cover image Room to Dream

Room to Dream

David Lynch and Kristine McKenna. Random House, $32 (592p) ISBN 978-0-3995-8919-5

The avant-garde director of The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet and cocreator of Twin Peaks remembers a life as surreal as his movies in this exuberant biography/memoir. In chapters that alternate between Lynch’s first-person narrative and biographical accounts written by McKenna (Talk to Her), the book presents an illuminating look into Lynch’s life, drawing heavily on McKenna’s interviews with actors, ex-wives, and friends that paint an admiring portrait of a charismatic man given to intuitive improvisations, like sticking the script supervisor into a blue-wigged speaking role in Mulholland Drive. Interspersed chapters contain Lynch’s own memories that explore his creative process from its roots in strange visual imagery to his long-shot quests for financing (“ ‘It’s about a man who’s three and a half feet tall, with a red pompadour, who runs on sixty-cycle alternating-current electricity’” went one unsuccessful pitch). Lynch is a great raconteur, and at the book’s heart are his anecdotes, featuring colorful grotesques like the hunch-backed con-man who borrowed his phone to make fraudulent fund-raising calls, and dark intrusions of sexuality into wholesome landscapes (as a boy in idyllic Boise, Idaho, he recalls, he once saw a naked, bleeding woman silently wandering the night-time streets). The result is an entertainingly offbeat show-biz saga and a fine evocation of Lynch’s unique voice and sensibility. Photos. [em](June) [/em]