Entertaining

10 Must-Read Books for Twin Peaks Fans

twin peaks books
Photo by Lynch-Frost/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Photo by Lynch-Frost/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
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* These 10 Lynchian books will have you as satisfied as Agent Cooper with a fine cup of coffee
* From classic stories of small town horror to collected Lynch interviews
* Plus short fiction inspired by David Lynch movies

If you’ve just watched or re-watched all of Twin Peaks: The Return and are looking for more entertainment along the lines of David Lynch’s mysterious, hauntingly surreal vision of America as a mixture of small town noir and cosmic speculation, here are ten books that help quench your thirst for the strange.

From collected interviews to classic fiction that inspired Lynch and other filmmakers, these 10 books are definite must-reads for Twin Peaks Fans.

1. Needful Things

Like Twin Peaks, Stephen King’s atmospheric #1 best-seller features a gloomy northern town, a cast of eccentric characters, and dark supernatural forces lurking beneath a hokey small town façade.

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2. The Lottery and Other Stories

The Lottery and Other Stories collects twenty-five of Shirley Jackson’s classic unsettling tales. The title story, published in The New Yorker in 1948, is the only one to have appeared during Jackson’s lifetime. It created a sensation then (it was even banned in South Africa) and remains one of the most impactful and unsettling stories in American literature. A clear antecedent to Lynch’s work and Twin Peaks in particular, it takes place in a small town where unquestioned conformity allows for the persistence of an ancient, brutal ritual.

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3. The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer

Reprinted for the first time in a decade, the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer is now available as an ebook. A great gift for any Twin Peaks die-hard, and it goes alongside the Lynch’s follow-up film Fire Walk With Me as a kind of haunting prequel to the show. The original foreword is written by Mark Frost and David Lynch also.

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4. The Man from Another Place

To do any justice to its subject, a biography of David Lynch would have to be, well.. “Lynchian,” in form. That is: imbued with the uncanny, playfully non-linear and engaged with the excitement that awaits us at the edge of the unknowable. A thoughtful yet never-dry critical biography, Dennis Lim’s witty and insightful book accomplishes all of this. For Twin Peaks fans looking to engage with the underlying themes, or see how Lynch’s famous interest in Transcendental Meditation influences his work, this is a great reference.

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5. Snow Falling on Cedars

It wouldn’t be a list of Twin Peaks related books without this seminal work of Pacific Northwest mystery. Reading Guterson’s description of the lonely San Piedro Island you can practically hear the Twin Peaks theme song, or the radio announcer saying “Logs, logs, logs!”

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6. Night Film

Pessl’s work, like Lynch’s, often gets the “postmodernist” label but truly resists categorization. Fans of Twin Peaks will love how Night Film interweaves a self-aware narrative of internet sleuthing, child prodigies and cult-classic films with callbacks to noir fiction of the 1930s and 1940s. Pessl is a master of using the “whodunit” structure in stories that probe more universal and metaphysical mysteries.

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7. Lynch on Lynch

Collecting a series of interviews with David Lynch by filmmaker Chris Rodley from 1993 to 1996, this volume gives a unique look at Lynch’s inspirations and development as an artist, in his own words. Required reading in many intro-to-film courses, it’s a must-have for Twin Peaks fans.

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8. In Heaven Everything Is Fine

Few contemporary filmmakers have inspired as much literary fiction as David Lynch. This collection is edited by the Bram Stoker-award winning author Thomas Ligotti along with novelist and critic Black Butler, author of the acclaimed Scorch Atlas and editor of the fondly-remembered HTML Giant blog. A great tribute to Lynch’s work, it features stories by Amelia Gray, Ben Loory and others.

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9. The Secret History of Twin Peaks

Written by the series’ co-creator Mark Frost, this volume is a must-read companion to Twin Peaks, expanding the world of the show’s mysterious universe
with an in-depth fictional history. If you’re a Twin Peaks fan with an encyclopedic thirst for knowledge, this book is for you.

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10. Days Between Stations

Few works come as close to Twin Peaks in terms of using pop culture ephemera as a gateway to explore deep, mythic themes, the unconscious and the question of our place in the universe. Steve Erickson’s novel Days Between Stations is so much more than an alternate history, or a book about music in Los Angeles. It’s a pattern that emerges from maps pinned to a wall, a book that, like the best nights out, gets more charming the weirder it gets. Composed of small vignettes that range from less than a page to a few pages, Days Between Stations unfolds for the reader like a collection of film snippets to be edited. As with the nonlinear aspects of Twin Peaks, it invites us to partake in the creative process.

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