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David Lynch: The Man from Another Place


3.93  ·  Rating details ·  607 ratings  ·  54 reviews
At once a pop culture icon, cult figure, and film industry outsider, master filmmaker David Lynch and his work defy easy definition. Dredged from his subconscious mind, Lynch’s work is primed to act on our own subconscious, combining heightened, contradictory emotions into something familiar but inscrutable. No less than his art, Lynch’s life also evades simple categorizat ...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by New Harvest (first published August 28th 2013)
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Neil R. Coulter
This is as quick and breezy a trip through David Lynch's life and oeuvre as I can imagine. And it's kind of fun to just get a glimpse into the man and his work, not lingering too long on any one period or piece. I'm mostly familiar with Lynch through Twin Peaks, which I've watched numerous times and which, when I watched the original broadcast, became a real touchstone moment in my artistic perspective. It was the first time that I realized TV could be something much different from what it norma ...more
Joe Richards
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a Lynch obsessive, I'm as keen as any other to learn more about the worlds the visionary auteur creates, as well as the worlds he himself inhabits. In this insightful, occasionally thought-provoking book, Lim manages to address the needs of his audience succinctly and chronologically, with authorial objectivity giving way to subjective bias only occasionally.

There is much to be divulged from the tales of Lynch's childhood - how his upbringing and changing surroundings shaped his art. Several
Jim Dooley
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A revealing, highly accessible overview of the enigma who is David Lynch. The strength of the book is that the writer focuses on the core of what most Readers probably want to know more about rather than minutiae regarding the Lynch ancestral history and what a former teacher might have had to say about him. Details were not available at the time this was written, but it would have been tremendous if the writer could have commented on TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN … the next step in the David Lynch cin ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
So George Lucas asked Lynch to direct Return of the Jedi, and he declined, eventually gravitating to Dune (and the cow on Hollywood Bouvelard, to self-promote Inland Empire). How ... Lynchian? This brief intro to the multi-talented, multi-faceted auteur is cogent, critical, and fascinating.
Christopher McQuain
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
A succinct but conscientious, insightful, and enlighteningly multidimensional survey of the life and work of a great American artist.
Chris Esposo
A good, but short career biography of David Lynch's work on film and television, omitting all of his obscure music video work, and touching on a few his interests in transcendental meditation. Since the book was released 3 years ago, it doesn't cover the Twin Peaks Return series but mentions the announcement and some of the pre-production stuff.

If you are a deep fan of Lynch, you probably won't get anything new here, although there was a bit of connection between Mulholland Drive and the new Twi
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, which I listened to on Audible as an accompaniment to the new Twin Peaks shows. It's defiantly middle-brow, in love with popular culture but unafraid to refer to any aesthetic or philosophic movement that might be a good point of reference for a reader (or group of readers in discussion) mulling Lynch's work over, clearly written and with a personal point of view. It's a keystone for me in thinking about the structure of art between 1974, when my English teacher Mrs. Greening ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film
Nice critical overview of Lynch's work, I liked that it was a short piece that could be read without a huge time commitment but left you with a pretty good big picture understanding of Lynch's films. Starts with a biographical sketch of his childhood with emphasis on elements of the director's youth which may have helped shape his cinematic visions, then goes through his artistic production in chronological order, with brief foray into transcendental meditation in the last chapter. Published bef ...more
Connor Denney
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most interestingly, Dennis Lim tracks David Lynch's status in the cultural consciousness extremely well. His film analysis is excellent, as always, but the primary focus is on the development of Lynch's career and how his every step has been understood by a public eager to be confused by his movies. The masses might seem unable to engage with Lynch's work, but Lim finds the excited bafflement to be a response in itself.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, film, art
This is a well-written, quick read surveying the career and work of David Lynch. Much of the content has been published in previous books, or comes from long-circulated interviews, so proper Lynch heads will find little new here. Lim is at his best when contextualizing Lynch's work within broader artistic and film movements. Would be a fantastic primer for new fans, or casual Showtime viewers bewildered by Twin Peaks: The Return.
Clay Cassells
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Writing about David Lynch without being either reductive or pedantic is a challenge, but Dennis Lim is more than suited to the task. His 'unpacking' of Lynch--the man and his various creative endeavors--is both incisive and entertaining, academic in focus but likely appealing to more than just students or Lynch's diehard fans. It's unfortunate this edition was published just prior to the Twin Peaks revival, since I'd be very interested to get Lim's take on the reboot. Excellent work.
Tracy Leigh
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
SWOON. I am so taken with David Lynch.

This book is super easy to read, even though so much of David Lynch's work absolutely does not offer any answers to the multiple and varied questions embedded within the whole experience. This is the best take I've read so far on David Lynch and it has given me many off-shoots to enjoy (DL's Ice Bucket Challenge video).
Matthew Honović
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Being such a quick read, it's not able to dig deep and send you further down the rabbit hole of Lynch's work, but given that Lim has had first-hand interviews from Lynch and his collaborators, he provides great insight into the man and his work with the occasional folding in of other criticisms over the years - including critics' reviews and essays by David Foster Wallace.
Mary Louise Schumacher
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
With so much written and said about Lynch, it's hard to believe there's much left to write, and yet Dennis Lim brings wonderful insight to the life and work of this enigmatic filmmaker-artist. Lim, rather than over interpreting the work, gives us context that helps us look again. It's also a pleasure to read. I am biased. Lim was my professor.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy Lynch's movies, then you will probably enjoy this book which is really more of a filmography than biography. Details of Lynch's life are included, but mostly only in ways they relate to the movie he was working on at the time.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Quite a slim volume but it is packed with lots of information on David Lynch as he grew up and the development into a movie director. This was more about the man than his movies, I enjoyed learning more about his personal life rather than another analysis on his films.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly a survey of Lynch's work, not too in depth but enough. Some interesting takes and details.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4-to-5-new
A great way to better understand a man who shouldn't be understood.
Samantha Williams
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're a fan of the filmmaker/painter, I don't see how you wouldn't enjoy this.
Rachel Hughes
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed learning about Lynch and his work. This book read much like a junior thesis though. The quality of writing was mixed and disorganized.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
pinning lynch down is not an easy task.
Warren Goldie
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great overview of the man, his work and his influences. Lim is a wonderful writer.
Kate Woods Walker
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful little biography, art essay and examination of most things Lynchian. This book takes the reader to the precipice of Twin Peaks Part 3 in a straightforward yet thoughtful way.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't realize Mullholland Drive was supposed to be a television series a la Twin Peaks. I'm glad it ended up the way it did as a feature film.
Benjamin Aaron Carl Hill
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book?
Highly recommend.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short book about a strange (but still fairly popular) director. Unfortunately, leaves out most of the really interesting/obscure stuff, so it's basically "David Lynch for Twin Peaks fans".
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book, discusses each of Lynch’s film, up to Twin Peaks the Return.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and accessible book on the career of David Lynch. Lim's love for Lynch and his films comes through in his insightful analysis. I damn near cried at the end.
Colin Cox
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David Lynch: The Man from Another Place is a slim, engaging book that, while entertaining, doesn't necessarily know what it wants to be. Too often, Lim shifts from biography to film production history to film analysis in ways that leave me wondering if this project would have been better served if he simply focused on one of those ideas. Furthermore, Lim neglects to include foot or endnotes for his reader. Sure, there are a few paragraphs at the end that function as a casual bibliography, but th ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
David Lynch: The Man from Another Place by Dennis Lim is a free NetGalley ebook that I read before embarking on an October Sunday that contained a $3 Brown Bag Book Sale at the library and many hours of football.

The Man From Another Place helped me to understand and 'get' David Lynch as a man assembled from many non-specific idiosyncrasies and to see the references in his films as a run-off outlet for them. The book itself was very well put together and compact for its length.
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