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Bad Twin (Hyperion) Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 2, 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 2, 2006
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About the Author

Bad Twin is the highly-anticipated new novel by acclaimed mystery writer Gary Troup. Bad Twin was delivered to Hyperion just days before Troup boarded Oceanic Flight 815, which was lost in flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles in September 2004. He remains missing and is presumed dead.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hyperion
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401302769
  • ASIN: B000LP64N6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Hiller VINE VOICE on May 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
You've crashed on a mysterious island, filled with polar bears, strange people, and mysterious hatches, that apparently all add up to something, but what it is, you just don't know. So, to spend your time, while hiding the island's weaponry, you read what you happen to find in the wreckage. That being, a mystery book, written by one Gary Troup (whose name, mysteriously, anagrams into "purgatory"). Fortunately, prior to his disappearance on that fateful Oceanic flight, he submitted his manuscript for this mystery novel, and thus, we get a chance to read the book, discovered by Hurley and so infatuated Sawyer, "Bad Twin".

"Bad Twin" tells the story of Paul Artisan, a private eye with a penchant for tracking down insurance scammers and cheating spouses. He meets up with one Cliff Widmore, a rich businessman, who hires Artisan to find his long lost identical twin brother Zander. Adventure ensues as Paul island hops from New York to Key West to Cuba, and meets up with the usual suspects; beautiful women, naked gurus, crusty sailors with secrets to hide. As a stand alone mystery, the book is fairly solid if not overly challenging.

Those of us who are Lost fans, however, the book layers in a second meaning. As Paul returns home, and checks in with his own personal guru, a retired professor named Manny, we learn snippets of information that may or may not relate to the show. Discussions of King Lear, redemption, and yes, the philosopher John Locke, pepper the plot between the action scenes. Throw in a trip to Australia on board Oceanic Airlines, and other little surprises (like the twins birthdays), it was enough to whet the whistle of this Lost fan.

So, find some airplane wreckage, curl up on a beach with some borrow glasses, and enjoy this fun little romp through the mysterious world of Paul Artisan and the even more mysterious world of Lost. It's too bad they put Gary Troup on the plane though. It would have been nice to read another mystery by him!
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Format: Hardcover
For years, in book reviews and stuff about pop culture, I've seen the word "postmodern"--but I never knew exactly what it meant, other than hip, brainy, and strange. After reading--okay, inhaling--Bad Twin, I think I finally get it. This is a book that toys with everything we think we know about fiction, reality, and how storytelling works. It grabs the reader on a lot of different levels, and is...well, hip, brainy, and strange!

On one level, Bad Twin is an old-fashioned, straight-ahead detective story--and a really good one, with vivid characters, snappy dialogue, plenty of twists and turns, and even a sexy little love story thrown in. It's so tidy that I wouldn't be surprised if the real author--just a guess--was an old master like Elmore Leonard.

But wait, that's just the first level. Here's where it gets weird...

The supposed "author", Gary Troup, is himself a fictional character from the fictional universe of LOST. So which world does the story of Bad Twin belong to? Our world or the world of the Island? So now we have a fiction within a fiction, a mystery within a mystery. Is the detective only trying solve a murder?--or is he also--consciously or otherwise--following clues about the Island? And if the fictional Troup perished in the crash, is it just coincidence that the book echoes so many of the themes of the show? All those twins and mirror-images: Truth and fiction; coincidence and fate; suffering and redemption...

This book is a total page-turner the first time through, and probably complex enough to deserve a second reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is a fast and easy read. I admit that I wouldn't have bought it if not for the Lost connections, but I'm glad I did. The protagonist is a likeable man whose surname, Artisan, comes from the Basque word for "shepherd," a Lost connection. The twins were born 23 minutes apart near midnight, so the birthday of one is 8/15 and the other 8/16 (8, 15, 16, and 23 are four of the six Lost numbers). Of course there are the Widmore and Hanso connections found here as well as a character named Shannon, who sounds like the woman that the island's Shannon might have become had she not crashed on the island. Cindy, the flight attendant who was the last "tailie" captured by The Others, is a minor character in the book as well as "Gary Troup's" fiancee. Lost fans, the price is right on Amazon, so go ahead and buy it. You'll enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover
"Bad Twin" is billed as the final work of author Gary Troup, who is missing and feared dead after the disappearance of Oceanic flight 815. Of course, anyone familiar with the magnificent TV drama "Lost" will recognize that this setup itself is part of the storyline. So the real question is whether the book is an important piece in that show's intriguing mythology or just a shameless cash grab aimed at the show's cult following?

Unfortunately, the book quickly reveals itself to be the latter. The "Lost" connection (such as it is - more on that later) notwithstanding, "Bad Twin" is simply an awful piece of crime fiction. The story packs in every pulp cliche imaginable: the down-on-his-luck private eye, the seductive femme fatale who could be ally or assassin, the conflicted client with secrets to keep. All of them bumble into each other's lives solely for the purpose of spouting ridiculous dialogue (just wait until you get to the "seduction" scenes - it's comedy at its finest).

The plot feels completely linear, i.e. throughout the entire book you pretty much know how the story is going to play out, right up until the very end. This is accomplished through the most ham-handed of exposition from the protagonist's mentor, a character who shows up from time to time to completely explain everything and offer "a vs. b" options for what will happen until his next appearance. After a while, this becomes annoying because the author is obviously condescending to the reader with this overdone explanation. "Don't read much, TV viewer? Here - let me help you." The book wraps up with the crown jewel of lazy writing: the chapter where all surviving good guys get together to just say out loud the means and motives of all of the story's mysteries.
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