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The Essential Wrapped In Plastic: Pathways to Twin Peaks Paperback – April 11, 2016
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About the Author
John Thorne has a Master of Arts in TV/Radio/Film from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. For thirteen years, John was co-editor and co-producer of Wrapped In Plastic magazine, where he wrote extensively about Twin Peaks and associated film and television. He was also a contributor to the magazines, Spectrum and Following Cerebus. He is co-editor and contributor to the Kindle book, Twin Peaks in the Rearview Mirror.
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While there are still magazines available for purchase online, for the most part the content of WRAPPED IN PLASTIC has been spread to the virtual winds. A great deal of the content was the copyright of its respective writers and thus hard to attain, but Thorne has managed to pepper his analysis with tidbits from a good number of essays from the magazine’s heyday as well as other invaluable sources such as Chris Rodley’s LYNCH ON LYNCH, David Lavery’s FULL OF SECRETS, and even David Foster Wallace’s A SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I’LL NEVER DO AGAIN.
You better believe I placed my order on Amazon the instant the book became available, and now, true believers, I have read it and am ready to divulge its merits, of which there are many.
The majority of the text is an episode guide, and the information Thorne has gathered and the knowledge with which he dispenses it is awe-inspiring. The guides start with simple plot descriptions broken down into acts then move into a more detailed and always erudite analysis by Thorne of the episode – it’s themes, connotations, technical innovations, influences, merits and flaws – supplemented on occasion by quotes and points from other critical works, some from his magazine and some from other sources. At the end of each guide Thorne provides detailed descriptions of any deleted scenes (either shot and deleted or deleted from the scripts before shooting) that might further inform the narrative or characterization, and then he rounds everything out with quotes from various cast members and other participants culled from a decade-plus of exclusive WRAPPED IN PLASTIC interviews. The most direct way I can think to explain the efficacy and understanding Thorne’s guide exudes is to say it is in-depth and complete to the point it’s probably now and forever the preeminent guide, and that’s coming from a guy currently writing his own.
Beyond this extensive guide, there’s an equally extensive look at the last episode and FIRE WALK WITH ME, including a section of cast reactions to the polarizing film, a section on the film’s critical reception, and a pair of essays from Thorne, one focused on the arc of Laura Palmer, and one interpreting the film’s first 30 minutes as another possible dream of Dale Cooper’s. As with the episode guide, Thorne’s knowledge and insight into the series aren’t up for debate – the guy knows his stuff, my stuff, your stuff, everybody’s stuff – but it’s in these latter essays on FWWM that he really puts his chops on display, weaving past narrative, deeper than subtext and into the core of meaning not just of the film, but of the entire TWIN PEAKS experience. As Thorne says early in the book, “FIRE WALK WITH ME is Lynch’s successful effort at connecting TWIN PEAKS’ final episode with its first (the pilot). The film creates in TWIN PEAKS a hermetic narrative – one that encompasses the entirety of the series. Without FIRE WALK WITH ME, the TWIN PEAKS narrative is a graceful arc. With the film, the narrative becomes a perfect circle.”
That one quote made me realize that FWWM could only be told after the main storyline, and supports my partial-theory that perhaps Lynch knew exactly what he was doing, timewise, when he slipped old Dale in the Black Lodge and had not-Laura tell him she’d see him again in 25 years. That’s my favorite part about this book: Thorne makes it hauntingly and enthrallingly clear that for a show that was constantly evolving its narrative, not just within seasons but within episodes – they don’t make scripted TV dramas with this much improve ever – there are no coincidences in TWIN PEAKS, even the happy accidents have meaning.
If I was going to be dropped on a deserted island for the rest of my days and told I could take one and only one artifact of TWIN PEAKS media to entertain myself – which itself is a somewhat Lynchian concept – I’d take this book, maybe even over the series itself. Because Thorne’s book encapsulates everything that is great about our favorite show, then extrapolates from it in many ways and from all angles to create something intricately more fascinating, like a show not within but above another show, something watching us watching it. There is no question whatsoever that if you consider yourself fan-enough of the show that you’ve read this far into my column, you need to own this book as soon as is humanly, financially, and postally possible. Never, in my opinion, has the word “Essential” been so aptly used in a title.
as most of them added little insight into the world and characters of TP. Otherwise, a great read.
There is analysis on every Twin Peaks episode and the movie as well as the scripts (Notable Deleted Scenes)! With John Thorne's 13 years experience co-editing and co-producing the Twin Peaks magazine Wrapped In Plastic it's clear he really knows his stuff about Twin Peaks.
Interviews with cast and crew such as David Lynch, Mark Frost, Frank Siva (Bob), Jenn Lynch, Sheryl Lee, Harley Peyton, James Marshall, Don Davis, Jack Nance, Catherine Coulson, Kimmy Robertson, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook, Julee Cruise, Robert Engels, Charlotte Stewart, Miguel Ferrer, Grace Zabriskie, Everett McGill, Richard Beymer, Michale J. Anderson, Scott Frost, Heather Graham, Kenneth Welsh, Ted Raimi & more!
Fantastic FWWM essays exploring Laura Palmer and the Dear Meadow prologue!
I’m impressed all this could be packed into one book.