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Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy) Paperback – August 21, 2012
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Blake Crouch on How the Television Series Twin Peaks Inspired Pines
On April 8, 1990, the pilot episode of Mark Frost and David Lynch's iconic television series, Twin Peaks, aired on ABC, and for a moment, the mystery of Who Killed Laura Palmer? held America transfixed. I was twelve at the time, and I will never forget the feeling that took hold of me as I watched this quirky show about a creepy town with damn fine coffee and brilliant cherry pie, where nothing was as it seemed.
Read on to find out what is was about Twin Peaks that inspired Pines at www.kindlepost.com.
Starred Review Ethan Burke is on his way to the small town of Wayward Pines to find two fellow federal agents who have gone missing. He has a bad car accident on the edge of town, waking up in the hospital and not at all sure of what is going on. The psychiatrist on staff tells him that he has suffered a brain injury and warns him not to leave, but he takes off anyway. The town sheriff is less than helpful, and, with no ID or money, Burke can’t reach his superior or his wife, and he starts fearing for his sanity (reminiscent of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island). Matters turn ominous when Burke finds the ravaged body of one of the missing agents and realizes he needs to run for his life. Clearly, despite the idyllic beauty of Wayward Pines, something is seriously out of kilter: a helpful bartender disappears, picnicking mothers turn homicidal, and seemingly innocent children display maniacal tendencies. The suspense builds to an almost unbearable point, culminating with a twist that ratchets it up even further. Fans of Stephen King, Peter Straub and F. Paul Wilson will appreciate this genre-bending, completely riveting thrill ride, which mixes suspense, horror, science fiction and dystopian nightmare all rolled up into one unputdownable book. — Stacy Alesi
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Top customer reviews
I am going to be careful with this summary because the action in the book and the story line in the TV series start to diverge by episode 2. So carefully I am going to say that the story basically concerns a secret service agent named Ethan Burke who wakes up in a hospital after a bad car accident. He had been the passenger in a car driven by another federal agent and they were on their way to a town called Wayward Pines, Idaho. They were sent there to go looking for two missing secret service agents, one of whom was a woman with whom Ethan had previously had an affair.
Soon after waking up in the hospital, Ethan is greeted by a strange nurse, remininscent of Nurse Ratched. Ethan does not have his wallet and he is getting no helpful information about what happened from the nurse. So he leaves without permission to wander around the strange town. The phones don't seem to work right, the people in the town seem odd and distant, and he doesn't have his wallet or any money and feels like he is in a daze.
Ethan quickly meets up with a local bartender named Beverly who buys his story about being in an accident and having no identifcation. She give him food and drink and leaves him a cyptic message on the bill. Soon enough, Ethan also meets up with a mysterious sheiff named Pope and he seeks help from him to no avail. Ethan also tries to make a phone call to reach his wife and son - who are worried about him back in their hometown in Seattle.
What is going on? Why is everyone acting so strangely and why is Ethan unable to leave the town, even when he is able to get a car to drive away and discovers that he keeps looping back into town?
Like I said, the TV series closely follows the book until the second episode. Both with the book and with the movie, there is this eerie disturbing Twilight Zone-like feeling and you share Ethan's unease and discomfort. The more he finds out, the more confusing it gets.
I continued reading the book because I wanted to know the resolution, and I am glad I did. I didn't think that the author could pull it together to come with a viable solution to the dilemma and I am pleased to say he did, somewhat. At least enough to have it all pull together and explain what went on before.
The author claims to have gotten the idea for the book from watching the TV series Twin Peaks as a young boy, and you can definitely see the influence. Do not be worried that you will be frustated by the ending a la the show Lost - this one does have answers.
Recommended for those who want a quick, fun read and are fans of Twilight Zone type stories.
I started reading this book and everything was… cool… not too weird… It gave me the creeps… everything was… fine… perfect, but then I just couldn’t take it anymore. This book was killing me slowly. The tension was dripping slowly almost motionless down my throat, the frustration was suffocating me, the horror of the perfection reaching the abnormal level, the pressing pain in my chest as it synced to Ethan’s heart. The lowest of the human instincts bloomed on this book, the darkest side of the human soul a sickness that threaten us to kill us one by one… The unknown and the unanswered questions… that slowly accumulated at the back of my mind…
That is how it feels… to read this book. Do not forget to check the whole review! Thumbs up too!
- The pace was great, it kept you hooked and I read it in just a few days despite a busy agenda
- The plot was intriguing and the explanation of it all was quite creative. I like the basic premise that humans don't destroy the planet but we do destroy humanity. It makes a lot of sense!
- I enjoyed the juxtaposition of chapters set in different times without that being specified, because it kept you confused and wondering what was really going on
- The writing / editing wasn't great, the book is written the way people talk (even when there are no dialogues), and I found several grammar mistakes. To me this decreased the pleasure of reading the book.
- I found the ending overly soppy and unrealistic. How easy would it be for someone who was disgusted and appalled by the whole system to just turn around and become its controller in the role of sheriff? Why is the disgust and fear that would result from seeing the way his predecessor is "fired" never addressed? Why is the problem of the violence permitted to "terminate" rebels who try to escape never addressed? Is Ethan really going to maintain the status quo without any remorse?
- There are some details in the plot that are never clarified. For example, why was Ethan's DNA never found in the car? Did the car actually exist? the Secret Service seem to think so, though the ending suggests that the car crash story was completely invented. So why did the Secret Sercice confirm that there was in fact a crash and that another agent was killed in it? Another example is when Ethan's wife and son are visited by David Pilcher. He offers to take them to Ethan and in the end they refuse, but end up there anyway, and at the end we find out that they were together as a family in Ethan's 2nd "integration". So why did Pilcher bother to offer them an option to join Ethan if he was going to take them anyway? What would have happened if they had drunk the liquid that he offered?
Anyway, that's my quick review. All in all, it was an interesting read, but not enough for me to read the next books in the trilogy.