Review: ‘The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer’ by Jennifer Lynch

David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ was a cult phenomenon in the 90s. It centred around the murder of all-American girl Laura Palmer and Agent Cooper’s search for her killer. As Cooper delved further into Twin Peaks, things just got weirder and weirder.

This, a tie-in written by Lynch’s daughter Jennifer, was re-released at the end of 2011. It is Jennifer Lynch’s imagining of what preceded Laura’s murder, detailing a back story that fans of the show would be interested in. It begins with Laura’s 12th birthday and catalogues her descent from innocent child to drug addiction and promiscuity.

The diary is well-written, with a believable voice. In the first few chapters, Lynch writes as an adolescent. The diary features poetry which, if anyone has ever read a teenage girl’s diary, is a pretty common occurence.

Lynch doesn’t shy away from sexually explicit details or bad language but I think it adds authenticity to the diary. As Laura gets older, she becomes more outspoken and profane. The diary includes Laura’s nightmares, dreams and fantasies. It mentions all of the much-loved characters from the series.

There is a lot of foreshadowing from the beginning of the diary, Bob is mentioned a great deal and there are many heavy-handed references to certain parts of the ‘Twin Peaks’ mystery.

I would be interested to see if anyone who hasn’t seen ‘Twin Peaks’ would read this book, and if so, if they’d have a different reading than me. I can’t really see it appealing to anyone other than big fans of the show, and to be honest, most fans of ‘Twin Peaks’ aren’t likely to be disappointed – it’s another point of view of a famed story.

Vic x


3 responses to “Review: ‘The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer’ by Jennifer Lynch

  1. I bought it at the time and it certainly helped with the ‘buzz.’ Not as good as the Twin Peaks board game, though.

  2. Twin Peaks is still my favourite TV series of all-time although I must say The Wire runs it close. I’ve watched both Twin Peaks series several times but have still never been tempted by this book but I’m sure I’ll relent one day. I really enjoyed the prequel Fire Walk With Me so I guess this book may fill in some gaps. Bugger – your review has sparked my interest sufficiently to buy it!!

    Tell me more about the board game Paul! I love board games!!

  3. A few years ago I bought some VHS tapes of some of the episodes to this. I didn’t realise at the time that it was an ongoing thing, for some reason I thought it was like the X Files or something.

    To say I was left baffled by what I saw is an understatement.

    The Wire is immense as Stuart says though.

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