, the bad twin, but Artisan soon discovers there is more to the Widmore family than meets the eye.
Sawyer reading the manuscript of Bad Twin.
"Sometimes evil has a familiar face..."
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."
Paul Artisan is a small-time NYC private investigator who is not confident if he has the talent and dedication to expand his professional aspirations beyond their current scope. He gets a surprise visit one day from a well-dressed and aloof man he learns is Clifford Widmore, one of the heirs of the wealthy and influential Widmore dynasty. His twin brother (Alexander, nicknamed "Zander") has gone missing, and Cliff wishes to hire Paul to find him. Zander is known for his passionate, maverick style, which at times brings him in contact with shady dealings, and everyone who knew him seems to believe this is what got him in trouble. Though they are identical twins, they are as different as night and day, with Clifford known as the more straight-laced, responsible, and cold one. He is also the CEO of Widmore Corp., which his father, Arthur--an eccentric and opinionated (but benevolent) elderly man--heads.
With such a high-profile potential client on the line, Paul begins to doubt himself and goes to his older best friend and mentor, Manny Weissman, for advice. Manny is a philosophical intellectual, who frequently quotes literature and advises through metaphorical stories, while taking walks with Paul and Argos (the dog that the two of them "share").
Paul chases leads about Zander all over the world, from Cape Cod, to Key West, to Cuba, to Luna Valley (Cal.), to the coast of Australia. Along the way, he meets colorful characters, such as Zander's pot-smoking friend "Moth", a yoga instructor Zander was once involved with named Sky, a crusty boat captain named "Crunch", Clifford's pill-popping wife Shannon (who also apparently loved Zander), and Elio, the founder of a cult-like nudist colony called the Helios Foundation. Many give Paul hints on where to chase Zander's trail next, but some are either killed or threatened with death along the way.
While flying to Australia via Oceanic Airlines, he sits next to a woman named "Pru" (short for Prudence), and they instantly hit it off. Paul and Pru end up having a fling once they get to the hotel, but upon wakening, Paul sees that she has a gun in her purse, and confronts her with her lies. Pru then admits that she is also a P.I. for a large firm called Intercontinental, and that she was once hired to tail Vivian Widmore, the nymphomaniac, ambitious younger wife of the family patriarch (she had even tried to seduce Paul on their first meeting). Vivian was suspected of having an affair with a man nicknamed "Mr. Thursday". Pru relates that she was then hired to follow Paul and make sure he didn't come too close to finding Zander. Paul then realizes he was set up by Clifford for failure, and hired simply because they had profiled him as someone who didn't have the gumption and commitment to succeed in his mission. This angers and focuses Paul on the task of proving himself. He and Pru agree to work together to find out the truth.
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
They follow Zander's trail to Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef, where they learn Zander was pursuing a start-up business in black pearl farming when he was last heard from. They masquerade as a honeymooning couple looking for real estate, and find Zander himself under the alias "Cameron Purdue". When they go out on his boat together, all three barely escape being killed by assassins. Paul and Pru then reveal themselves to Zander, and tell him his life is in danger. They convince Zander to fly back to NYC with them.
When they arrive back in the States, they learn Clifford has been recently killed during a 'robbery'. Zander is reunited with his aging father, and they go to Clifford's funeral. At the funeral, a car comes out of nowhere and starts shooting everyone. Paul and Pru return fire and kill the shooter, who turns out to be Vivian's first husband, a mafia boss named Monty Alban. He was Mr. Thursday, the man Pru was sent to uncover. He and Vivian had planned to kill off the Widmores one by one to get at their money.
It turns out that Zander was not such a "bad twin" after all, just misunderstood. Manny suspected the elder Widmore had been planning to leave all his money to him (as the eldest born twin, by a matter of minutes), according to Scottish tradition. Manny was wrong, and the inheritance was to be split with the exception of a small portion going to Vivian. However, Zander had planned to invest his money in the pearl farm with the profits going to the indigenous Australians who ran it and donate the rest of his inheritance to a Cuban medical relief aid. By liquidating his stock in the family company, Zander would have left the Widmore family with not enough control of their company, and Cliff would have lost his position as CEO. This had made him a target for his Cliff. In the end, Vivian goes to jail for her plotting, and Paul and Pru end up together.
These significant characters are so far only known to exist within the fiction of the book (see crossovers section for very minor characters that reference Lost). They may be based on other Lost-related characters, or may be completely fictional constructs.
|Paul Artisan||P.I. investigating Zander's case; main character|
|Manny Weissman||Retired professor; best friend to Paul|
|Argos||Manny & Paul's "shared" dog|
|Clifford Widmore||One of the Widmore twins (the 'level-headed' one)|
|Alexander Widmore||One of the Widmore twins (the 'unpredictable' one); AKA "Zander"|
|Arthur Widmore||Widmore father|
|Vivian Widmore||Second wife of Arthur|
|Shannon Widmore||Wife of Clifford|
|Dr. Richard Edmonds||Coroner|
|Keith "Moth" Baker||Druggie drifter; Zander's old friend|
|Joe Ferrer||Police detective|
|Captain Jocko||Boat captain|
|Sky||Yoga instructor; Zander's former love interest|
|Elio||Helios Foundation leader|
|Pru||P.I., becomes Paul's love interest|
|Monty Alban||Vivian's former husband, hired mafia assassin; also having an affair with her as "Mr. Thursday"|
|Floridito Restaurant||Restaurant in Havana, Cuba|
|Mr. Cluck's||Restaurant in Los Angeles, Cal.|
|Luna||Sleepy Cal. valley town with rumored electromagnetic qualities|
|Helios Foundation||"Naturalist" colony in Luna|
|The Rocks Hotel||Hotel in Sydney, Australia|
|Lizard Island||Island between Sydney and Bali|
Crossovers from Lost
This book mentions several corporations and people that are mentioned on the television show and/or The Lost Experience.
|Widmore Corporation||Same international, mysterious company as referenced in show, led by main characters in the book. Undetailed reference in the book as to the purpose of company.|
|The Hanso Foundation||Very briefly mentioned in the book. As Paul steps out of the elevator on the wrong floor (42nd), he sees an immaculately sterile laboratory and reception desk, and is quickly redirected. No details given as to what exactly the Hanso/Widmore ties are, except the board of directors cross-pollination (below) and the sharing of building space.|
|Paik Industries||Very briefly mentioned that Zander was almost employed by a man named Paik; other vague references to "Korean projects".|
|Oceanic Airlines||Very briefly mentioned in the book. Airline that flew Paul and Pru to Australia; no other references (aside from Cindy, below).|
|Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack||Very briefly mentioned in the book. Paul ate there in California; no other references.|
|Widmore family||In the book, led by Arthur Widmore and Clifford Widmore; their exact familial relations to Charles and Penelope Widmore are unknown.|
|Alvar Hanso||Very briefly mentioned in the book, as someone who used to sit on the Widmore Corp. board of directors, but was then inexplicably replaced by Mittelwerk. Arthur Widmore comments that he seemed like an honorable man.|
|Thomas Mittelwerk||Very briefly mentioned in the book. He replaced Alvar on the board of directors, but Arthur Widmore said that he seemed sly and totally untrustworthy; Clifford defends him.|
|Cindy Chandler||Very briefly mentioned in the book. Oceanic flight attendant that served Paul and Pru on their flight to Australia. She is considered a meta-fictional character that got a cameo role in the book because she was Gary Troup's 'real life' fiancée. The book is dedicated to her (her last name given for the first time here).|
- Shared literary references:
- There is a benevolent druggie character named “Moth” (also title of S1E07, about another relatively benevolent druggie–Charlie)
- The boat Moth was working on is named Escape Hatch
- The Bibical figures of Jacob and Esau are mentioned.
- A sub-plot deals with Pearl farming.
- When the Cuban guy first meets Paul, the first thing he asks is: "You're him?"
- The city of Luna is rumored to have electromagnetic healing properties
- Manny: “Not all who wander are lost” (quote of J.R.R. Tolkien, also was used in television promotion campaign for the LOST series)
- Referring to Peconiquot Island:
As with every island, there was something slippery and mysterious about Peconiquot. It was connected to the larger world, but then again it wasn't. It had a logic of its own, a highly local mythology that made perfect sense within its confines yet fitted uneasily with the mind-habits of the world beyond its boundaries...being an island, and a small one at that, it was also a place where people were easy to find.
- A conversation on the plane back:
Zander: There are certain things I believe in – like Good and Evil… the hard part is, you don’t only choose just once… most of us have to keep choosing, day in, day out. Year in, year out. Good or bad, which way am I going to go…
Paul: That’s the idea of purgatory, right?
Zander: What if there is no purgatory… What if there is no heaven? No hell either? No afterlife at all… This is our chance to get it right. First chance, last chance, only chance. But that’s exciting, beautiful, right?… Our work in this life is to choose good over evil. To be fair. To be kind. And there is a payoff, though it doesn’t have to do with harps and wings. The payoff is peace of mind. That’s what redemption really is.
- In the pilot of JJ Abram's new series 'Fringe' there is a 'bad twin'. It would be unfair to say any more as it maybe construed as a spoiler for that series.
In LostGary Troup delivered the manuscript of Bad Twin to Hyperion Publishing just before his fateful trip on Oceanic Flight 815. The author survived the crash, but was the first person to die on the Island when he was sucked into the still-running jet engine, causing it to explode. A manuscript of Bad Twin was found and read by Hurley (in "The Long Con"). The manuscript was later acquired by Sawyer.
When Sawyer tried to postpone Jack's demand for the stolen guns ("Cool your damn jets and walk around the coconut trees; I've got, like, 10 pages left"), Jack burned the pages that would have revealed the ending ("Two for the Road").
Jack had no way of knowing whether the manuscript had been published or whether its author had been killed.
The note from the editors indicated that the author was lost when Oceanic Flight 815 crashed in September 2004. However, page 204 of the book details the main character learning of the cessation of Scottish feudalism on 28 November 2004 (the factual, real-world date).
This is however only an apparent anachronism, since the "appointed day" for the end of feudalism had been set well in advance, in 2002 (see page 2 of linked PDF).
Connections to The Lost Experience
- See an interview on the author's page, and see also the Hanso Foundation advertisement and press releases related to Bad Twin
Thehansofoundation.org updated its site with an entry dated Fri 12/05/06 (May 12, 2006) entitled: "Don't Believe Bad Twin". The entry is linked to a press release, whose contents are below:
Newspaper Advert placed by the Hanso Foundation
A MESSAGE FROM HUGH MCINTYRE, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AT THE HANSO FOUNDATION
Don't Believe "Bad Twin"
For over thirty years, the Hanso Foundation has stood for compassion and innovation, but today, our reputation has been attacked in the novel "Bad Twin", written by Gary Troup and published by Hyperion books.
Throughout the pages of "Bad Twin", readers have found numerous passages featuring misinformation about the Hanso Foundation and its partners. The Hanso Foundation strongly objects to the book "Bad Twin", and encourages readers to make up their own minds.
The truth about the Hanso Foundation is available at www.TheHansoFoundation.org and not on the pages of Gary Troup's "Bad Twin".
Experience it for yourself.
Thank you, and namaste.
(Hanso Foundation Logo: Reaching out to a better tomorrow)
A photocopied image with an identical message appears on letyourcompassguideyou.com.
A letter later linked during the Lost Experience also implied that the Hanso Foundation were planning to sue Hyperion books for printing the novel. The letter can be viewed here.
During the DJ Dan live broadcasts, Malik phoned in, leaving a coded message for protagonist Rachel Blake. He quoted a series of numbers, which turned out to be page numbers from the Bad Twin novel. For each number, the first letter on the page replaced the digits, creating the message "I know where he is, I can set it up!"
Lost producers' commentary
There is some apparent friction between the Lost writers/producers and Shames (either due to inconsistent inclusion of the plot as spin-off canon or writing style), as evidenced by comments made to Variety:
Insiders say writers on "Lost" were asked to provide a list of elements that Shames could incorporate into the novel. But the author had his own vision and wound up including only a few of the elements.
Show staffers also were frustrated that the book referenced copyrighted elements for which the publisher had not sought clearances, saying it would make it difficult to use those elements on-air.
Additionally, the writers make occasional cracks about the novel, such as in this from the 10/30/06 podcast:
Carlton Cuse: OK. So that was a very candid answer to number one, there's just two more. "Was the turbine man from the Pilot Gary Troup, author of Bad Twin?"
Damon Lindelof: Yes.
Carlton Cuse: It was indeed.
Damon Lindelof: And considering that I have now read Bad Twin, [Laughs] Gary Troup got exactly what he deserved. [Carlton laughs] Next!
- Elsa Frogner translated this book to Norwegian.
- The Norwegian title is "Ond Tvilling".
- It is released on Dinamo forlag.
- The ISBN is 82-8071-148-1.
- This book available at Amazon.com
- This book available at Play.com
- Bad Twin on the Hyperion Website.
- Bad Twin on the Gary Troup Website.
- product details page - An excerpt from the audiobook version can be found at the www.Soundsgood.com Bad Twin
- Hollywood Reporter - Carlton Cuse comments about Bad Twin: "It led to a discussion of several missteps, including the tie-in novel "Bad Twin" that Cuse said didn't meet their bar..."