A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pining for a great story?

Blake Crouch's dark and moody Pines contains echoes from all kinds of great works of the past, including David Lynch's Twin Peaks, William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods, and- of all things- Issac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy. But- whether intentional or not- those influences only flavor and enrich a confident, idea-rich thriller that is very much Blake Crouch's own baby.

Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke wakes up with a head injury in the picturesque town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, and just wants to dust himself off and go home-- but why is he getting gentle but firm resistance from the town's residents whenever he tries to do so? A slow-burn mystery that soon gives way to an ambitious hybrid of several popular genres, Pines will both satisfy and unsettle you by the end, and leave you wanting more. Thankfully, you can simply move right into the equally good second installment, Wayward.

It's no wonder that Pines has attracted the attention of network television, as it should make a great TV series (it premieres in the fall on the FX channel). But do yourself a favor and experience this creepy, mind-bending, and very entertaining thriller in its pure, original form first. You won't regret it.

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