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Hear Dale Cooper’s Return in 20-Minute Audio Excerpt from Mark Frost’s ‘The Secret History of Twin Peaks’

Written by on October 31, 2016 

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Twin Peaks‘ resurrection was announced more than two years ago, and David Lynch began rolling cameras with his huge, insane collection of actors more than a year ago, but co-creator and co-writer Mark Frost has given us the long-dead franchise’s first fresh heartbeat with The Secret History of Twin Peaks, an epistolary novel with a hook that fans can’t resist: in 2016, a mysterious lockbox containing an equally mysterious dossier that, per a letter written by Gordon Cole himself, “appears to have some relationship” to the original series’ events. What follows is hard to put into a concise form, except to say it’s ultimately what the title might suggest — and, as much as anything else, a big, fat teaser for the next chapter.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks is best experienced in book form. It’s a beautifully designed hardcover that takes many steps to present itself as the very book that an unidentified FBI agent is notating, and so there follows various documents in detailed form — declassified forms, newspaper articles, medical forms, journals written by characters in the show — that constantly keep one on their toes. I have certain misgivings about the overall project (more on that in our next book round-up), but those who really consider themselves fans deserve a look.

Then there’s the audiobook version, which suffers from an inorganic translation between unique layout and this straight-ahead form. Part of me wonders if it was orchestrated almost entirely for the novelty of bringing back certain cast members, who mostly read materials from the perspective of their characters — those being David Patrick Kelly (taking over for Lynch’s Gordon Cole), Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby), Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk), Chris Mulkey (in a 45-second appearance as Hank Jennings), and, most enticingly, Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper — while we can, in some sense, preview what’s to come with new members Amy Shiels, James Morrison, and Robert Knepper.

In a clever bit of promotion, Macmillan Audio have released the first of two segments in which MacLachlan reads from a journal that Cooper had written during the original series’ run — Or had he?! Fan speculation has, of course, already arisen about inconsistencies with regards to these chapters and the show. I will not indulge here, though I will do my own guessing in private — while a bit of Frost’s news reporter and Annie Wersching, playing the central FBI agent, make their way in. The first five minutes, featuring Gordon Cole, have also been shared — a small portion in light of the audiobook’s nine-hour-and-thirty-three-minute runtime. These, however, are undoubtedly among the effort’s highlights.

Listen below (via Open Culture):

The Secret History of Twin Peaks: A Novel is now available.


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