The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay
Read: as a review copy from BookSneeze.com (Thomas Nelson, 224 pages)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (finished 1/3/10)
Synopsis: Lost is NOT just a television show. It has become larger than that-a massive story filled with mystery that has garnered over twenty million participants. Some might call them viewers, but one does not just watch Lost, one participates in it. It demands that you dialogue with the story, seeking theories and comparing yourself to characters. Lost breaks all the formulas for television, and in doing so has drawn together millions of people on a shared journey that explores life, faith, history, science, philosophy, hope, and the basic questions of what it means to be human. It is the seemingly infinite ideas, philosophies, and biblical metaphors that make this story so engaging. Chris Seay’s fascinating book explores each of these elements in a spinning analysis of faith and metaphor that will attract a multitude of readers who desire to go even deeper into the journey.
Overall Impression: As an avid fan of Lost, I was really excited to see the show related to my personal journey of faith. Any viewer of Lost can tell you that JJ Abrams and crew pack in a BAJILLION references to faith, Christianity, the Bible, philosophy, science, literature, music, and history, all while attempting to give valid reasons why the six-packed, sweaty men on the island might need to run around with their shirts off. It’s a lot for a girl to take in! And a lot of information for any author to tackle in a book such as this. Seay breaks down the characters of Lost and relates them to different elements of the Christian walk, including faith and reason, fate, salvation, unconditional love, brokenness, forgiveness, etc. Many of his comparisons were compelling, although some of the chapters were stronger than others. For example, viewers barely know anything about Jacob (while referenced throughout the series, he only really shows up in the last episode of the fifth season), so that chapter seemed full of conjecture. The chapter on Desmond and Penny, however, was extremely well done, comparing how Desmond and Penny sacrifice everything to be with each other in the end with how Christ passionately pursues us and would do anything for us to be with him.
Pros: It’s always fun to see pop culture related to Bigger Things. The book makes you consider in your own life the difficult aspects of some of the characters. Plus, I can’t get enough of Lost — February 2 can’t get here fast enough! (Also: If you’re a Lost fan and you’re not reading Jeff Jensen’s weekly recap at www.ew.com, you’re missing out! The man thinks of things that never, ever would have crossed my mind.)
Cons: Sometimes I felt like ideas were stretched to make them work, like Seay thought, “er, if I steeeee-retch I can make this apply to the Christian faith…sort of…look! A smoke monster!” The writing felt a little haphazard — sometimes very erudite and other times unrefined. Most of all, I wish this book had been written after the final season of the show — I think more insight could have been gleaned had he had the complete Lost story to work with.
Other books I’ve read by Chris Seay: none
Extras: Visit the book’s website for more information.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”