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Room to Dream
2018
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David Lynch

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Superficial
By Jack Anderson on September 1, 2019
 3

AN ORIGINAL CONCEPT
In the introduction of the book, co-author Kristine McKenna explains that we are in front of the definitive biography from David Lynch. As a big admirer of some of his work (I said some), this felt like a great opportunity to jump into the head of David Lynch.
The co-author explains that the concept will be as followed. First, she will write some portions of Lynch’s life as taken from the viewpoint of friends and family from Lynch. Then, Lynch himself will tell his own view from the same events.
While I found the concept great, from the first page it clearly doesn’t work. The pages written by Kristine McKenna are exceptionnally boring and do not really provide anything worth reading.

David Lynch’s side of events is clearly much more compelling and interesting. Since I listened to the audiobook, it was just a great delight to have to get Lynch telling about his own story.

HONESTY
Before I move onto the very negative aspect of the book, I must admit that I appreciated the honesty in which David Lynch talks about his own work. In Hollywood, it is almost impossible to have filmmakers or even actors telling about failures. Everything is magical, everyone is great and when movies are bad, this is usually the critics who are wrong. Here, Lynch is not playing this game and clearly states, at one point, that Dune was a complete sellout from his part. It felt like a breath of fresh air!
The only problem is that co-author McKenna actually is not writing with the same level of honesty. I will not say that she was purposely dishonest in her writing, this would be going too far. But clearly from her words, everyone loves working with Lynch, he’s the best person on the planet and his vision is so great that we don’t even touch some very important elements.
As an example, he is moving from one woman to another and we often only get his point of view, with sentences such as « We » decided to end things. Or we get the viewpoint from the woman, but we never ever grasps or touch the real subject of women and Lynch.

Because many believe that women are treated like objects in David Lynch’s filmography. Is it true? It’s not for me to say, but I would have appreciated some words on this topic. I believe it is a major topic in his life, whether on screen or behind the scenes.

And the problem is similar with the work from Lynch. Sure, we are told many anecdotes. Some are really interesting, some are completely trivial. We spend much time reading about the financing of movies, but without truly talking about those same movies.

And this is to me the main concern with the book, by being official and definitive, one could have hoped for a better understanding of the man. When I closed the book, I did not have a sense of knowing the man. Sure, we get to witness his life and his passions (did I mention transcendental meditation?), but we never really know who is David Lynch. And I believe it would not have been so difficult to go there.

At the end, admirers of David Lynch like myself will still have much fun reading the book and learning about how some movies came to exist. But I was hoping for more.

SUMMARY
I give it 3 out of 10. I know this is pretty low and perhaps I am too tough with my note. Still, I believe that Room to Dream was a missed opportunity and could have been much better.




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