I was really torn over whether I wanted to read TSHOTP or not, and in the end, a scathing review (of sorts) made me decide not to. Let me quote it:
"The Secret History of Twin Peaks presents itself as the contents of a “dossier” found in an undisclosed “crime scene” encased in a carbon steel box. Consisting of semi-censored intelligence reports, 19th-century diary entries, newspaper clippings and other forms of mock documentation, it purports to place “the unexplained phenomena that unfolded” in the original series within “a vastly layered, wide-ranging history, beginning with the journals of Lewis and Clark and ending with the shocking events that closed the finale.” Sadly, that history consists of a farrago of all the most threadbare fetishes of 20th-century conspiracy theory. The detritus that Frost tosses into his stale mix ranges from the death of Merriwether Lewis, the Illuminati, and the Freemasons to the Kennedy assassination, Scientology, and Richard Nixon. Even Bigfoot makes a cameo. But above all, the eerie events and motifs of the 1990 series get attributed to UFOs. Those owls that are not what they seem? They’re nothing more interesting than the bug-eyed aliens beloved of supermarket tabloids.
The Secret History of Twin Peaks drapes its tired schtick in lot of portentous allusions and foreshadowing. Much is made of the need to discover the identity of the person who compiled the dossier, even though his name (which anyone familiar with the series will have guessed almost immediately) is revealed in the final chapters. The documents have been annotated by an FBI analyst who acts the Dana Scully part: the skeptic slowly won over by the weight of evidence to the belief that everything ominous and disturbing in the world is covertly connected and all of it can be traced back to Twin Peaks.
Much of the spell cast by the original series lay in its isolated Northwestern small-town setting. (Those shots of the lonesome traffic light swinging by its cables over an empty road by night!) The woods around the town represented everything incomprehensible about humanity’s place in the world and about the deepest recesses of our own psyches. The creepy power of Lynch’s vision comes from the ready access he seems to enjoy not only to his own unconscious mind but to his viewers’ as well. What a bummer to see all of that reduced to the banal fantasies of a garden-variety paranoid.
In a note of unwitting irony, Frost has the “archivist” who compiled this dossier elaborate on his theories about the differences between secrets and mysteries: "… a secret is only a secret as long as you keep it. Once you tell someone, it loses all of its power, for good or ill. Like that, it’s just another piece of information. But a real mystery can’t be solved, not completely. It’s always just out of reach, like a light around the corner. You might catch a glimpse of what it reveals, but you can’t know the heart of it, not really. That’s what gives it value. It can’t be cracked. It’s bigger than you and me, bigger than everything we know."
Exactly. And that explains why The Secret History of Twin Peaks turns out to be the perfect title for Frost’s book. There’s not a drop of mystery left in it by the time he’s done."http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/201 ... peaks.html
So... I'm asking to all you Peaks fans who've read it out of genuine curiosity, is this fair? Unfair? I have to admit I cringe a little when I hear about some of the things that are this book second hand (they made me fear for this new series, so I'm happy to be pleasantly surprised) but I'm also aware that anything can be made to sound bad when written about in a certain way. I'd be delighted to be convinced otherwise...