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Welcome to Twin Peaks: A Guide to Getting to the City has long been out of print, and therefore largely out of tangible reach for most Twin peaks Fans. 25YL and I are here to help! I’ll explore this book section by section while adding comments, information gathered from podcast interviews, links to the original TV series, and even links to Mark Frost. The Secret History of Twin Peaks– which is entirely appropriate since Ken Scherer, COO of Lynch / Frost Productions, states that this book “would have been Mark’s passion somewhere else in time”.
Access guide was released in June 1991, the same month the last episodes of Twin peaks’ second season aired. It is meant to look like a real Twin Peaks town travel guide. They have even teamed up with Access Press, a publisher of genuine tourist guides in the city, to do it as authentically as possible. The book covers all aspects of the city, from the local flora to its founders to local festivals. It’s also a joke about a joke – some more effective than others – while also containing details that may make fans dream of what could have been.
Frost, while being interviewed by John Thorne for Wrapped in plastic # 9, had this to say:
I was initially approached to write a novel. My idea was to make a Twin peaks book Ã la James Michner: Go back to the beginning with the geological formation of the peaks and the strange electromagnetic force that developed between the mountains, and how it strangely affected everyone in the area, but I got too busy and never got there.
But this is not the last time we hear of these ideas, as we see the beginnings of the geological history of the region in the Access guide. And that’s far from the end of Frost’s reused ideas to be found here. Between ideas like these and the fact that Frost was fascinated at the time by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that explains the tone of this book.
Another explanation for the tone of the book comes from Ken Scherer in an interview with Deer Meadow Radio’s Marc Givens:
By the time we got to producing it, the steam was really out of the relationship with Mark and David, and with the series. And so I think the decision was made to have a little fun, to try to be as respectful of the fan base as possible, but ultimately to have a little fun with that and do our best.
Richard Saul Wurman, an Access Press editor, was approached to do it, and he thought it would be a fun idea to take a take off on his own books and Twin peaks. He worked with his team to do the art, layout and final copy in his offices. Mark Frost and David Lynch were involved. Twin peaks the writers were given topics to write about for use in the book. In Scherer’s words:
[We] sort of we knew it was the end, and so in a way we wanted to try and personalize it for ourselves, that we were here.
It was a fun way to say goodbye not only to our work, it was also a way to commemorate some of the things that meant so much to us during our two year trip there.
Wurman and his team put all of these pieces together and added their own touches, trying to âmirror the show and take it to a stranger place,â as he put it. Twin Peaks unpacked Ben Durant and Bryon Kozaczka in an interview. They cannibalized everything they could and made this delicious book of marginalia and footnotes.
Asked about the cover, Scherer laughed and said there were a large number of comments and notes on it. You might think it would look more together if Lynch was so focused on it, right? Not this time. Wurman says David Lynch wanted art in the Access guide be “fuzzy, fuzzy” and “unprofessional”. Mission accomplished!
From the first glance, Lynch gave us a product that literally seems to come from the serious residents of Twin Peaks. And you know they really tried!
The interior cover
The inside front cover contains a simple city map. Wurman says maps are important in this book because he loves maps. The street names, aside from Lynch Road and Frost Avenue of course, are named after Wurman’s children and friends.
Looking at the map, I notice several things:
- The Sheriff Station is on the north side of Upper Twin Park, while the Gazebo is in the lower part of the park, less than two blocks away. This tells me that if a night shift assistant looked out the window, he could easily have seen Maddy Ferguson dressed as Laura Palmer, as well as Dr. Jacoby’s witness being attacked by a man wearing a ski mask.
- Lynch Road runs north to south from Low Town, the site of a particularly heart-wrenching drug case that has gone wrong in Laura Palmer’s Secret Diary– until a dead end at the railway line. Its shape is reminiscent of an elongated question mark. It runs parallel to Highway 21 and is home to both the Horne Department Store and Calhoun Memorial Hospital.
- Frost Avenue runs east and west from a cul-de-sac at the corner of the residential neighborhood to the T-junction of Hwy 21. Sparkwood intersects Frost Avenue almost in the middle of its road. length, and both Sheriff Station and Palmer House are located there.
- Frost Avenue and Lynch Road don’t intersect but work well by keeping aspects of the map tied together.
Page 1: A message from the mayor
This handwritten note from Mayor Milford – with scribbled words – begins the book. He suggests going out, enjoying the city, and asking random strangers “do you have the $ 10 you owe me?” Â»In greeting. As well as being of a more teasing nature than his temper on the show, the words could reasonably be attributed to Dwayne’s “Is that thing on?” Milford.
Milford dates his note April 1, which is a pretty good hint that the people making this book think they are writing a joke. My gut tells me that someone on the Access Press side wrote this, but no one recognized the writing.
I to do be aware that Scherer had just lost his father during the production of the book, which explains the “In Memory of Herbert F. Scherer, Sr.” between the mayor’s note and the book thumbnails.
Page 2: Did you know that Twin Peaksâ¦
The next page is a silly trivia list. None of this matters except to add a big “fuck you” to ABC. Twin peaks’ the original network never liked the small town count for the show because they believed viewers would never relate to a small town show. They made Lynch and Frost add a decimal point to the population. Now Lynch / Frost Productions has backed it up by saying that âthe 1990 census revealed that our current population is 5,120.1. not 51 201. âThis creates a weird joke about the possibility that there is 0.1 of a person (maybe it’s the arm).
The only other interesting detail I see here is that Twin Peaks is located exactly between an extremely cold town in Alaska and an extremely hot town in Arizona. Intermediate states are all the rage in Twin peaks, and this is one more example, although it is fortuitous.
Page 3: Extract from Andrew Packard’s will
This excerpt from Andrew Packard’s will states that money donated to the city treasury will be used to create a book âextolling and promulgating the many virtues and points of interest of our beloved communityâ. There we have the reason in the universe why this book exists, but that does not exactly justify why the book was completed. Andrew Packard’s biography places him as dead enough to set the funds in motion to create this book, but also lists him as being alive. If this were a more serious book, I’d be curious as to why production in the universe continued even after Packard was revealed to be alive.
Either way, those details put the creation of this book somewhere before the finale was filmed – Andrew perished for real in this episode’s bank explosion, although it was Catherine in the script for episode 29.
As for Andrew’s tone of voice, I think Packard’s sense of civic pride is genuine, based on his giddy approval of Audrey exercising her civil disobedience rights for the greater good of the city. He would be the kind of guy who wanted his city to proudly sing its own praises.
Pages 4-5: Table of contents
Then we get a two-page spread of the book’s table of contents. Do not hesitate to go directly to the sections via the links below, or to go to the next page to follow the book in chronological order.
The Access guide covers history, the Packard sawmill, flora, fauna, geology and weather, points of interest, events, catering, accommodation, sports, fashion, religious worship, transportation, city ââlife and government.