As I’ve mentioned before I like TV and am not one of those Kill Your Television type of bibliophiles. The other night I’m catching up on TiVo and watch the latest episode of Fringe, which has gotten progressively better, so tune back in if the first two or three episodes left you cold.
This episode, “Ability”, led the characters to a rare book store where we witness a customer selling a copy of Jonathan Carroll’s Land of Laughs. The appearance of Land of Laughs was an illuminating look at the influence literary fiction is having on TV writers. There’s no question this wasn’t a coincidence as Carroll is well known for his amazingly surreal novels which dovetails nicely with the general theme of Fringe.
I’ve read a good deal of Carroll including Land of Laughs, Sleeping in Flame and The Wooden Sea among others. I read all of them before starting this blog so they aren’t currently reviewed. I am reminded that I should do a retro review to highlight the eerie, quirky genius that is Jonathan Carroll. Seriously, go out and read one of his many books. You will not be disappointed.
This is the second time I’ve noticed a J.J. Abrams show paying homage to and telegraphing plot and themes via literary works. The first time was on Lost, when I noticed Benjamin Linus reading a copy of VALIS by Philip K. Dick. Anyone who read VALIS immediately understood that there was an element of time travel involved on the island.
Literature is the fuel for our entertainment, regardless of the final medium and channel. So a big thank you to J.J. Abrams for putting these great writers in front of a mass audience.