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The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes

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Former Eagle Scout and lifetime audio freak Dale Cooper brings us his autobiography, culled from his private collection of personal tape recordings beginning with his thirteenth birthday. Discover the secrets, never before seen on television, of Twin Peaks' most-wanted man, who scored a perfect 100 on his marksmanship test and once let a gentle, beautiful woman lead him as Former Eagle Scout and lifetime audio freak Dale Cooper brings us his autobiography, culled from his private collection of personal tape recordings beginning with his thirteenth birthday. Discover the secrets, never before seen on television, of Twin Peaks' most-wanted man, who scored a perfect 100 on his marksmanship test and once let a gentle, beautiful woman lead him astray. He's Dale Cooper - the man who seems too good to be true - and this is his story.


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Former Eagle Scout and lifetime audio freak Dale Cooper brings us his autobiography, culled from his private collection of personal tape recordings beginning with his thirteenth birthday. Discover the secrets, never before seen on television, of Twin Peaks' most-wanted man, who scored a perfect 100 on his marksmanship test and once let a gentle, beautiful woman lead him as Former Eagle Scout and lifetime audio freak Dale Cooper brings us his autobiography, culled from his private collection of personal tape recordings beginning with his thirteenth birthday. Discover the secrets, never before seen on television, of Twin Peaks' most-wanted man, who scored a perfect 100 on his marksmanship test and once let a gentle, beautiful woman lead him astray. He's Dale Cooper - the man who seems too good to be true - and this is his story.

30 review for The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia

    Reading an interview with Kyle MacLachlan recently, I remembered about this book and the Twin Peaks series I used to watch with my whole family on Saturday nights, eating home-made pizza. And I didn't mind cleaning the table because I imagined I was Shelly, the cute waitress. :) As for the book, as far as I remember, focuses on Dale Cooper's life before he arrives in Twin Peaks, where the TV series begins. I guess the 90's weren't so bad after all! :))

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordan West

    Surprisingly entertaining and well-written, although will probably only be of interest to Twin Peaks nerds like myself. Written by the brother of show co-creator Mark Frost, this prequel is rich in detail, and provides a backstory that ties in superbly with the overarching TP mythos, and suggests that the occupants of the Black Lodge have been interested in and influencing Cooper's life long before he ever came to that little town in Washington.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Wilson

    Diane I have just finished reading My Life My Tapes The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. As a rule I don't read EU fiction as I see it as a silly waste of time at best, and corpse raping at the worst (I'm looking at you spawn of Herbert). However, as I am a Twin Peaks superfan, the book was only 200 pages long, and it cost me a grand total of 25 cents at the garage sale I bought it at, I figured there wasn't a whole lot to lose. Over all it was a pleasant experience and went well Diane I have just finished reading My Life My Tapes The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. As a rule I don't read EU fiction as I see it as a silly waste of time at best, and corpse raping at the worst (I'm looking at you spawn of Herbert). However, as I am a Twin Peaks superfan, the book was only 200 pages long, and it cost me a grand total of 25 cents at the garage sale I bought it at, I figured there wasn't a whole lot to lose. Over all it was a pleasant experience and went well with some good coffee and pie. There where even a few scenes that succeeded in imitating the inimitable Lynch. However, even at its relatively short length the book felt somewhat repetitive. On the whole a surprisingly pleasant experience. If not one I'm likely to revisit again.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

    My birthday is in NOVEMBER! That's only a little over 2 months away!! Who LOVES ME? My birthday is in NOVEMBER! That's only a little over 2 months away!! Who LOVES ME?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Richard Gray

    Diane, I've just completed a book that has the complete title of The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes. The title page attributes authorship to one Scott Frost, brother of the Hollywood writer Mark Frost. Please make a note of the name and see what you can find about him. He appears to be well informed. What we have here is a story in three parts, Diane. My early life, including the profound impact of several deaths, and my sexual misadventures laid bare. But as Diane, I've just completed a book that has the complete title of The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes. The title page attributes authorship to one Scott Frost, brother of the Hollywood writer Mark Frost. Please make a note of the name and see what you can find about him. He appears to be well informed. What we have here is a story in three parts, Diane. My early life, including the profound impact of several deaths, and my sexual misadventures laid bare. But as Hesiod once said: "Toil is no source of shame; idleness is shame." My career in the FBI is given a structurally sound summary, including the tragedy of my former friend and mentor Windom Earle. The third is something we will call intangible. I note some inconsistencies with my biography. As you will recall, Diane, Agents Desmond and Stanley are on record as investigating the Teresa Banks case. I believe Chief Gordon Cole can attest to this. Yet on the balance I find this to be an illuminating summary of my formative years and recent past immediately prior to the Laura Palmer case. A damn good read. The only question remaining is 'How's Annie?'

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kennedy

    The last addition to the Twin Peaks book universe is more successful at capturing the voice of the series than The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, although it also takes a lot of liberties with the condensing of time like the former (instead of pages being ripped out, certain tapes have gone 'missing'). It will still hold interest for Twin Peaks fans, eager to have anything to do with the small town, and there are times when Frost pretty much nails the voice of Agent Cooper. There are also a few sc The last addition to the Twin Peaks book universe is more successful at capturing the voice of the series than The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, although it also takes a lot of liberties with the condensing of time like the former (instead of pages being ripped out, certain tapes have gone 'missing'). It will still hold interest for Twin Peaks fans, eager to have anything to do with the small town, and there are times when Frost pretty much nails the voice of Agent Cooper. There are also a few scenes which, while giving a mystery of their own, tie into the mysteries of the small town we love so much. Was Cooper's mother killed by BOB before he even knew who BOB was? We can only speculate, although that seems to be hinted at. You can almost hear the Twin Peaks theme start up at the end of the book, when Dale announces that he is on his way to a small town in Washington State where a girl has been found wrapped in plastic. It's enough to make you want to put on the DVDs again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Neither amazing or awful. After reading The Secret History and The Final Dossier, this was more or less another chapter rather than a well-rounded piece of work. While I enjoyed the perspective of a young Dale Cooper, the latter portion of the book that covered his time with the FBI was lackluster. Of course, if I had been able to read this in 1991, I would have much better feelings about it all.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yfke

    Funny, moving, disturbing - this book was even better than I expected. If you're a fan of Dale Cooper, you'll probably love him even more after this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    I really miss Twin Peaks

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sezín Koehler

    What a fascinating look under the hood of Dale Cooper. It was surprising, creepy, and revealed many things that turn out to be relevant for the new hours of the show airing now. A must-read for any serious Peakie.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    Recently I read (well, listened to) "Diane..." - The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper and absolutely loved it, so I was really excited to pick up this one, also written by Scott Frost (Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost's brother). To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. There were a few good points: this is alive with little eccentricities of the type that make the original TV show so good, there's one scene where Cooper goes to a gay bar dressed in a tight-fitting leather outfit wh Recently I read (well, listened to) "Diane..." - The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper and absolutely loved it, so I was really excited to pick up this one, also written by Scott Frost (Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost's brother). To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. There were a few good points: this is alive with little eccentricities of the type that make the original TV show so good, there's one scene where Cooper goes to a gay bar dressed in a tight-fitting leather outfit which was amusing to picture. and Frost is very good at capturing Cooper's voice. However, the fact that Frost captures Cooper's voice so accurately makes this book all the more jarring: this is not Cooper. I can't believe this is a sentence I have to type but this Cooper is a sex-obsessed lothario, constantly talking about how horny he is and how attractive he finds all the women he meets (there are only about two women in the whole book he isn't romantically involved with in some way and these are his father's girlfriends). Nowhere is his sense of honour (which, in the show, prevents him from engaging in a relationship with 18 year old Audrey Horne for the sake of her young age) when he colludes in multiple infidelities. That's the worst of it. But there were other aspects which just didn't make sense. First, I have to explain that this novel chapters Cooper's life up to the point he prepares to depart for Twin Peaks -- the last entry is him declaring his intention to journey there. If you've watched the show, you might, as I do, fondly remember Cooper's childlike delight in the natural beauty of the town and its surroundings. In this book, Cooper takes many, many trips into nature before this point which means that his over-the-top enthusiasm doesn't make sense: why is he so enthralled into nature, amazed by the thought of Douglas Firs and rabbits, if it's all things he's seen before? The last third of the novel, once he starts working for the FBI, was slightly more enjoyable, with a selection of intriguing cases which drew me in -- but here's the thing: only one of them is ever conclusively solved. The reader is introduced to all these interesting crimes which really pique the curiosity but are never wrapped up, which became frustrating, especially as the case descriptions became more and more rushed. I could go on but I think that's enough ranting from me. If you are a Twin Peaks fan, avoid this and listen to "Diane..." - The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper instead. There's a reason it's hard to find a copy of this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    The Library Ladies

    This “Twin Peaks” train keeps on chugging along!!! And while the revival of the show has been both wonderful and absolutely confounding, I have also been turning to the books that came before it. This time instead of focusing on poor dead Laura Palmer, we are getting to know a little bit more about the always optimistic, super enthusiastic, but also ultimately a bit tragic, Dale Cooper, the main protagonist of the show. Dale Cooper is one of my favorite characters of all time, his bubbly earnest This “Twin Peaks” train keeps on chugging along!!! And while the revival of the show has been both wonderful and absolutely confounding, I have also been turning to the books that came before it. This time instead of focusing on poor dead Laura Palmer, we are getting to know a little bit more about the always optimistic, super enthusiastic, but also ultimately a bit tragic, Dale Cooper, the main protagonist of the show. Dale Cooper is one of my favorite characters of all time, his bubbly earnestness completely charming and absolutely adorable. I was a little skeptical that this book would be able to do him justice, as Kyle Maclachlan just brings him to complete and total life. BUT, I have GREAT news. This book pretty much manages to do it. A warning, though, if you want to see anything else about the town itself and it’s inhabitants, sadly it ends right before Cooper arrives. This is all Cooper, all the time, and while that was totally fine by me, it’s good to know that this is his story, not that of the beloved town. Much like “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer”, you have to go into this book with the knowledge of the show to really get anything from it. We get to see Dale Cooper’s life through his ‘tapes’, transcribed audio recordings that start at his thirteenth birthday. And boy, did it just sound like good ol’ Coop to me as I read them. It really shouldn’t surprise me, as Scott Frost was a writer on the show, but I found myself smiling and cackling with glee as I read this book, it’s content far less heavy than “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer”. Even thirteen year old Dale Cooper is filled with joy and wonder for the world around him, as well as picking up on little hints and details about the people in his life that sheds a little light on things that happen to him later in life. This book explores more of the theory that Cooper is deeply intuitive to the point of being a bit psychic, and expands upon it through his childhood and his family members (specifically his mother; seems that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in this regard). I enjoyed reading about how he saw the changing times of the 1960s, how he viewed his coming of age, and what life was like for him when he first came to the F.B.I. I was ESPECIALLY waiting for mention of one of my other favorite characters on the show, Albert Rosenfield, because boy do I kind of ship the two of them, and without spoiling anything I can tell you that THIS BOOK DID NOT DISAPPOINT! But along with the fan service that felt totally designed for me, this book also gave me a dark side of Coop that isn’t seen as much in the original series. His tapes do serve as his own diary in spite of the fact that he’s sending a fair number of them to Diane, and there were moments of despair and existential angst that I’m not as used to seeing in my man Cooper. He did have his darker moments in Season 2, and in the revival BOY are things bleak for him, but in this book I felt like we got to see a whole other side to Cooper that I tend to forget, or did even know, existed. He expounds upon the losses of the important women in his life with a subtle grief, or will disappear for months at a time, and I just felt like this book does add a new darkness to the character who can be seen holding chocolate bunnies or gleefully experiencing coniferous trees with childlike wonder. Sometimes this could be a bit too much, especially when we get to the Wyndam and Caroline Earle part of his life, but in the right amounts it was very pathos ridden and melancholy. Plus, there were genuine moments of creepiness that I thoroughly enjoyed. Be it the brutal natures of some of the crimes that Dale investigated, or the weird moments of odd rambling that he would do with his tapes in darker, more harried mind spaces, there were parts of this book that gave me chills down my spine. Nothing was totally scary or freaky, but there would be moments that were turned just a little bit odd, and that when I thought about it for a moment I just felt weirded out. That’s the power of “Twin Peaks”, the little moments that are just a bit askew, but completely set you on edge. This book is filled with them. Do you have to read this book if you are a “Twin Peaks” fan? Probably not. It didn’t give me any new insights into anything, really. But it’s a fun little bonus that can be put to the mythos of the series as a whole, especially seeing some of these things being played out or alluded to in the new revival. If you can’t get enough of “Twin Peaks” and are still scratching your head over some of the stuff in the new series, “The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper” will probably suit you just fine.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I am now prepared to watch the return, having read as many of the tie-in books as I could find on the internet, and ordering the secret history which now is proudly displayed on the top of my bookshelf. did I have to read any of them? absolutely not, but I'm on a gap year so I have the time, and I have invested myself so completely in the world of twin peaks that I feel more comfortable being in on everything. this in particular was fantastic. though I question how much of this can be considered I am now prepared to watch the return, having read as many of the tie-in books as I could find on the internet, and ordering the secret history which now is proudly displayed on the top of my bookshelf. did I have to read any of them? absolutely not, but I'm on a gap year so I have the time, and I have invested myself so completely in the world of twin peaks that I feel more comfortable being in on everything. this in particular was fantastic. though I question how much of this can be considered canon, since some aspects of the teresa banks case near the end didn't seem to match up with the original show, but I so enjoyed reading about dale cooper's life before laura palmer, even if it wasn't completely official. on to the return!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nick Traynor

    Another enjoyable walk down memory lane after having read The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer prior to this. I read this in about 1992 and loved it. It was less mysterious than The Secret Diary, but I thought Scott Frost captured the character of Dale Cooper even better than Jennifer Lynch did with Laura Palmer. One problem was Cooper's investigation of Teresa Banks's murder in Deer Meadows, which we know didn't happen in Fire Walk With Me, where he was replaced by Chester Desmond because Kyle MacLa Another enjoyable walk down memory lane after having read The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer prior to this. I read this in about 1992 and loved it. It was less mysterious than The Secret Diary, but I thought Scott Frost captured the character of Dale Cooper even better than Jennifer Lynch did with Laura Palmer. One problem was Cooper's investigation of Teresa Banks's murder in Deer Meadows, which we know didn't happen in Fire Walk With Me, where he was replaced by Chester Desmond because Kyle MacLachlan didn't want to commit to the whole film. The back story of Windom and Caroline Earle was great though, not to mention Cooper's history of investigations into the paranormal. A fun read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ceri Nicholls

    Not great, but I loved it as a Twin Peaks nerd.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eggp

    Zen and cassette tapes a small slice of Cooper pie soon, all hell breaks loose.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Never review yourself. That's one of the basic rules of semi-professional criticism. But a wise man once said to us, approximately 27 years ago, Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee. The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, seemed to have only one printing, in Never review yourself. That's one of the basic rules of semi-professional criticism. But a wise man once said to us, approximately 27 years ago, Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee. The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, seemed to have only one printing, in 1991 - just before the final episodes of the second season of Twin Peaks made it to air. It's reasonable to expect that you would never actually spot it in the wild; unlike The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, which has lived to fight another day, this book was never reprinted. And so it was that I, Alex Doenau, the generally invisible author of hundreds of Goodreads reviews, went to the theatre one day in March 2017 to see a rather dull and indulgent play. In a relatively obscure location in the playhouse, they have a book swap library, and on those shelves I found a near mint edition of The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My TapesThe Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes. The chances of this happening are astronomically minuscule. You're more likely to solve a murder by throwing rocks at bottles than you are to ever see this book. And so it was that The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes was the present that I gave to myself. I let it happen. It was the best thing that ever could have happened. As to the book itself: it's short, and it was published as Twin Peaks fever was dying, unlike The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, which was published at the fever's peak, and was also rather integral to the overall cohesion of the saga (although, of course, one can get by without having read it, it genuinely lends flavour and substance to the overall work). Dale Cooper, by comparison, is more of a curio than a vitally important document, but that does not make it trivial. This book covers multiple stages of Cooper's life, from his teenage experimentations with the tape form to just before he traveled to Twin Peaks. Written by series creator Mark Frost's brother Scott, some of Cooper's life reads in quite an affecting manner: you feel sympathy for the loss of his mother, and a mixture of worry and good humour at the trials and tribulations of his father. At times you wonder how such an optimistic man could have sprung from such darkness, but it is clear that Cooper has a very clear conception of what it means to meditate on the natures of good and evil. There is some slightly contradictory overlap with the contents of Fire Walk With Me, which would be made a year after Twin Peaks' premature conclusion with minimal involvement from a MacLachlan who didn't want to be typecast (a decision that he may have come to regret had he not been granted another chance just this year). The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes deserves another shot at life, a reprint so that people just discovering or rediscovering Twin Peaks for the first time can learn more of the enigmatic nature of the man who would become Mister Jackpots. This is a TV tie-in done right: somewhat content rich with none of the hallmarks of a cheap cash-in. Thank you, universe, for bestowing this damn fine book upon me for the princely sum of another book sacrificed at your altar.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barry Crone

    If you like Twin Peaks and David Lynch, you will enjoy this book, which gives more insight into the character of Dale Cooper. Not as 'important' canonically as "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" but important nonetheless, to get a better picture of Dale's personality and his past adventures, which he alludes to in Seasons 1&2. Important to note: There are a few small continuity errors (plus one BIG one with Fire Walk With Me.) If you are going to watch the series and read the books, it would pro If you like Twin Peaks and David Lynch, you will enjoy this book, which gives more insight into the character of Dale Cooper. Not as 'important' canonically as "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" but important nonetheless, to get a better picture of Dale's personality and his past adventures, which he alludes to in Seasons 1&2. Important to note: There are a few small continuity errors (plus one BIG one with Fire Walk With Me.) If you are going to watch the series and read the books, it would probably be best to watch/read in this order: 1) Watch Twin Peaks Season 1 2) Read "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" 3) Watch Twin Peaks Season 2 4) Read "The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper" 5) Listen to "Diane: The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper" 6) Watch "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (even though it's a 'prequel' to the show, it has major spoilers to the show and MUST be watched after the show) 7) Read "The Secret History of Twin Peaks" 8) Watch Twin Peaks Season 3 9) Read "Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier"

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    A lot of movie/t.v. tie-in novels are quick bids to cash in on a trend. This book doesn't feel like one of them. That's probably because it was written by Scott Frost, an actual writer for the "Twin Peaks" series. The Autobiography follows Dale Cooper from the age of 13, when he gets his first reel-to-reel tape recorder through the time he gets called to Twin Peaks. We see the cultural events of the sixties and seventies and how they effect Dale's life. Plus, we gain insight into how he was raise A lot of movie/t.v. tie-in novels are quick bids to cash in on a trend. This book doesn't feel like one of them. That's probably because it was written by Scott Frost, an actual writer for the "Twin Peaks" series. The Autobiography follows Dale Cooper from the age of 13, when he gets his first reel-to-reel tape recorder through the time he gets called to Twin Peaks. We see the cultural events of the sixties and seventies and how they effect Dale's life. Plus, we gain insight into how he was raised. I think the earliest parts are the best because, as the book continues, the defining moments of Dale Cooper's life become more and more vague. As a "Twin Peaks" fan, I'm used to a bit of mystery about the Coop but I was hoping for more insight into his defining moments. That's what keeps me from giving this book five stars. That being said, the entries really feel like Coop's voice and as I read them I was imagining Kyle MacLachlan reading them aloud. The cadence and frank earnestness are their. I just wish there were more specifics.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    This is a far better Twin Peaks tie in than the patchy Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. While the latter never really convinced the reader of its association with its in-show character, The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper cannot be read without hearing Dale's dictaphone voice. There's really not much interest here for anyone who's not a fan of the Twin Peaks show. It probably doesn't stand on its own very well for the uninitiated - but for fans it provides a charming amount of depth This is a far better Twin Peaks tie in than the patchy Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. While the latter never really convinced the reader of its association with its in-show character, The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper cannot be read without hearing Dale's dictaphone voice. There's really not much interest here for anyone who's not a fan of the Twin Peaks show. It probably doesn't stand on its own very well for the uninitiated - but for fans it provides a charming amount of depth to the character of Cooper, with anecdotes conveying a more cheeky and darker side of the lawman. It's very tongue in cheek - as is most of Cooper's TV dialogue - but eminently enjoyable. If you want to know more about Windom Earle or Diane, this is the place to go.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jur

    With the return of Twin Peaks to the screen I could help picking this one off the shelf. Ranging from the weird to the hilarious. How can we not be interested in how Dale Cooper came to find his strong mental powers, when he first discovered coffee and pie, the letter he received from J. Edgar Hoover, how he lost his cherry or how he met Windom Earle? Some of the stuff on the Teresa Banks murder conflicts with what happens in Fire Walk With Me, but small beef.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Bumiller

    Obviously, this is required reading for any Twin Peaks fan! You gain all kinds of insight into Coop's life prior to his arrival in Twin Peaks. Find out all about his early encounters with Windham Earl, Diane, Gordon Cole, etc. Also, you get to witness that first sip of damn good coffee! This book is so cool!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jemiah Jefferson

    Not as good as I had hoped it would be - nor as weird. I have hopes for a potential sequel. A gal can dream!

  24. 4 out of 5

    ElphaReads

    I have a list of favorite TV characters of all time. You got Jackie Burkhart from THAT 70s SHOW, Spike from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, the entire cast of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, and both Mulder and Scully from THE X-FILES. And from my favorite show, TWIN PEAKS, you have Audrey Horne and Special Agent Dale Cooper. Though Audrey doesn't have her own TWIN PEAKS book (it's a crime, I tell ya!), when I found out that, much like THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER, Dale Cooper had his own epistolary ta I have a list of favorite TV characters of all time. You got Jackie Burkhart from THAT 70s SHOW, Spike from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, the entire cast of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, and both Mulder and Scully from THE X-FILES. And from my favorite show, TWIN PEAKS, you have Audrey Horne and Special Agent Dale Cooper. Though Audrey doesn't have her own TWIN PEAKS book (it's a crime, I tell ya!), when I found out that, much like THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER, Dale Cooper had his own epistolary tale, I had to ILL it like whoa. So that is how I got my hands on THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF F.B.I. SPECIAL AGENT DALE COOPER: MY LIFE, MY TAPES by Scott Frost. Dale Cooper, effervescent and optimistic protagonist of TWIN PEAKS, had an obsession with making tapes long before he arrived at the mysterious Pacific Northwest town. This book starts when he is thirteen, and gets a tape recorder for his birthday. For the rest of his life up to his time in TWIN PEAKS he's been recording various tapes, and this is a collection of them through his coming of age, to his time in the bureau, and right at his departure to investigate a murder in a quiet town south of the Canadian Border called Twin Peaks. Unlike THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF F.B.I SPECIAL AGENT DALE COOPER is a bit more light hearted and humorous along with being genuinely creepy at times. Once again, this isn't the kind of book you'd pick up if you had no prior knowledge of the show and it's mythos, but I think that it may function a bit better just because Coop as a person is so damn funny and earnest. Frost, who wrote for the show, does a great job of capturing Cooper's voice again, and I found myself grinning like a dweeb as I read it. I love Cooper so much, and since he hasn't really been much of himself in the revival as of now, getting to see this new to me content has been a serious breath of fresh air. I was really hoping that we would get references to characters from the show outside of him, and while that was a bit limited (due to it ending right as he's assigned Laura Palmer's murder) the little we did get was perfection (oh my GOD, him meeting Albert was everything I ever wanted it to be and MORE!). This book also had the opportunity to explore some of the darker sides of Coop that we didn't see much in the show, at least not in the first season (I will admit I've only seen season 2 in it's entirety once, because so much of it is off the rails), and showing the tragedies of his past, as well as his innate, potentially psychic abilities. Also, there were definitely moments of absolute freakiness in this book, just by being a bit off kilter and uncanny at times. Very Lynchian. I don't think that THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF F.B.I SPECIAL AGENT DALE COOPER adds much to the TWIN PEAKS mythos as a whole, but like THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER it's a nice bonus filled with easter eggs galore. If the revival is confounding you, try this on for size. Good Ol' Coop is here.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Frost has written a pretty decent 'autobiography' of Dale Cooper, a central character from the cult TV series 'Twin Peaks'. Extrapolated from how Cooper was depicted in the television show (prior to the recent third series), the book follows the FBI agent through his life and I would argue the narrative is mostly in harmony with what is shown on TV. The best aspects of the book are those where Cooper's personality if established through his childhood and young adult years. This is due to the man Frost has written a pretty decent 'autobiography' of Dale Cooper, a central character from the cult TV series 'Twin Peaks'. Extrapolated from how Cooper was depicted in the television show (prior to the recent third series), the book follows the FBI agent through his life and I would argue the narrative is mostly in harmony with what is shown on TV. The best aspects of the book are those where Cooper's personality if established through his childhood and young adult years. This is due to the manner in which Frost breaks away from a lot of known 'facts' re Dale's fictional life, yet uses them to instil some colour into the character. The nascent, youthful, pre-FBI Dale Cooper as presented in this book is an entertaining 'work in progress', and for anyone who has watched the TV series it is enjoyable to follow Cooper knowing what lies ahead. Where the book falls down a bit is when Cooper joins the FBI, and then eventually deals with the challenge and enigma that is Windom Earle. For me this is where Frost was just padding out details already in place from the TV series. It must be hard to create a refreshing narrative based on adapted material, and Frost is obviously beaten by the challenge posed by trying to complement or inform characters that were more sharply (and more enjoyably) defined by their appearance on television. Must say that I also thought that the segment of the book that followed the investigation of Teresa Banks' murder was far too peremptory, based on how important her killing was to Twin Peaks. In summary, this is a good read, but will mystify anyone who is not a Twin Peaks fan. If you love David Lynch & Mark Frost's masterpiece, then 'The Autobiography of FBI Agent Dale Cooper' is a must have.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sycobabel

    I spent a few months searching for a copy in every used book store I could find. Eventually it dawned on me that since it was out of print, and very expensive, someone had probably uploaded it online. I was right. I've got to extend a major thanks to glastonberrygrove.net for sharing this delightfully fulfilling book for those not willing to shell out $150 per copy. Having read The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (as teenager), The Secret History of Twin Peaks (last year) and listening to The Twin I spent a few months searching for a copy in every used book store I could find. Eventually it dawned on me that since it was out of print, and very expensive, someone had probably uploaded it online. I was right. I've got to extend a major thanks to glastonberrygrove.net for sharing this delightfully fulfilling book for those not willing to shell out $150 per copy. Having read The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (as teenager), The Secret History of Twin Peaks (last year) and listening to The Twin Peaks Tapes of Dale Cooper (last month); this was the one piece of the extended Twin Peaks canon that had escaped my attention. I think it's safe to say Twin Peaks mainline is pumping through my veins with only six episodes left of Twin Peaks: The Return. Since this book traces as far back as 1967, into Dale's youth, and on into his work in the F.B.I. in the 80's, it did leave a strange imprint on me of the past (and Dale) when combined with watching the new series. It's almost like being Dr. Jacoby and switching back and forth from the red and blue lenses of his glasses -- one eye open, one eye shut, one eye open, one eye shut -- marrying these different versions of Dale into the person we love and the person he becomes. I think it goes without saying that this book is for the die-hard fans; and maybe some might argue that so is the new season; but there is a lot of great backstory and information that is much more than just a bonus track. Personally I can't get enough. I just love the world of Twin Peaks so much that any morsel of information is like the best bite of cherry pie.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ava Witonsky

    in the cold gray slog of academia sometimes i allow myself to engage with trashy books/films because they are fun & straightforward & not noam chomsky or jodorowsky. flash forward to my friend sending me a Mysterious 200 page pdf over text with nary but the inscription of 'Read This Lol' .....That Being Said i did not hate my life my tapes!!! i am nothing if not a Dale Cooper stan & i thought that frost captured his voice with almost all of its curiosity, intelligence, and warmth. i particularly in the cold gray slog of academia sometimes i allow myself to engage with trashy books/films because they are fun & straightforward & not noam chomsky or jodorowsky. flash forward to my friend sending me a Mysterious 200 page pdf over text with nary but the inscription of 'Read This Lol' .....That Being Said i did not hate my life my tapes!!! i am nothing if not a Dale Cooper stan & i thought that frost captured his voice with almost all of its curiosity, intelligence, and warmth. i particularly liked the glimpses of the dreamy 1950s world which lynch so often plays in. i was a little off-put by all of the darker, sexual content, but it was an interesting dimension of character which i viewed more in light of BV jeffrey beaumont/cooper's possession at the end of S2. the closest twin peaks comes to approaching MLMT is through windom earle; he is the furthest dale seems to reveal of his past, and even then with fear and avoidance. i thought the storyline about dale's mother, her psychic dreams, & mysterious murder (BOB?) added the most intriguing & relevant layer to the canon. i wouldn't necessarily recommend this book, but if u are a self-aware twin peaks/lynch fangurl, into Character Study, or looking to survey the apocryphal texts of fandom, MLMT may be fun 4 u.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nikolas Kalar

    Out of all the Twin Peaks books I've read (and, except for "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer," I think I've read all the official ones), "My Life, My Tapes: The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper" definitely captures the tone of the Twin Peaks television show the best, and hews most closely to its carefully constructed architecture of horror, humor, bizzarie, mystery, and psychodrama. But, perhaps, such things were destined to fall in the book's favor. Dale Cooper, perhaps more tha Out of all the Twin Peaks books I've read (and, except for "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer," I think I've read all the official ones), "My Life, My Tapes: The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper" definitely captures the tone of the Twin Peaks television show the best, and hews most closely to its carefully constructed architecture of horror, humor, bizzarie, mystery, and psychodrama. But, perhaps, such things were destined to fall in the book's favor. Dale Cooper, perhaps more than any other character from the iconic cult TV series, combines all of those elements into his personality. Dale Cooper, when you boil it all down, encapsulates all that Twin Peaks has to offer. He has the most defined voice of them all. So, of course, his 'memoirs' would seem the most Peaksy. But mimicking the voice of another is a difficult task. So many kudos must given to the actual author of this memoir, Scott Frost (brother of Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost), for doing so spectacularly in capturing the cadence of the show's writing staff and actor Kyle MacLachlan's delivery. It isn't a particularly masterful work of literature (and there are even some editing discrepancies), but I don't think anyone going into this book actually expects that. As a piece of Twin Peaks marginalia for the obsessive or completionist fan, it's great. It offers some exciting tidbits into the life of everyone's favorite special agent. The only big negative I can think of at the moment is young Cooper's strange preoccupation with sex and the use of a gay bar as the punchline for many jokes toward the back of the book. These things bothered me quite a bit as I was reading them, but, given that it isn't a book that's meant to be taken seriously, I didn't take them too seriously either.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark Ward

    The first thing I downloaded when I got broadband (remember when that was a new thing that was just being introduced) was Twin Peaks. I had heard so much about it but never seen it, and once I did I fell deeply in love with its strange beauty, a love that remains to this day. Having read the other books (The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, The Secret History of Twin Peaks), this was one that has been woefully out of print (and I’m not sure why – The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was reprinted a few The first thing I downloaded when I got broadband (remember when that was a new thing that was just being introduced) was Twin Peaks. I had heard so much about it but never seen it, and once I did I fell deeply in love with its strange beauty, a love that remains to this day. Having read the other books (The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, The Secret History of Twin Peaks), this was one that has been woefully out of print (and I’m not sure why – The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was reprinted a few years ago) since its first publication in 1991. Thankfully, the internet doth provide, and I was delighted it did. This book is wonderful. Documenting Dale’s life from his childhood right up to when he enters Twin Peaks for the first time, it is a beautifully written book that captures Dale’s voice perfectly. The book purports to be a transcription of his tapes throughout the years, from his very first when his dad gets him a tape recorder as a child, and if tiny Dale isn’t adorable. Lots of fascinating info here, and a first hand account of “what went on in Pittsburgh” which became really important to have fleshed out in the second half of Season Two! If you can get your hands on a copy, I would recommend it, although the cheapest secondhand copy I can find is $90, but if you’re a true fan, as Dale himself would say: “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present!”

  30. 5 out of 5

    J

    It's really easy to hear the voice of Kyle Maclachlan when reading this book. Either that's a testament to how solidly he nailed the character and became an iconic piece of Pop culture or how well Scott Frost inhabited the character (having been part of the original show's writing team) when he wrote the book. Small niggling inconsistency: this book written before Fire Walk with Me so it has Cooper being much more involved in the Theresa Banks investigation, including finding the letter under her It's really easy to hear the voice of Kyle Maclachlan when reading this book. Either that's a testament to how solidly he nailed the character and became an iconic piece of Pop culture or how well Scott Frost inhabited the character (having been part of the original show's writing team) when he wrote the book. Small niggling inconsistency: this book written before Fire Walk with Me so it has Cooper being much more involved in the Theresa Banks investigation, including finding the letter under her nail. (MacLachlan's requesting only a small part in the film meant Lynch had to create characters Sam Stanley and Chester Desmond to investigate the murder instead). Otherwise a damn good bit of entertainment.

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