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Room to Dream

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,893 ratings  ·  286 reviews
In this memoir, David Lynch - co-creator of Twin Peaks and writer and director of groundbreaking films like Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive - opens up about a lifetime of extraordinary creativity, the friendships he has made along the way and the struggles he has faced - sometimes successful, sometimes not - to bring his projects to fruition. ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Canongate Books
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4.30  · 
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 ·  1,893 ratings  ·  286 reviews


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Valerity (Val)
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Room To Dream

This is a very enjoyable biography told with a dual perspective that I found very readable and descriptive. I’m not quite sure how it got lost in my TBR pile, as I should have read it much sooner and wish I had now, as much as I’ve liked it. Filled with quirky stories about David Lynch as he grows up discovers what he’s about, moving from different places and the effects they had on him. When and how he got interested in art, and his near-obsession with art and painting that was su
...more
Elyse Walters
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“When I picture Boise in my mind, I see euphoric 1950s
chrome optimism”, David Lynch said.
When he was 14, his family moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Though Lynch flourished as a high school student in Alexandria...leaving Boise is when the music stopped...
but the 1950’s never really ever went away for David....
girls in bobby sox and saddle shoes, classic rock ‘n’ roll, smoking cigarettes, BBQ’s - most: the *mood* of the time.... the innocence & goodness....and the dark forces pulsing beneath
...more
Reuben
Straight off the bat I have to say: don't believe the way this book describes itself. Statements like "David Lynch opens up for the first time about a life lived in pursuit of his singular vision", "An unprecedented look into the personal and creative life of the visionary auteur David Lynch" and "Lynch’s lyrical, intimate, and unfiltered personal reflections riff off biographical sections" make it sound like this book will explore his creative process in some way, but it doesn't. When it talks ...more
Ana
“Nobody is neutral on the subject of Lynch.”

Truer words have never been written!

Do you ever watch INLAND EMPIRE two or three times in a row and feel like you don’t understand the world anymore? Yeah, me neither… Then, reading this book, you’ll come across Noriko Miyakawa’s words - “The parts of the film you don’t understand point to places in yourself that need examining” - and feel you need to do some more soul searching, because nowhere in here is this bad boy explained. Simply that “it’s
...more
Kasa Cotugno
In depth analysis of David Lynch and his creative processes. Each section is composed of two parts, one a biography, the other, a memoir illuminating the former. I've always been curious as to why someone who hit it out of the park with Eraserhead and Elephant Man was such a poor choice for Dune, but with subsequent work illustrating his influences more strategically, he redeemed himself. His small town upbringing is twisted on its ear (literally) with Blue Velvet, and his memory of going huntin ...more
Spencer
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I adore David Lynch; he is without doubt my favourite film maker and probably my biggest idol so it’s not surprising that I loved this book. David comes across as charming, unusual and creative and this is conveyed in the book really well and you get some wonderful insight in to his unique mind.

I liked the style of the book as well, Kristine McKenna produced a biography based on interviews with over 100 people and after each section David adds to this and expands the facts further with a persona
...more
Eddie Watkins
Repetitive and somewhat boring, though there are great anecdotes sprinkled throughout. I think the problem is Lynch has never really changed since he was a kid, which is a good thing because Lynch as he is is great, but it makes for a rather boring and repetitive memoir/biography - everybody from childhood friends to Hollywoodians saying the same things about him - and since Lynch is not very self-reflective or self-analytical, his portions also tread the same ground, with variations, over and o ...more
Lee
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's a hagiography, but surely you need no convincing. Despite the often gushing biography narrative, there are some doozy anecdotes. Marlon Brando drives round hungry but there's only a tomato and a banana in the fridge: not to worry, Marlon tucks in. (Bit of salt on the tomato, sorted.) There's something called a 'Chair Pull', the description of which is unmissable. He kisses Elizabeth Taylor but doesn't want to marry her. He collects dental implements.

Plenty of great stuff on the films, with
...more
Robin Bonne
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
After reading this, I still don’t know how he made the baby from Eraserhead.

Seriously though, any of the real questions I had were left unanswered. The criticisms about gender within Lynch’s movies were never addressed, though the treatment of his wives was quite telling in a parallel way.

This wasn’t an inspiring memoir/biography for me, and the memories that were shared were less than interesting.
Text Publishing
‘A fascinating look into an endlessly imaginative and alarming man.’
Otago Daily Times

‘[A] memorable portrait of one of cinema’s great auteurs…It provides a remarkable insight into Lynch’s intense commitment to the “art life”.’
Guardian

‘Traditional and comprehensive on one side while whimsical and irreverent on the other, Room to Dream manages to have it both ways...[A]n enthusiastic, contagious tribute to creativity itself.’
Brag

‘Room to Dream is described as “part-memoir, part-biography” and t
...more
Seroxx83
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a big fan of David lynch since forever, seen his movies and twin peaks multiple times! There’s just so many layers in his work, and the mood you get when watching is something else!
So when this book came out, I just needed it! David is truly one of a kind,and getting the honor to learn a bit more about him and his journey was truly amazing!! ❤
...more
Tasha Robinson
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed this one here for NPR Books. But here's the short version: I learned a lot about David Lynch's personal history from this book, and especially about his habit of ending long-term relationships by taking up with a new woman behind the old one's back, then eventually telling the previous one that their marriage (or in Isabella Rossellini's case, relationship) was over. It bothered me a bit that he romanticizes this process as "Then I fell in love with so-and-so, it was amazing," but on th ...more
Adam
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an avid devotee of Lynch's works I'm glad this was published, but unsurprisingly there is little that is revelatory or of any interest to the merely curious and as usual absolutely no interpretations are proffered. Most of it is given to chronicling how the various projects came together or failed to; in that respect learning of the failures and what-could-have-been was intriguing--I'm looking at you, Ronnie Rocket!

Some anecdotes stood out to me: in particular, the man who knowingly sacrific
...more
Neil R. Coulter
“I’m gonna tell you a story.” Those are the first words David Keith Lynch says in this audio edition of his biography/memoir hybrid. And over the course of 13 CDs, that’s what he does—story after story, charting the shape of his life from childhood to the present. I don’t often listen to audiobooks (I find it much harder to focus on spoken words than on printed words), but when I learned that the audio version of Lynch’s book is read (in part) by Lynch himself, I thought that would probably be t ...more
Laird Jimenez
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I guess the story about Marlon Brando sneaking candy and sandwiches in his pockets to a preview screening of LOST HIGHWAY almost makes up for the numerous TM commercials.
Randy
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WELCOME TO LYNCHLAND

Everything you didn't know you wanted to know about David Lynch, his life, art and films. This is a fascinating and enlightening book. It helps of course if you're familiar with his movies (and his music) but even if you're not you should get a lot out of this read. You may come out the other side of this book a different person (and I'm only half-joking about that). Worst case, only your doppelganger will come out. ;)
My love for and appreciation of his work have deepened, th
...more
Zadignose
A very interesting book about a very interesting person. I admit that I generally believe that it's best not to know the artist--whoever the artist may be--but then, maybe it's not too harmful if you've learned not to judge the art by the artist or the artist by the art. They can be two, distinctly interesting phenomena. David Lynch doesn't always come out looking so great as a person, even though it's asserted that pretty much everyone loves him and thinks he's fantastic. But, he's human, right ...more
Carolyn
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-good-one-yes
For people who love to read how artist, actors, and writer's grew, struggled, fought heaven and hell to be as famous as they have become, this book is for them. David Lynch has been a terrific writer and famous for his share of the TV Show Twin Peaks. I won this in a goodreads giveaway and I'm thankful to Random house and Goodreads for letting me enjoy this bio. memoir told by Lynch and his friends. Good Read.
Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella
Few things in life can compare to David Lynch. Getting to have a 500 page book that alternates between biography and Lynch's own words (which sound most likely transcribed from interviews, but it's largely him either responding to points the biography section by McKenna covers or his own tangents)... It's like you are getting the total story with Lynch in your head; if youve heard him speak you know how distinct that sound is.

There are countless things I can write about this, but I dont think I
...more
Books on Stereo
Room to Dream is a amalgamation of a memoir and a biography with neither quite succeeding resulting in a disjointed mess.
Sean Kennedy
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved the formatting of this memoir - McKenna does your standard biographical text with interviews of those who knew Lynch, and Lynch responds to it with his own version of events. The devil is in the details, and Lynch is as Lynch as Lynch can be in his responses.
Michael Lisk
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Of course, there are plenty of great anecdotes throughout, but the pile-up of compliments begins to grate about 300 pages in. We get it! David Lynch is a great guy! "Saint David" might have been a more appropriate title.
Daniel
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely a must read for Lynch fans. Totally absorbing. That said, it’s kind of hard to imagine anyone without a lot of admiration for and knowledge of Lynch loving this. For everyone else, an incredible read.

Truly an original American voice which, for all kinds of reasons (discussed here in oblique and not so oblique terms) seems harder and harder to come by. Lots of insights but no definitive answers; this is a David Lynch (semi) autobiography after all.
Kathe Koja
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Examining an artist's process is worthwhile, and doubly so when the artist is David Lynch. The back-and-forth toggle between Lynch and McKenna, first person memory and reportage, is a useful frame for a life made of art. This would make a great companion to The Art Life https://www.criterion.com/films/29285...
3 no 7
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Room to Dream” by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna is structured as a conversation about his life with the reader. This book is a storyteller at his best, recalling the stories of his life, the events that made him the complex person that he is. Readers want to know every detail. He pulls us into his life as he pulls us into his movies, and his stories, like his movies, are full of enlightenment cloaked in dark humor.

Lynch grew up in a small town, and with the usual middle-class experiences. He
...more
Kim
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a read this is. I was completely enthralled and entranced. Being a big fan of David Lynch's work I was very excited to read this new biography/memoir hybrid. The design of the book works really well and everything flows naturally.

The biography portions were lovingly written by Kristine McKenna and then are followed by memoir portions written by David Lynch himself.

This is a beautiful package of knowledge.
Matheus Borges
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is like spending an afternoon with an old relative and listening to his stories, the same stories he's already told you a million times. You're so familiar with these anecdotes you know all the pauses, all the analogies and punchlines your old relative has perfected over the years to make the stories more entertaining. Despite this, you keep your mouth shut and listen to them one more time because you love him.
Joshua
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What is a dream, and when it's gone what exactly did we actually possess or witness?

Only David Lynch would co-write a book like this. Room to dream is both a biography and a memoir as Kristine McKenna writes passages of his life which are then followed by lynch's reaction to those passages sprinkled with his own thoughts, memories, musings, and dreams. And the effect upon the reader is a kind of dream as they receive this book passively, while feeling these moments more often than actually readi
...more
Ville Verkkapuro
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is dreamy.
David Lynch has an effect with me that feels like home, highly inspirational, yet still safe. Maybe it would be easy to say that being inspired feels like home.
I enjoyed the beginning of this book the most, because it was something new: his childhood, teenage years, beginning of The Art Life... all very interesting.
The latter half of the book was very familiar, because I've been involved so closely with David Lynch for the past ten or more years. There was talks of Twin Peak
...more
Richard Gray
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 leaning towards 4 maybe?

If you're expecting to find out how the baby was made in Eraserhead or the nature of the rift between him and Michael J. Anderson, you should look elsewhere.

"This book is a chronicle of things that happened," the authors explain in the introduction, "not an explanation of what those things means." They put it more succinctly elsewhere: it's "a person having a conversation with his own biography." Both of these things seem like an intriguing prospect individually, and
...more
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NPR Book Club: Book for July 2018-Room to Dream 1 4 Jul 07, 2018 03:43PM  
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Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married, and fathered future director Jennifer Chambers Lynch shortly after he turned 21. That experience, plus attending art school in a particularly v ...more
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“Many of the things I see in the world seem very beautiful, but it’s still hard for me to figure out how things can be the way they are, and I guess that’s one of the reasons why my movies tend to be open to many different interpretations.” 2 likes
“What you’re reading here is basically a person having a conversation with his own biography.” 1 likes
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