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The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer…

The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer

by Jennifer Lynch

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Oh, Jennifer Lynch.

It bears repeating: Oh, Jennifer Lynch.

The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer is at turns wonderful and hilarious. As a hardcore Twin Peaks nerd, of course I love it. The book tells us what the series could only ever imply: that Laura was not just a rape survivor (er... former survivor), but a girl who had been consistenly abused since childhood.

(Obviously, if you haven't seen Twin Peaks, don't read on)

This is an utterly bizarre book, as befits the life of a girl from this peculiar town. At times, we get insight into the heartbreaking downward spiral of Laura Palmer, and the terror of her existence, not to mention the most wonderful moments which are those peaks into the mundanity that comes from being an old hand at this lifestyle. Sometimes, she just genuinely is bored with these men, and these drugs, and reverts to a robotic, childlike state.

The other side of this book is one of purple prose, and needlessly erotic encounters between Laura and seemingly every member of the town (*coughBlackiecough*). The book also does nothing to dispel the series' biggest question: how in the name of BOB did Laura manage to become homecoming queen, tutor residents in English, serve meals to the elderly, mentor a mentally handicapped man, and attend eight hours of school a day, even as she juggled two serious boyfriends, a half-dozen extra men, run cocaine, and still have time to jet off to far-flung parts of the state for threesomes with Teresa Banks?

I love this book both because and in spite of the flaws in Lynch's writing style. After all, David Lynch is nothing if not a melodramatist, he just submerges this below layers of unsettling suburban paranoia and tracking-shots of phone cords. But would I recommend this to anyone who doesn't know the series, and like it? Absolutely not. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Laura Palmer was introduced to television audiences in the opening scenes of "Twin Peaks"--as a beautiful dead girl, wrapped in plastic. Now available in print for the first time in many years (and in e-book for the very first time!), THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER chronicles Laura's life from age 12 to her death at 17, and is filled with secrets, character references, and even clues to the identity of her eventual killer. Fans of the show will love seeing their favorite characters again, and Laura's diary makes compelling reading as she turns from a naive freshman having her first kiss to a "bad girl" experimenting with drugs, sex and the occult.
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 22, 2018 |
Sabe por que tranquei meu TCC esse ano? Porque eu tinha que estudar Twin Peaks, oras. Sério. Eu sabia que ia acabar me dedicando mais às coisas relativas a David Lynch do que meu próprio TCC, então achei melhor trancá-lo. Assim, agora finalmente pude ler o diário de Laura Palmer, este que pode não ser uma grande obra literária, mas que evidentemente dá um gostinho a mais para quem acompanhou o seriado e Fire walk with me. ( )
  Adriana_Scarpin | Jun 12, 2018 |
The last portion of the book felt very rushed to include references to various characters. I would only recommend this book to fans of the show - and at that you didn't really learn anything new or interesting. ( )
  Matthew_Nelson | Mar 13, 2018 |
In case it hasn’t become abundantly clear at this point, I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE “Twin Peaks” fan. It was a show that burned too bright and went out too fast, but went on to change television as we know it. When I finally got to start watching the recent revival, I felt a need to actually get my hands on one of the tie ins to the show that I had heard of, but never actually experienced. That is, of course, the notorious “The Secret Life of Laura Palmer”, a book that is supposed to be the journal of the doomed and tragic Laura Palmer, the victim whose murder kicks off the series. It’s notorious because, similar to books like “Flowers in the Attic” and “Go Ask Alice”, it has a reputation for being salacious and scandalous.

There is definitely something that should be said right away about this book: if you are not familiar with the show “Twin Peaks” and it’s mythos, this book is probably not going to make much sense to you. Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the show’s creator (and amateur meteorologist) David Lynch, writes these diary entries and expects that the reader is going to understand who these characters are and what the significance is to the various situations that Laura describes. So while I knew why it was absolutely upsetting when on page 4 Laura write ‘p.s., I hope BOB doesn’t come tonight’, those who are going in blind would not. My advice would be that if you haven’t seen the show this book should probably be avoided until you have, not only because of confusion but also major spoilers to the plot. All that said, I found it to be a fun(?) read because of the hidden references and the first person perspective from the girl who was dead in episode one. I also have to admit that I smiled pretty broadly every time there was mention of one of my favorite characters from the show, like Bobby Briggs or Audrey Horne. This book also does a good job of expanding upon characters that we only saw through the show’s perspective, and showing sides that perhaps they couldn’t or wouldn’t show after Laura’s murder. This mostly applies to my bae Bobby Briggs. On the show we mostly see an angry teenage boy who makes dumb decisions and generally acts like a brooding whiner. But I loved that in this book we saw the sweet side that was long extinguished by the time we get to know him. But, all that said, as fun as the references and new perspectives were, this book doesn’t really tell me anything that I don’t know about Laura Palmer and how awful and sad her life was. If anything, it merely puts the awful abuse, torture, and sadness that she endured on full display. I need to give Jennifer Lynch the utmost credit for writing the voice of a pre-teen to teenage girl so well. As I was reading this book there were so many moments that I thought to myself ‘yep, my diary entries at this age totally sounded like this’ (to an extent), and I think that it was a genius move to let not only a woman, but the daughter of the series creator as well write it. But the authenticity just made all the stories of sexual abuse, drug use, sex work, and violence feel all the more awful. I know that some of the appeal of books like this one and “Flowers in the Attic” is the taboo-ness of reading them, but when you are reading about a teenage girl recounting all the awful things she has been made to do and the reckless and dangerous coping mechanisms she finds herself in, I was less ‘wow this is fun’ and more ‘ugh, this makes me want to take a shower’. It’s not that I found it exploitative, exactly, as I think that Lynch is very good and making it uncomfortable and decidedly NOT sexy. But I did find it upsetting. Which, at it’s heart, Laura Palmer’s story is supposed to be. By seeing this side of her, it shows her as more than just that smiling picture that everyone thinks of when they think of the show.

“The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer” isn’t necessarily a ‘must read’ for fans of the show, and it certainly isn’t a way for people to get an introduction to the show’s universe. But I appreciate that it gives Laura Palmer a more personal voice than the show did (and I can’t speak for the movie “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” as I have not seen it). Maybe I would have had more fun if it was the secret diary of Audrey Horne. ( )
  thelibraryladies | Sep 18, 2017 |
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Dear Diary, My name is Laura Palmer, and as of just three short minutes ago, I officially turned twelve years old! It is July 22, 1984, and I have had such a good day!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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