The only comprehensive study of the work of this cult director, which ranges from 1967's Six Figures Getting Sick, to The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive.
My main problem with it is that I don't like the interpretations of the films. Whilst Hughes does state that these are his own interpretations and not to be taken as authoritative there is an element of magic which is lost from films like 'Eraserhead' when they're pinned down to a definition, especially if, like me, you enjoy the very ambiguous nature of the films. Some may relish an 'explanation' of these films and others may have their own interpretation which differs strongly from Hughes' own and so not feel the film has been compromised for them.
Don't get me wrong, this book isn't about to spoil the movies for anyone i just don't think that Lynch's work neccessarily lends itself to being pinned down to anything.
Secondly, the book states clearly at the beginning that some of the chapters contain spoilers and advises against reading them if you haven't seen them. This is fair warning and so I steered clear of these chapters, however when reading the chapter on 'Lost Highway' i stumbled across a reference to 'Twin Peaks' which gives away Laura Palmer's killer, kind of a crucial plot point, and not one that i'd gotten up to yet. I haven't spotted any other such pitfalls although there may well be some.
In other ways of course this is a highly informative, readable and well researched book which contains many insights into the film-making process, historical details, geeky levels of trivia, some revealing details of unseen material and for die-hard Lynch fans is an absolute must.
I do however feel that it may not be an ideal read for anyone new to Lynch such as myself.
This is the rare book that can be used either as a career overview, reference work, or just a worthwhile, enjoyable read. The book is divided into sections, one for each work up to and including Mulholland Drive [not only film and TV works] and each is subdivided into categories such as trivia, cut scenes, availability, Lynch Mob (reappearances of members of Lynch's stable of frequent collaborators), or Lynch's own comments on each work. The index is very thorough as well, so the book can be enjoyed non-chronologically in bite-size pieces if desired.
Hughes has gone to the horse's mouth for many of the relevant facts and observances, having interviewed Lynch himself and many who work with him. The book is well-stocked with information, opinion and analysis without coming across as dry or pedantic. I'm very glad I picked it up.
Not nebulous and overly general like some works about Lynch, or a collection of the opinions of one writer like some others, Hughes' book should be purchased and read by anyone with an interest in the work of David Lynch,or in the wide-ranging, well-rounded and fascinating man himself.
3 thumbs up. Buy and keep near TV.