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The Secret History of Twin Peaks: A Novel Hardcover – October 18, 2016
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About the Author
Mark Frost is an American novelist, screenwriter, director and film producer, best known as a writer for the television series Hill Street Blues and as the co-creator of the television series Twin Peaks.
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The attention to detail is really nice. The footnotes are distracting, but they do add to the overall body and contain their own add-in of data. The cover is beautiful, and I am surprised the price wasn’t higher. The cover is highly embossed and gives it the feel of a book much older than it is. It is apparent that pride was taken in making this, and it is something that Mark Frost should be proud to have his name on.
Does it answer questions?
Heck yes it does. Sometimes those answers are subtle; a single line in a document. Other times it’s a headline about a bank explosion that you can’t un see. DON’T flip through it casually if you want to read it the whole way through. Yes, the answers are there for a whole lot of things you may have wondered, and a lot of things that may not have dawned on you no matter how many times you have read it.
Are there any bad points?
Maybe. It depends on what you want. If you want something that tells the story in a way that is very fitting of the Twin Peaks world, this is the book for you. If you want a novel to just read through, you may be disappointed. The one bad thing for me was about every 50 pages there would be something incorrect for the time period, like cellophane on a 1947 pack of cigarettes, or a 1800s’ era person using a bit of modern slang. This isn’t an issue once it gets to the 1960s’ and if you are not big into history it’s quite possible that you wouldn’t even notice. It just broke the continuity for me which was a bummer since I was trying to get back into the Twin Peaks feel.
A lot of material produced for a TV show or movie tend to be filler to make more dollars from a franchise. This book was written for fans, by folks who care about the fans and the Twin Peaks world. It answers a lot of questions, but still leaves enough unsaid that season three will be very welcome. I think this book does exactly what Mark Frost said it would, bridge the gap between the seasons.
Like the millions of fans over the years who have found the realm of Twin Peaks so obsessively compelling, went into this with a nearly insurmountable sense of anticipation, and expectation. It is undeniable the profound influence David Lynch had in bringing Peaks into our collective consciousness to enjoy. But he thrives off collaborative artistic energy, and what his partner in crime Mr. Frost brings to our favored series is every bit as vital. You can feel their synergy throughout this new literary contribution. Having read The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, The Autobiography of Special Agent Dale Cooper, and having a hyper-mnemonic recall of key plot points of the series, The Secret History of Twin Peaks actually has much more in common with the lesser read but immensely enjoyable Welcome to Twin Peaks Access Guide.
There are links to be made here that will delight you. Others will wow you. The degree of inference and desire to process the lengthy, logical dissertations will depend on the reader. But if you dare to be drawn in, there are subtle hints and tantalizing clues to be found in those historical recollections. Vestiges of paranoia and a sense of wondrous curiosity permeate the narrative. There are a few “Eureka!” moments. There is the underlying mystery of the Archivist (who I figured out about 30 pages in and it diminished my enjoyment not in the slightest.) There is resolution and some small degree of closure. But what is most prevalent is the illustration of the grander design of what is to come with the 3rd season. Most of the material is done with a scholar’s perspective. Embrace that, and you’ll get some significant realizations that are positively awe inspiring.
There are a few continuity errors that hardcore fans of the series will detect immediately. It is possible Mr. Frost didn’t review as much of the second season’s minor subplots that were written by the other writers. And he would rightfully have that privilege. He and David are the authors of this world, and can make such revisions as they see fit. But there's enough to arouse suspicion that this may be intentional. Between two worlds, indeed. The photographs of some characters are largely repeats from promotional materials or screen captures we have seen before. But… some of the pictures (and artwork) are almost chilling. Some are true revelations.
What’s past is truly prologue here, and as I ravenously devoured this today over the course of 6 ½ hours I returned back to my 18 year old self who was so mesmerized and taken all those years ago with this spiritual procedural. Such rich texture has been afforded to us here it might take several readings to absorb the possibilities! Thank you, Mr. Frost for your due diligence in choosing to enlighten us with the broad strokes and the pinpoint brushes. It Is Happening Again.