tausendsassa wrote:It's a very nice book, I am in the middle of reading it and have to remind myself only to read so much if at a time, so I can enjoy it for as long as possible.
I have just read the section about the various TP merchandise, and I wonder how they managed to do the 3 books so quickly that they still could benefit from the hype of season 1. After all, season 1 incl the pilot probably was shown within 2 months in its original run, and I understand that there was a rerun during the summer of 1990. Not sure how much of the hype carried over to season 2.
Does anyone know when the various authors (Jennifer, Mark, David) actually wrote the books and when they were first published?
I hope that there will be another book, Brad.
The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was published on September 15, a couple weeks before the season two premiere. It was a big hit, making the NY Times bestseller list and receiving an A from Entertainment Weekly (although apparently some bookstores called it pornography and wouldn't carry it); considering the response to the upcoming episode it might be fair to call it the last widely successful piece of Twin Peans.
Diane: Twin Peaks Audiotapes of Agent Cooper was released on October 1, the day after the premiere aired. I don't know how it sold but MacLachlan was nominated for a Grammy for spoken-word performance (some of the recordings were from the show but others were written, by Scott Frost, and recorded specifically for this release). It includes the recordings Cooper makes in the season two premiere.
I don't know how long Frost & MacLachlan spent on the Diane tapes. As for Jennifer Lynch's Diary, according to Twin Peaks: Behind the Scenes, a 1990 companion book (with a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, so maybe this should be taken with a grain of salt): "She wrote the book in four days, delayed by a computer disaster in which the entire document and its later revisions were erased leaving only a rough first draft." Which seems rather jaw-dropping (it's a quick read, but still, 180 pages - including rewrites and rewrites of lost rewrites - in half a week?). The author also claims Lynch spent additional time on research: "I went hunting for 12- to 17-year-olds and I do this a lot with writing. I felt it was incredibly relevant that I not force Laura and I spent a few weeks just trying to find habits that young girls had and envision her in front of me so that I could write for her."
From what I gather (someone more cognizant at the time may have a different impression) the height of the show's hype actually arrived in September 1990, just before the second season began although there had been a ton of coverage in the spring as well (maybe the fall coverage was more consciously orchestrated, while the spring coverage was more natural - at least to the extent media buzz is ever "natural"?). This was when the Lynch cover appeared on Time and the interview in Rolling Stone, when TV Guide ran its cover story with mystery writers predicting the killer, and when it seems the first major pieces of Twin Peaks merchandise were released. Kyle MacLachlan also hosted (the season premiere of?) Saturday Night Live and played Cooper in a skit spoofing Twin Peaks.
However, the season two premiere almost instantly killed the buzz. The ratings plummeted the following week based partly on the show moving to Saturday night (the premiere, on a Sunday, received respectable numbers although nothing approaching the pilot's) but perhaps more damningly the press turned on a dime to grumble about and dismiss the show. This is when the "Who cares about Twin Peaks anymore" articles began to appear; commentators most objected to the premiere's slow opening, final violent flashback with Bob, and especially the sense that Lynch and Frost were "teasing" viewers rather than leading them toward a resolution of the Laura mystery. The supernatural elements also seem to have rubbed many people the wrong way; accusations of "weirdness for weirdness' sake" began to emerge. So the first Twin Peaks books came out right ahead of the point where the tide turned.
The next two, the Cooper autobiography (My Life, My Tapes by Scott Frost again) and the Access Guide to Twin Peaks (apparently written by a guy who wrote Access Guides to real places), are mentioned as future projects in that Behind-the-Scenes book from December '90. According to Amazon they were not published until the show was pretty much done: the bio in early May and the guide in early June, when all that remained to air was the two final episodes, shelved during sweeps and packaged together as a Monday movie-of-the-week in mid-June. So it seems fair to say they missed their intended purpose of shoring up the show's popularity at the end of a rough season. I'm not sure if they were widely reviewed (the series was no longer really considered news, unlike when the Diary was released) or how they sold - if the enthusiasm of remaining Peaks fans was enough to make them profitable. Anyone who was a fan at the time have a take on that?
Anyway, I've been really getting into the spin-off stuff lately. I haven't read the Access Guide yet but have it on hand and will soon. My feeling is that, if I'm making my way through Twin Peaks "in order" I'd pause for both the Diary & the tapes after the premiere (thiugh the Diary came out before, I think the first flashback to Laura's murder makes a good segue, better than Cooper being shot anyway). And I'd prefer to read the autobiography and the guide after the Josie drawer pull episode, as I think both books make a good segue into the more energetic and tightly-wound final episodes (Annie, Windom's Lodge plan, and the Miss Twin Peaks contest all emerge, if I'm not mistaken, in the next couple episode). Reading books about Coop's backstory and a comprehensive sense of the TP community seems perfect at this point, even if they actually came out just before the series climax.