Known to Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review readers for his clear-sighted analysis of contemporary cinema, Emrah Güler has shifted from his press-writing to an innovative approach toward literature. His first book, "Lost Başucu Kitabı," (The Lost Companion) is an analysis and guide to the TV series "Lost," examining the mysterious island and a number of unexpected events taking place there.
The book, published by Doğan Kitap, is not a dictionary-like publication, but a complex analysis of the episodes, characters and phenomena of the series.
It can be equally interesting to those who perceive the series as part of contemporary popular culture, as well as to those who simply missed episodes but would like to keep themselves updated.
In the series where "everything happens for a reason," a group of plane crash survivors are forced to live on their own on an island, where they have to cope not only with forces of nature but also with the island’s bizarre secrets.
Emrah Güler told the Daily News that as the theme of the series is "reason vs. free will" conflict.
The show presents the characters’ struggles with personal demons and attempts to answer questions about existence and faith.
And the popularity of the series lies in the effort of answering those questions.
"Mainly it [the series] reflects the anxieties of our age, such as the crisis of faith, growing mistrust in modern technologies, the fall of patriarchal institutions, and losing connection with nature," Güler explained. According to him, the plot mirrors the fall of Western civilization and due to that, it is able to move people around the world.
From the first episode, the authors of the series claimed they knew where the countless mysteries were leading; however, after a while, an average viewer could feel a little bit "lost." Güler’s book acts as a guide for viewers to help them follow the mysteries while waiting for the upcoming finale.
"The book serves as a companion to any type of audience watching ’Lost,’ at any stage of the show," Güler said, labeling it "a guide, which helps connect the dots and put the pieces together."
Emrah Güler has been writing for various publications, newspapers as well as magazines, since 1996. However it was not big-screen cinema, but a TV series that turned him into a book writer. "I have been watching ’Lost’ since its first episode, and following its transformation," said Güler, adding that writing over 20 articles on "Lost," as well as researching for them, turned him into "a modest ’Lost’ expert."
Asked about the idea for the book, Güler answered that the multiple layers of the show require constant attention of the viewer and make the series very complicated. "I realized that a companion book would enrich the viewing experience of the audience," he said.
But this book doesn’t mean that he started favoring television over cinema, as both categories work with different sets of criteria, even if they seem to be growing closer together in certain instances. "Cinema doesn’t necessarily need to be a part of pop culture," Güler explained and added that it divides the audience into high art followers, and those who see cinema as an easily accessible form of entertainment. "It’s great to find some place in between," he said.
"Lost" is not only a TV series, but a whole system of modern products, such as online games, books and journals which bring the reality of the show to life. The creators follow the Web sites to shape their stories accordingly, making "Lost" an interactive experience.
According to Güler there are quite few recent TV shows, such as "Fringe" or "Dollhouse," which feature similar narrative styles and mythologies like "Lost;" however, they seem to appeal only to a limited audience.
The writer also mentioned classic shows, such as "Twin Peaks," "Frasier," "Six Feet Under" and "The West Wing" among his personal favorites.
Asked about whether he believes that, like in the series, everything happens for a reason, Güler answered in a "Lost"-like tone: "I personally believe that we are merely small players in the grand scheme, the grand story," he said, "and leading yourself into the flow of things brings with it its own rewards, little surprises and sometimes miracles." Just like on television.