- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 41 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: May 2, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LZ3YHH8
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (Twin Peaks) Audiobook – Unabridged
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The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was written in 1990 at the height of Twin Peak's popularity, between the first and second season, when the question of who murdered the homecoming queen was a national mystery in the United States. The book doesn't really stand on its own as much of the appeal of the story is about discovering how she formed her relationships with characters like Bobby Briggs, Leo, Jacques Renault, and other characters. However, due to the miracle of streaming video and DVD, it's entirely possible to view the show for the first time today without missing a beat.
So what do I think of the book? Well, I have mixed feelings even taking into account the fact I'm a huge Twin Peaks fan. A large portion of the book deals with her adolescence and awakening sexuality (as I imagine many teenaged girls' diaries do) while rushing past the more interesting elements like how she was recruited to be a prostitute at One-Eyed Jacks or her relationship with James Hurley and Donna. Once Laura begins her cocaine obsession, the book becomes appropriately manic so her level of introspection is low. Knowing some people who suffered from such addictions, I'd argue the book actually is too good at depicting such things.
Fans of the series will pick up on the many clues which point to who is the murderer of Laura Palmer well before the actual mystery was meant to be solved. In fact, I was surprised at how the book more or less telegraphed the source of the evil going on in the Palmer household. If nothing else, it becomes painfully obvious poor Laura is suffering repeated attacks by someone close to her. This is also one of the most painful parts of the book to read as there's no real release from the fact our heroine is going t endure this her entire life before it gets her killed.
For those who hate issues of sexual or child abuse even in the abstract, this is not the book for them, even as it's the story of someone dealing with it. Unfortunately, despite the realism and insights into Laura's character, I can't say I found much interest in reading about how a adolescent girl is exploited by a bunch of criminals around her that makes up half of the book. Indeed, I was tempted to give this book 1 star because of the subject matter's tastelessness before I stopped to note it's supposed to be horrible.
Amidst these scenes, also, are some genuinely affecting ones. The story of how Laura Palmer tried to "free" her horse (a gift from a rich relative) from the evil household she was trapped in, only for it to become starved and need to be put down, for example is an amazingly tragic little snippet. So is Laura's slow realization of just what was done to her as she approaches adulthood as well as how hard it is to approach anyone about it. Her healthiest relationship is also with her female lover, Ronette Pulaski, who is someone it wasn't easy to come out about in 1990.
In short, this is a hard book for me to have read and I didn't really get too much more than I got from TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME but I suspect it's a matter of taste. This is a book about a young woman's ugly journey and the evil men did to her which has no happy ending. Yet, Laura was a good soul and any self-hatred she felt was because of what other people imposed on her rather than anything she did.
Audiobook note: The audiobook is narrated by Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer's actress) and that's great but her attempt to do a cutsie teenager's voice when she's a grown woman is kind of off-putting. The narration improves, however, once we reach a somewhat older age for the character.