Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna

I’ve long been a David Lynch fan – dating back to my early teens in the early 90’s. His films entranced me – exploring the seedy side of life, love, sex, & violence. I was also drawn to the sometimes subtle humor in his films – quirky with small town vibes. Room to Dream operates as an autobiography AND biography. Kristine McKenna writes a chapter – and was given almost unlimited access to people from Lynch’s life – while David Lynch follows up with his perspectives on that chapter. It is an engaging read that gives light to many of Lynch’s inspirations. Of particular note to me was that the 2 years that David Lynch spent in Philadelphia in the late 60’s has influenced each and every work. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I never realized that before. The diner from Twin Peaks makes a whole lot of sense now – it is a throwback to those glorious diners of Philadelphia (I’ve spent quite a bit of time growing up in those diners). There are stories of how he decided to go into film instead of painting (an afternoon breeze caused movement on his work, causing an “aha!” moment). There are behind the scenes looks at each of his films. A little light on 1990’s Wild at Heart but tons of Twin Peaks, The Elephant Man, Dune, and Mulholland Drive stories. Above all, David Lynch is dedicated to the art life. A sobering chapter near the end explores the 2017 series Twin Peaks: The Return. It is revealed that after the series wrapped, Lynch moved into his guest house – the grueling schedule put a rift in his relationship (though he is still married as of mid 2018). There’s a part of me that admires that and a part of me that can’t quite comprehend it. There is a lot to love in this book and I can’t say enough positive things about it. I’d recommend getting the physical hardback version since there are multiple images and references that won’t come across right on a tablet. Not quite a biography and not quite an autobiography though it comes across as both sometimes, this book explores his childhood, personal life, films, artistic aesthetic, and personal stories. It answers some questions and creates others – not unlike a David Lynch film. Highly recommended.

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