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Lost Book Club: 'Watership Down'
A Monthly Dissection of the Books that Matter to 'Lost'-ophiles

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingotnpost.com Staff
Wednesday, August 1, 2007 12:00 PM

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly -- co-authors of washingtonpost.com's weekly "Lost" analysis (in season) -- kick off the "Lost" Book Club series with a discussion of "Watership Down," one of several books that may offer some clues into the past, present and future of "Lost." Why "Watership Down?" Find out here.

Liz Kelly's day job is Celebritology blogging, while Jen Chaney presides as Movies editrix. Both consider "Lost"-watching a passion.

Visit washingtonpost.com's new "Lost" hub.

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Liz Kelly: I just finished reading "Watership Down" not 20 minutes ago and am still recovering. As I said when we announced this would be the first selection we'd tackle together, I was a bit squeamish about revisiting the story -- which was the source of a big-time childhood trauma for me. Red-eyed and a little sniffly, I can now report that I'm glad to have read the book. When I was six and rendered completely tharn by the movie, all I knew was that bunnies in danger made me sad. Now, I know that bunnies in danger still make me sad, but appreciate Richard Adams's skill in crafting a beautifully written, well-told tale that teaches more about emotion and the human condition (or is it "animal condition") than many others who have tried.

I think Jen and I will be good counterparts for this discussion. I tend to be a very reactive, face value reader (and TV watcher), where Jen is more apt to pick up on themes and subtleties; I crash past in my emotional outbursts. I'm particularly interested in reading what you all thought of the book and how it relates back to "Lost" -- our reason for reading in the first place.

Jen Chaney: I like a good weeper, too, Liz. And nothing jerks the tears like sweet widdle bunnies in peril. I had never read "Watership" so this was a new experience for me, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Amen to everything you just said.

The cool thing for me is seeing how much Adams's story and the "Lost" story have in common. Back in season one, when we first saw Sawyer reading it, it seemed like an obvious, minor literary reference: He's reading a book about a group trying to survive, and the Losties are trying to survive, too. But "Watership Down" actually tells us a lot about what would happen in upcoming seasons: Exploration of a strange underground universe (burrow = The Hatch), encounters with The Others (Efrafa), even a game-changer toward the end of the book when we suddenly jump into Lucy's house. But enough of our yapping. Let's get this book club party started.

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Washington, D.C.: Sorry, no ideas on what our first book tells us about the numbers or that damn four-toe statue! But rather this musing on "Lost" and "Watership Down" will take a political turn before arriving back to the Island. Now while I found Cowslip's Warren to be much more creepier and Other-y, it was Efrafa that started me thinking. In my opinion, General Woundworts' vision of a perfect society where safety and order trump all else sounds like the basis that George Bush sees for America. During the description of Blackavar punishment I kept seeing flashes of that infamous photo of the hooded Iraqi prisoner wired to electrodes. Now I'm not saying that Bush is Woundwort -- if he was then since the story takes place during summer, Woundwort would have been on vacation and would have sent others into battle while he stayed home and played dress-up and hung banners. Beyond the snide political remarks I did start to think about how totalitarian forms of government which (prize order so much) can quickly fall into chaos while while free societies, which Hazel describes to Blackavar as "a sloppy lot" can join together to accomplish great things. Ben runs a totalitarian regime -- he knows things you don't and shouldn't know and he's going to protect you from those awful things through tricks, lies, order, torture and brainwashing. Whereas our heroes represent the "sloppy lot" with more freedom and choices -- such as to constantly wander off into the jungle at night -- but yet they always get the upper hand on Ben. Lostpedia has a wonderful Economic theory to "Lost" - Economics -- maybe this fits in.

If I can make a suggestion for future reading -- "The Watchmen." It has never been mentioned on the show but Damon has stated that it is his favorite work and an influence on "Lost." Plus it's a great read -- you will be amazed.

Liz Kelly: I'm not sure any of the books we'll be reading over the next six months will function as a Rosetta Stone, unlocking the mysteries of "Lost." All we can hope is to get a few guideposts from texts that we're fairly certain "Lost's" creative team hold in high regard.

I think you're right to name General Woundwort and his Efrafa warren as a definite point to consider from the book. Like Ben and the Others he has established an order so regimented and strict that it seems to be caving in on itself. For Efrafa, this means overcrowding and does unable to conceive. For Ben, this means sedition in the ranks (Juliet, Richard Alpert, etc.) and women unable to conceive. Could it be that we are to draw the lesson that tyranny is ultimately an unsupportable social structure and that good (in the form of Hazel's warren and the "Losties") will always prevail?

As for "Watchmen," stay tuned. It is one of the future selections we'll be reading in the coming months.

Jen Chaney: Yes, Liz and I both agreed that "Watchmen" should be on the agenda. So no worries there.

Don't want to turn this into a political discussion necessarily, but I think your points to that end are interesting. The book was written during the Vietnam era and certainly people reading it then may have seen the same sorts of parallels. History: Word has it that it repeats itself.

To that end, I have said before that there are some interesting political themes in "Lost" as well. The fact that Sayid is an Iraqi (and a former torturer), that Juliet came to the island shortly after 9/11 and, of course, the ongoing war between Losties and the Others. There's a lot of fodder there. Some grad student could write a heck of a thesis.

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Fairfax, Va.: I haven't read the book, but I just wanted you both to know I find you each of you so fabulous that I am quickly Netflixing every single "Lost" episode and am going to spend all of my waking moments (when not at work reading these chats) watching "Lost" just so I can join in the next time. Not joking! Now I must leave so I don't possibly find anything out which I wouldn't want to find out. ...

Liz Kelly: Thanks for checking in Fairfax. We'll see you in February.

Jen Chaney: Slowly but surely, Liz and I are converting people into "Lost" obsessives. Which is good, because it makes us feel less nerdy.

Thanks, Fairfax. We look forward to having you join us, hopefully at our next book club meeting in August.

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Arlington Down: This book was more parallel to "Lost" than I would ever have imagined. For one, the WD warren was created because of a disaster (plane crash/giant bulldozer) and then pitted against a secretive, well-organized warren that seemed to hold every thinkable advantage. Just the same, they (Efrafa) had to be confronted and fought in order for their own survival and that even included infiltrating the group to do so. Sound familiar?

Going forward from here, I can imagine that the smoke monster or Jacob (maybe the same being) will serve as the "deus ex machina" and bring order to the island, much how the invisible hand (paw?) of Frith led the rabbits to safety and protected them.

All in all, a very relevant first choice for the "Lost" book club (if not slightly male-centric). I look forward to hearing and discussing others' insights and theories.

Jen Chaney: Totally, Arlington Down. The stories are strikingly similar. Wish I had been smart enough to read this back in season one. It really acts as a road map for the seasons that followed.

I am not sure what it tells us about how "Lost" will resolve itself, though. Will there be a deus ex machina, as you suggest? I also kept thinking about which bunnies matched up with which "Lost" characters. To me, Hazel is Jack. He is forced to act as hero, and the story both starts and finishes with him. But does that mean (spoiler alert for those who did not finish the book) we will see Jack die at the end of "Lost"?

Here's another passage that jumped out from the page and punched me in the face as I was reading: "Odysseus brings not one man to shore with him. Yet he sleeps sound beside Calypso and when he wakes thinks only of Penelope." Obviously it's a reference to "The Odyssey," but Desmond's story is basically that same Odysseus story. So, even the references in "Watership" dovetail with other literary references in "Lost." Spooky, dude. Spooky.

Liz Kelly: Yes, it's almost as if some of Adams' literary inspiration (referenced in excerpts at the beginning of each chapter) provided some inspiration for the "Lost" writers own literary journey.

A couple of quick points. The book may be male-centric, but I wouldn't attribute that to any bias on the author's part. He was writing about rabbits and, as I mentioned somewhere else here, he was very carefully to make the rabbits behave as rabbits would. They re-absorb fetuses, they eat pellets when no other food is to be had and, yes, they treat the female rabbits (the does) as breeders.

I agree about Hazel paralleling Jack. While Hazel is a mostly steady leader (who, by the way, never asked for the position) his impetuousness and moment of vanity endangers the warren when he undertakes to get the two does from the farm. Ultimately, though, it is another of his impetuous ideas -- courtesy of a divine revelation -- that saves the warren. Will Jack also save the Losties in a similar way? Against all hope and suddenly?
The source of the divine revelation for Hazel, by the way, was Fiver. Who on "Lost," I wonder, is Fiver? Is it Desmond?

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Pequot Lakes, Minn.: About 20 years ago I read "Watership Down" and enjoyed it immensely. A few years later, on a trip to Cornwall my husband and I were walking down a country road and came upon a hillside teeming with rabbits. I'm wondering what prompted Richard Adams to write the book. Perhaps it was a moment such as that.

Liz Kelly: In the intro to the edition I read, which was published in 2000 and contains a "new" intro from author Richard Adams, "Watership Down" was a tale that grew out of a story Adams made up for his two young daughters on long car rides across England. As the story grew and took on more twists and turns, his daughters eventually prevailed on Adams to write it down. This he did after consulting with naturalist R.M. Lockley, who knew much about the lives and habits of rabbits. His influence is seen in everything from descriptions of "tharn" (rabbits transfixed by danger) to their ultimately short natural life cycles.

Jen Chaney: One of the coolest things Adams does is make the reader feel like this rabbit world is 100 percent authentic. I think the research Liz mentions is part of the reason. He understood rabbit habits (sorry for the rhyme) and was able to use that as a foundation for his fiction. I also love the language he uses. Silflay is my new favorite word.

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Falls Church, Va.: I didn't have time to read the book, just learned about the book club while on line.

I gather the game changer at the end of the book was one of perspective, not a flash forward? What plot twists were anticipated in the book? Thanks for doing this! Filling the void. ...

Jen Chaney: Yes, that's right. Not a flash forward, but a sudden shift in perspective. The reader goes from being immersed in rabbit world and the wild to suddenly being in a little girl's bedroom. It's only a temporary shift, but it struck me as very snake-in-the-mailbox-ish.

We've talked about a few of the parallel plot twists. More specifically, the first warren the rabbits encounter on their journey consists of an elaborate underground burrow, a place shrouded in secrecy. That smacks of the Hatch situation in season two. Then they encounter the aforementioned Efrafa, from whom they need to steal some fertile does in order to ensure their warren continues to exist. That dovetails nicely with the Others focus of the third season.

In other rabbit=Lostie parallels, I saw Fiver as Locke, Bigwig as Sawyer (ornery and a fighter) and Bluebell (the jokester) as good 'ol fun times Hurley. Anyone else feel the same?

Liz Kelly: Although "Watership Down" didn't engage in actual flash forwards, I think that the chapters detailing the legends of El-Eirarah need to be mentioned. They often bore directly on the actual action unfolding for Hazel and his fellows, as "Lost's" flashback and flash-forwards bear on our understanding of the plot unfolding on the island.

Another way that Adams plays with the timeline is by often retelling pivotal passages from another rabbit's point of view. In the final battle for the warren between Woundwort's forces and Bigwig, we first get the story from Woundwort's perspective. Then Adams rewinds and retells the same passage from Bigwigs. In this way we learn that Bigwig is already laying in wait for Woundwort and that Fiver at that point has been left for dead.

It takes a very steady hand to play with a story's timeline without hopelessly muddling the forward motion of the book or movie or TV show. Adams was able to do it and, so far, the "Lost" producers have proved pretty adept.

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Austin, Tex.: Can we forget about "Watership Down" and talk about the Comic-Con panel? I'm happy to hear them say that Richard Alpert will be back as much as Nestor Carbonell's CBS schedule will allow.

Jen Chaney: Well, we can't FORGET about "Watership" but we can talk Comic-Con simultaneously. I also was excited to hear about Alpert's continued involvement, as well as the fact that we will learn more about Libby's story. That's a loose end I personally want to see tied.

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, check out this wacky Dharma video that was shown at Comic-Con. Still not sure what the heck it means, but there's a bunny in it. And that bring us back to "Watership." See how nicely this all comes together?

Liz Kelly: I can't wait to see how they work Libby back into the story. She, and Hurley, deserve that.

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Who is Fiver?: I actually keep thinking of Fiver as Locke -- who has this uncanny presence, is slightly mysterious and has this connection to the mystical that none of the others seem to have.

(BTW can we just say hurrah to the Emmy noms that "Lost" got -- including the one that pits Ben vs. Locke again in the Best Supporting Actor category?)

Jen Chaney: That seemed like the most obvious connection to me, too. Fiver is "special" and so is John Locke. There are some differences, though: Locke is a vital, strong guy, whereas Fiver is described as being small and weak. Although Locke was perceived that way, perhaps, when he was in the wheelchair.

I second your hurrah on those Emmy noms, and for the writing and directing ones "Through the Looking Glass" received. I do think the show was ripped off royally -- as were "Friday Night Lights" and "The Wire" -- by not being nominated for Best Drama. There is no way -- I repeat, NO WAY -- "Boston Legal" is better than any of the three programs I just mentioned.

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100 pages in: Couldn't finish it (got distracted by Harry Potter) -- but I will tonight.

However, I am spending a lot of my time trying to relate characters from "Lost" to the bunnies. Is Jack, Hazel? Bluebell (the jokester) Hurley?

I mean to some extent, it seems like in "Lost" there are also three different groups of bunnies -- the group the fight with, (the crazy bunnies who got complacent -- who I kept likening to the Dharma initiative before Ben orchestrated their deaths), and Hazel's group who are equivalent to Jack and his Merry followers. ...

I really have no idea where I'm going with this so I'll just stop there.

Liz Kelly: Ya know, we should've factored that wizard boy into our book club plans. If only we'd called J.K. Rowling and asked her to put off publication for a half year.

I think you had a good start in identifying the different groups of rabbits. The complacent rabbits content to surrender themselves to the farmer -- I'm not convinced we've met their like yet on "Lost." Jen, what do you think?

I was more apt to compare Dharma with the original warren that Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig left. They were unwilling to believe Fiver and were destroyed by an evil force (man, in their case), much how Dharma was destroyed by an evil force (what that force is, we may not know. We only know it was at Ben's hand).

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Alexandria, Va.: Kudos to you for choosing this book! It's a big favorite of mine, one that I read every three or four years. I actually used to firmly suggest it as a read to potential boyfriends as a kind of litmus test.

Who do you think is the most like Fiver in the "Lost" cast?

Jen Chaney: I said in a previous answer (which may or may not have gone live yet) that I think Fiver is Locke, simply because he seems to have a deep connection to the spiritual world and an ability to see beyond what everyone else can see. Interestingly, Hazel ("Watership's" Jack) embraces his clairvoyance, while Jack has pretty much dismissed Locke. In the finale he did so pretty blatantly. And look where it got him: Hopped up on goofballs and desperate to go back to the island.

Also very interesting that the author of the rabbit text Adams quotes numerous times is named R.M. LOCKley. I'm just sayin'. ...

Liz Kelly: Oh, here we go. One thing I'm trying to remember as we read these books is that basically an interpretation can be supported if we try hard enough. For instance, I was going to hold forth at some length on my theory that Kate is a dumb bunny, but thought that would be reaching a bit.

I hadn't thought of Locke as a potential Fiver parallel. Mainly because Fiver is inherently good and selfless. I'm not so sure the same is true of Locke. Also, Fiver is not strong where Locke is. I wonder, could Walt somehow be a parallel for Fiver? He's young, somewhat inexperienced and helpless and he seems to have some extra-sensory abilities.

Jen Chaney: Good call, Liz. I thought about Walt, too. He definitely has special powers, and he could fairly be described as a smaller, weaker member of the group since he is literally a little kid.

But Locke is a more central character in "Lost," and so is Fiver in "Watership." The comparison is obviously not dead-on, but there are parallels. Remember, the "Lost" writers may have been inspired by the story, but they obviously have taken it in their own direction.

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New York: I see real parallels between Strawberry and Juliet. This makes me think, however, that the Others are really only the equivalent of Cowslip's Warren, content to be taken care of by the island for the occasional fee, but that we haven't even had a chance to meet the equivalent of Woundwart and the real villains of Efrafa. The militaristic abilities and undertone of the people showing up at the end of season three may indicate the beginning of this story line.

Liz Kelly: That is indeed a chilling thought -- at least for the "Losties." Could it be that Richard Alpert and the shadowy Jacob will emerge as the real force to be reckoned with on the island?

Jen Chaney: New York, that's an excellent, excellent point. In the first few chapters of "Watership," I kept thinking that the Losties were more like the big, bad men who invaded the rabbits' original warren. The men just show up and invade their space. That would make the rabbits share a few things in common with The Others, including their desire to find fertile females. If that's the case, maybe it's true that, as dear old Ben has been saying all along, The Others aren't the real bad guys.
Of course, the bunnies share some things in common with the Losties, too, as we have discussed. So there are multiple concepts at work here.

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Cleveland, Ohio: When are you announcing the next book?

Liz Kelly: At the end of today's show.

Jen Chaney: Can you feel the tension mounting? I can hardly wait to find out what the book will be! Oh, that's right. I already know. But I'm very excited for us to share it with all of you.

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San Francisco, Calif.: I've always suspected that "Lost" would draw from Jorge Luis Borges' story "The Garden of Forking Paths." It's a very elegant and suspenseful treatment of the concept of infinite simultaneous universes -- the idea that all possible universes exist at once.

Clearly the multiple universe possibility is in play on "Lost," but with no obvious nod to Borges as yet.

What do you guys think?

I'd recommend "The Garden of Forking Paths" to any "Lost" fan, as well as Borges' other often-fascinating stories.

Liz Kelly: I haven't read Borges' story. I will now, though. Sounds intriguing. We'll have to run it by our literary powerhouse, J. Wood.

Jen Chaney: I've read some Borges, but I don't recall reading that story, it was years ago and it was in Spanish. Suffice it to say, I'd have to revisit his work, and "Forking Paths" in particular, to see the connections you're making. But I agree, they sound quite intriguing.

Speaking of J. Wood, we are hoping he can join us for some of these book club meetings in the future. (By the way, who was supposed to bring the food to this meeting? I could go for some mini-quiches and spankopita appetizers right now. ...)

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NOVA: As I have followed "Lost" the past few years and recently started to really think about all of the deeper symbolisms that you two lovely ladies and others have unearthed, I am in awe at how the main "Lost" writers have woven such a complex story. Are these guys demi-gods or just English majors? Or is it that so many of the literary works they use as a stepping stone are somewhat similar, with the typical conflict, then journey, then resolution theme?

Liz Kelly: I'm glad you said it. The thought that keeps running through my mind is that, yes, the "Lost" creative team is comprised of a group of English majors who managed to transcend the standard interpretations to make these books vital, living texts again (as did Richard Kelly, with his bunny-centric brain-bender "Donnie Darko," which also bears a repeated watching for "Lost" fans). As you'll see over the next several months, many of the books we'll read are classics. It's nice to gain a new appreciation for them and see someone looking further than the Cliffs Notes talking points.

Jen Chaney: Absolutely. The "Lost" writers are forcing us "Lost" geeks to challenge ourselves. And to read some of the classics again, which is wonderful on its own, the "Lost" experience aside.

As Liz suggests, pretty much every story that exists has already been told. But when a writer mashes it all up in a new and different way, all those old stories seem new again. That's what LindeCuse and the rest of the "Lost" writers have successfully done, at least so far.

Of course, you could say the same thing about "Two and a Half Men," which is really a spin on the classic, "Three Men and a Baby." All they did at CBS was subtract the baby and half a guy. Pure genius.

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Liz Kelly: One thing I wanted to mention is toward the end of the book. The chapter following Hazel and his gang's victory over Woundwort is preceded by this passage, from Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey".

Professing myself, moreover, convinced that the General's unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of each other, and adding strength to their attachment, I leave it to be settled by whomsoever it may concern ... "

Of course, we're meant to draw the conclusion that what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger and that Hazel, Bigwig, Fiver, Clover, Bluebell and the rest are actually beneficiaries because of Woundwart's interference in their lives. Is there a lesson here for "Lost?" I'm not sure, but thought it was worth a mention.

Jen Chaney: That's a great question. To take that a step further, does that mean, if Ben is a Woundwort of sorts, that the Losties will ultimately owe him for teaching them an important lesson about their lives? If the season finale is any indication, Jack should have listened to Ben. At least, based on what we know, it appears that way. Speaking of all those literary references that precede each chapter, I couldn't help but notice that the very last literary reference in "Watership Down," prior to the Epilogue, is from "Through the Looking Glass." Kind of gives me the chills. The quote: "He was part of my dream, of course -- but then, I was part of his dream, too." Start rehashing the theory that the island is all just a dream ... NOW!

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Arlington, Va.: This is one of my favorite books ever. My favorite character is Bigwig, the big-hearted, skeptical, none-too-bright fighter who eventually accepts Hazel as his Chief Rabbit simply through Hazel's quiet strength. As someone who's never watched "Lost," what character would ya'll say is a match for Hazel, and who's Bigwig? And is there a Fiver on the show?

Liz Kelly: We've already talked about some of the character parallels above, but this question caught my eye because Bigwig is my favorite, too. I used to have a small ceramic figurine of him that was probably surrendered to Goodwill long ago. I'd kind of like it back right now. Fitting then, that Sawyer should be my favorite "Lostie." He, too, is always ready for a fight and like Bigwig, would fight to the death if so required to save his fellow passengers.

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Alexandria: I'd like to request that you continue to post a photo of a "Lost" hottie on the chat page even if said hottie is not reading the book club book on-screen. It's a sight for sore eyes since the show's not on right now. ...

Liz Kelly: We'll see what we can do, Alexandria.

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Re: Losties' rabbit alter-egos: I agree that Hazel is Jack and Fiver is Locke -- or possibly Desmond. Oh, Frith in a barn, I'm going to start over-thinking this! (Now that's a familiar feeling.) And it just occurred to me: Could Rousseau possibly be Kehaar the seagull? She appears from time to time and helps the Losties out, and they help her out, but she lives apart from them -- almost as though she's of another species, a natural enemy who's tolerating the larger group for reasons of mutual gain. (Yep. Definitely overthinking.)

Liz Kelly: That's an interesting thought about Kehaar (another great character). Or, is she more like the Mouse (who seems to have a thick Italian accent) who comes around to warn them of potential dangers, but not really do too much about it?

Jen Chaney: I like the idea of Rousseau being Kehaar. She's French, so she talks as funny as the bird does. At the Comic-Con panel, LindeCuse also promised we'd learn more about Rousseau. Perhaps we can revisit that assessment at a future date.

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Winchester, Va.: Do you think "Lost" is a work of genius, or is it just a modern-day Dharma experiment to see how many viewers will continue to press the button (the on/off switch on their TVs) while the producers and writers introduce more subplots and characters than one would find in a cheap Victorian novel?

Jen Chaney: Yes.

Liz Kelly: I concur.

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California, Md.: I agree that Locke is the equivalent of Fiver. I read "Watership Down" when it first came out. It is a book I will always cherish. In the same way that Fiver has a connection with the unknown and is an interpreter of that unknown, I have always felt that there is something Locke knows that he is not telling us (or the "Losties"). Have to admit, I have not seen the third season (I usually watch it when the DVD comes out) so can't say what evidence there is for this in the most recent season.

Jen Chaney: Oh, there's evidence. The season three finale alone is solid evidence.

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washingtonpost.com: "Lost" Book Club: Off to See the "Wizard"

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Alexandria, Va.: I loved this book and the movie since I was a little kid. I think the central part of the book's storyline (two tribes, one extremely authoritarian, the other more live-and-let-live, fight for survival, resources and female bunnies) was an excellent precursor to the next few seasons, though nobody saw it at the time. Also speaks to the power of visions (Fiver's fits, the black rabbit) and faith over reason. The rabbits left their old home because Fiver had a vision and they believed in him. All the other non-believers, except Capt. Holly, perished.

Jen Chaney: I think the faith issue is central to "Watership." There's no question, to me at least, that Adams is advocating the importance of believing in a higher power.

Until "Lost" ends, I'm not sure we can say the same about the show, but you're absolutely write that faith vs. reason is a central conflict in it as well. How it will play out we will have to wait and see ... all the way until February. Sigh.

Liz Kelly: After unearthing (no pun intended) all of the parallels between "Watership Down" and "Lost" I'm wondering how there's room for influence from any of the other texts we plan to read in the coming months. I guess that remains to be seen. Or read.

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California, Md.: Actually it seems like we've just scratched the surface to me. Can't wait to see where you will take us next.

Jen Chaney: With "Lost," it always feels like we're just scratchin'. That's because there is so much surface to cover. Just glad you're happy to still travel wherever we go next, which is a mystery to us, too, since neither of us has a map or GPS.

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Liz Kelly: Well, I think we've done justice to Hazel, Bigwig and the rest, Jen. It's time to wrap up and move on to our next selection, which we'll discuss back here on Wednesday, Aug. 29th.

Jen, care to do the honors?

Jen Chaney: Why thank you, Miss Liz. As you may have guessed based on the link posted above, the next book we will discuss is "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Go straight to that Celebritology post, where Liz and I explain why.

We definitely appreciate all the suggestions you have sent our way and may do a reader's choice book one month. So keep the recommendations coming. And thank you so much for such a terrific kick-off to our book club today. It's truly been a pleasure for both of us. And now, we're off for our afternoon silflay.

Liz Kelly: Actually, I'm more in the mood for a little hraka.

Jen Chaney: Dude, yuck. On that note, adios.

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