I listened to this because I'm interested in using meditation to help alleviate writer's block. I found it useful for that purpose. And it was a lot of fun to hear a director whose films I love talk about the process of making them. On the other hand, a lot of this book consists of Lynch's sincere but somewhat naive promotion of the Transcendental Meditation movement. I quickly started feeling like he was trying to sell me something. And I definitely winced on his behalf when he started explaining that physicists "have discovered a Unified Field" underlying all of reality. The Unified Field Theory, as anyone who's had a college physics course knows perfectly well, is the Holy Grail of theoretical physics. But despite the grandiose sounding name, all it means is the ability to mathematically describe the force of gravity in terms of quantum mechanics. It's just an equation. That equation hasn't been discovered yet. And if and when it is, it will not introduce some new "unified field" underlying all of creation. It will just let us describe very large and very small events in the same mathematical language. Any copy editor worth his or her salt should have caught this mistake long before the book went to press, and it's just plain embarrassing that it made it into the audiobook. There was a lot of this kind of stuff scattered through the book though. Maybe it's just standard California New Age nonsense, but it definitely left me feeling like the kool-aid factor in TM was way to high for me. I still want to pursue meditation -- but this book made it clear that the transcendental meditation movement is not the place I want to do it. That said, if you love Lynch's films or if you are a working artist or writer, this book gives some really interesting insights into Lynch's creative process. You just have to take the TM stuff with a grain of salt, I guess ....
I love Trollope and am usually not at all picky about the performances of recorded books, but I found this reading of The Warden unbearable! Simon Vance adopts a strange, high-pitched, affected tone of voice every time he reads the women's lines that makes Trollope's female characters come across as gross caricatures. The gentle but always intelligent Eleanor Harding sounded like a half-witted flirt, Mrs. Grantly sounded like a snooty society matron instead of a sensible clergyman's wife, and the love scenes were absolutely painful! Mr. Vance is a very good reader generally, and if only he could have rendered the female characters in a more natural tone of voice this would have been a fine and worthy reading. I switched to the Timothy West reading for the remainder of the Basetshire Chronicles, and am so glad I did. I really don't think I could have stood a simpering Mary Thorne!!
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