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David Lynch
Catching the Big Fish: Meditation Consciousness and Creativity
Reviewed by: Rick Kleffel © 2007

Jeremy Tarcher / Penguin Group
US First Edition Hardcover
ISBN 1-585-42540-0
192 Pages; $19.95
Publication Date: 12-28-2006
Date Reviewed: 02-22-07

Index: Non-Fiction

Where do we go to find a decent idea? It's not like you can hop down to the local Bob's Big Boy and order up the seed for good short story and an order of fries.

Not unless you're David Lynch, who does exactly that.

'Catching the Big Fish' is Lynch's offering to his fans, whom he knows all too well. What he knows is this: most of his fans are likely to either actually be or at least in some sense consider themselves artists. 'Catching the Big Fish' is a sort of catch-all series of easily readable and re-readable meditations on the virtues of meditation itself, especially the trademarked, I Swear It's Not A Cult Transcendental Meditation, and a whatever else happens to interest this maverick artist. It works equally well as a how-to book for the aspiring creative talent, a David Lynch's Greatest Anecdotal Hits, and an occasionally troubling vision of Lynch's work and the world that creates it.

Lynch is an engaging writer in his microscopic stripped down mode. He's wry funny at times. "Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love, but when I was there it was a hellhole," he writes in a chapter mostly about "Los Angeles". In general, the first part of the book focuses more on creativity and TM, though Lynch is careful not to step on any trademarked toes. He talks about the virtues of meditation as a tool to plumb the unconscious, and in so doing reveals a bit about his own travels. As the book progresses, he offers more advice and even solace to the hopeful artists out there, and mixes in more dishy insider anecdotes about his travels and travails in the movie biz. There's a sort of detachment and distance in the writing that makes it really easy to read and generally helps keep Lynch from sounding like a prat. The variety of subjects, the microscopic length, all are great choices for keeping the reader engaged.

'Catching the Big Fish' is more of a coffee table / bedstand book than a book you're going to read cover to cover. In fact, I'd almost recommend against a cover-to-cover read if you hope to keep your feet on terra firma. But chances are if you’re reading this review and interested in David Lynch, terra firma does not hold a lot of interest. That being the case, have a nice swim. Bring back some ideas you like and if any of them stick, drop me a line.

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