* * * * * * * *
We all know about fun "easter eggs" in movies and video games, but my favorites are those little hidden gems in books. Sometimes, you'll find the "easter egg" on the cover, other times it'll be in the actual book itself. What's so cool about them is that it's just yet another way for an author to communicate to a reader on a different level. Almost like an inside joke you get to share with your favorite writers.
Here's just a few of the cool hidden messages in books that I've read:
I had to read this book as a junior in high school, and this was the cover on my book. I thought The Great Gatsby was a pretty damn good book, but one day during class, I started to space out and I stared Daisy's face on the cover and noticed the naked ladies in her eyes. Got my attention!
2) Real Phone Number in Cormier's I Am the Cheese.
In this Young Adult classic, the narrator tries to call a girl from a phone booth. The phone number published was actually Robert Cormier's. And when many kids called and asked for the girl, Cormier would play along and pretend to be the girl's father. When I was a teacher, I called the number and had a great conversation with this amazing author just before he passed away.
3) The Da Vinci Code.
On the inside panel of the hardback's dust cover, you'll see bold letters. If you write each bold letter, you get: ISTHERENOHELPFORTHEWIDOWSSON. Many speculate this has something to do with a speech given in 1974 connecting Freemasonry and the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The name of that speech given to an audience of Mormons: Is There No Help for the Widow's Son?
4) The Courtship of Princess Leia.
The book that covers Han Solo and Leia's marriage, Solo goes under the alias "Jenos Idanian." You unscramble the letters of that alias, and you've got Indiana Jones. Anagram fun!
King loves to have characters and settings criss-cross all of his novels. There's way too many "easter eggs" in his books to list, but the most obvious has to be IT. Here's just a few:
-Dick Hallorann, the chef at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. In IT, he's a 19 year old Army cook.
-The setting of IT is Derry, Maine which is the setting of several of his other books including Insomnia, Dreamcatcher, and 11/23/63
-The car from Christine makes an appearance
-There's a reference to Cujo when Beverly Marsh gets trapped in her car and has to pee
In my upcoming novel, Dragonfly Warrior, I have fun with a pair of characters, drawing inspiration from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. I have had only ONE beta reader out of eight catch it. I guess you have to be a Shakespeare fan to catch it, though!
Are there any "easter eggs" in music, movies, book, or even video games that are your favorite?