Alex Daniel's Reviews > Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier

Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
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it was ok
bookshelves: disappointing

(sadly) For Twin Peaks completionists only. No spoilers.

If you're reading this, you're a Twin Peaks fan. Great! Me too. If you're reading this, you've probably watched everything, read everything, but you're still hungry for more. I know the feeling, and that's why I pre-ordered THE FINAL DOSSIER, a companion-novel to Season 3. But it's hard for me to recommend to you, dear reader, and here's why:

The White Lodge (the good stuff):
The final half of the book explores some of the events that make up the ending of Season 3. You're not really going to get anything beyond Episode 18, but some of those topics are explored. There are musings on Judy, Major Briggs, Phillip Jeffries, and time. Again, there's no explosive revelations, but there are a few dots that are connected that I missed when I watched Season 3.

How's Annie? This book talks about Annie, who was surprisingly missing from THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS. You may like it -- you may not. I, however, was satisfied.

Garmonbozia (the bad stuff):
There's very little substance. Sure, the publisher reports that it is 170+ pages, but a good chunk of that is "dossier" file cover photos, stills from Season 3, and blank pages between chapters.

Much of the book details loose ends that you didn't probably care much about. For example: were you left on the edge of your seat in THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS when there were apparent contradictions between the text and the show regarding Norma Jennings' family lineage? Me neither. But hey, one of the longest chapters in THE FINAL DOSSIER explains away this continuity error. Maybe you're like me, and you enjoyed seeing Dr. Jacoby's new life in Season 3. But don't you want to know how he got to that point? Not really? Another one of the book's longest chapters follows the sordid events of post-Season 2 Jacoby. Oh, there's Donna and Audrey stuff here, too, but not much that you haven't already guessed or put together on your own.

THE FINAL DOSSIER has several moments that "took me out" of the experience. Albert Rosenfeld making a "trigger warning" joke in a 1989 autopsy report? References to a character dating Donald Trump? References like this are jarring and disrupt the usual "Twin Peaks" experience, which often feels timeless and removed from current circumstances. Tammy Preston, who has assembled THE FINAL DOSSIER doesn't always have a consistent voice either, sometimes being overly methodical, sometimes mysteriously spiritual, and at other times a wise-cracking audience stand-in.

It's not as fun as THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS. The epistolary form of SECRET HISTORY was enjoyable, and while the "retro-fitting" of American history onto this fictional town wasn't universally loved, I liked it a good bit. There's none of that in THE FINAL DOSSIER -- it's just 18 brief chapters written by Tammy Preston. Well, I guess one of them is written by Albert Rosenfeld, but that's it.

Final Recommendation:
If you've seen all of the show twice over, read the other books, and listened to podcasts about Twin Peaks, then I'd recommend THE FINAL DOSSIER. For anyone else, pick up THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS or THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER first before you consider this one.

A word of warning:
As I mentioned, some of the cracks are filled in regarding Audrey, Sarah Palmer, Annie, and a few other characters. It is my experience that these pre-existing gaps are wonderful -- they allow your imagination to work and writhe. THE FINAL DOSSIER will clear up a few of those mysteries, making those connections concrete, and leaving less room for your imagination.
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Reading Progress

November 1, 2017 – Started Reading
November 2, 2017 – Shelved
November 2, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim Dooley Excellent review and a thorough analysis.

message 2: by Diego (new)

Diego Prado Great review. Lots of book purchase decision makíng info without personal points of view and revealing info. Thank you very much!

Stacey couldn't agree more!

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