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In Heaven, Everything is Fine: Fiction Inspired by David Lynch

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For over thirty-five years, David Lynch has remained one of the weirdest, most challenging, and provocative filmmakers. From his early experimental films created as an art student in Philadelphia, to his foray into digital film with Inland Empire, Lynch's filmography is as diverse as it is influential. Featuring Thomas Ligotti, John Skipp, David J (of Bauhaus), Ben Loory, N For over thirty-five years, David Lynch has remained one of the weirdest, most challenging, and provocative filmmakers. From his early experimental films created as an art student in Philadelphia, to his foray into digital film with Inland Empire, Lynch's filmography is as diverse as it is influential. Featuring Thomas Ligotti, John Skipp, David J (of Bauhaus), Ben Loory, Nick Mamatas, Amelia Gray, Kevin Sampsell, Blake Butler, and many others, In Heaven, Everything is Fine: Fiction Inspired by David Lynch is a tribute to one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.


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For over thirty-five years, David Lynch has remained one of the weirdest, most challenging, and provocative filmmakers. From his early experimental films created as an art student in Philadelphia, to his foray into digital film with Inland Empire, Lynch's filmography is as diverse as it is influential. Featuring Thomas Ligotti, John Skipp, David J (of Bauhaus), Ben Loory, N For over thirty-five years, David Lynch has remained one of the weirdest, most challenging, and provocative filmmakers. From his early experimental films created as an art student in Philadelphia, to his foray into digital film with Inland Empire, Lynch's filmography is as diverse as it is influential. Featuring Thomas Ligotti, John Skipp, David J (of Bauhaus), Ben Loory, Nick Mamatas, Amelia Gray, Kevin Sampsell, Blake Butler, and many others, In Heaven, Everything is Fine: Fiction Inspired by David Lynch is a tribute to one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

30 review for In Heaven, Everything is Fine: Fiction Inspired by David Lynch

  1. 5 out of 5

    Benni

    This anthology would have benefited from more novella or novellette-sized stories. As it is, it's mostly short stories and flash fiction, and there are just so, so many of varying quality. With a few exceptions, the original pieces truly inspired by Lynch read better than those that appropriate from Lynch--after all, Lynch does Lynch best. Still, enough good material to be worth the read. This anthology would have benefited from more novella or novellette-sized stories. As it is, it's mostly short stories and flash fiction, and there are just so, so many of varying quality. With a few exceptions, the original pieces truly inspired by Lynch read better than those that appropriate from Lynch--after all, Lynch does Lynch best. Still, enough good material to be worth the read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Seidlinger

    I am in here somewhere.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Baugh

    This is a collection that matches its inspiration: rich in brilliant, engaging, disturbing parts, and also rich in parts that never rise above random weirdness just because. It's very much worth your time to read, if you like Lynch's mix of compassionate humanism, profoundly unsettled fascination with the limits of the known and knowable, and outright bizarrely elegant motifs. There seems to be a classic failure mode for stories of this kind: random weird stuff happens that never adds up to mean This is a collection that matches its inspiration: rich in brilliant, engaging, disturbing parts, and also rich in parts that never rise above random weirdness just because. It's very much worth your time to read, if you like Lynch's mix of compassionate humanism, profoundly unsettled fascination with the limits of the known and knowable, and outright bizarrely elegant motifs. There seems to be a classic failure mode for stories of this kind: random weird stuff happens that never adds up to mean much for anyone it's happening to, and then the story stops. There are a few stories like that in this volume, and also some where, quite literally, I have no idea what happened or to whom, because there was never enough information for me to get any sense of what was up - the equivalent of a version of Mulholland Drive that had the opening credits montage, the theatre moment, and the last five minutes, and three minutes of The Straight Story, and nothing else. But the good parts are really, really, really good. At least one probably has no preternatural elements at all; it's just a close look at a person kidding themselves ever deeper into delusional quests, a sort of latter-day neighbor to Willa Cather's "Paul's Case". Others are very definitely about reality losing its way and what this does to the people caught in it, with rich, sympathetic portrayals. These are very much stories inspired by Lynch, not trying to be just like Lynch. As a really minor quibble, I personally don't think of Thomas Ligotti's "Teattro Grottesco" (which appears here) as "Gas Station Carnivals" (which doesn't). Though, now that I think about it...never mind, a story about how to eliminate art one soul at a time is suitable. :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jade Lopert

    I originally bought this anthology for two reasons. One, I am borderline obsessed with everything David Lynch. Two, it had a story by Jeremy Robert Johnson. In simple terms, he's one of the most talented writers of the past ten years so his presence in an anthology is always a big selling point. This was definitely a short story anthology, with everything good and bad that means. There's a wide variety of styles and subject that's always interesting to get. As is almost always the case, there are I originally bought this anthology for two reasons. One, I am borderline obsessed with everything David Lynch. Two, it had a story by Jeremy Robert Johnson. In simple terms, he's one of the most talented writers of the past ten years so his presence in an anthology is always a big selling point. This was definitely a short story anthology, with everything good and bad that means. There's a wide variety of styles and subject that's always interesting to get. As is almost always the case, there are stronger stories and there are weaker stories. In this anthology in particular, the strong stories are very strong, but the weak stories are very weak. I think the best offerings here (examples: Population: 2, Outlier, Persistence Hunting, Night Films) really take "Inspired by" to mean atmospherically similar to a Lynch film. The weaker offerings tended to be very literal on the writing in the Lynch universe that already exists, or about Lynch himself. All in all, it ends up with 3 stars, because the reading is so even from amazing to subpar to average and all over the map. I definitely recommend it though as a way to see how these authors translate the Lynchian mythology and feel into their own universes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt Payne

    When you've watched all of Lynch's movies and you need more weirdness, this is where you have to go. I'm surprised by the grace, style, and beauty of most of these stories. These dreamlike tales pulled me into that indescribable world, showed me things that made no sense yet held deep meaning, and then left me alone, listening to the hiss of an empty record. When you've watched all of Lynch's movies and you need more weirdness, this is where you have to go. I'm surprised by the grace, style, and beauty of most of these stories. These dreamlike tales pulled me into that indescribable world, showed me things that made no sense yet held deep meaning, and then left me alone, listening to the hiss of an empty record.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara Dee

    totally a fun read. I really liked the Thomas ligotti story. lots of wonderful things to reminisce about in the weird world of Lynch.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    What a great collection of weird tales that are definitely reminiscent of David Lynch.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Patchen

    In lurid-lit.com you'll find a full review. In lurid-lit.com you'll find a full review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    I gave up on this. There are some good stories but they are few and far between.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    I'll do my best to remember the thoughts from the first few stories and then to add thoughts after each additional story. Finding Yourself as Someone Else Matthew Revert is the reason I got this collection (well, that and I love Lynch). My guess is this a a story that will reveal itself upon a later reread. Much like some of Revert's most powerful works, you have to be ready to hear what he's saying when you encounter it. I was not ready for this story. Hadley A more straightforward trip through d I'll do my best to remember the thoughts from the first few stories and then to add thoughts after each additional story. Finding Yourself as Someone Else Matthew Revert is the reason I got this collection (well, that and I love Lynch). My guess is this a a story that will reveal itself upon a later reread. Much like some of Revert's most powerful works, you have to be ready to hear what he's saying when you encounter it. I was not ready for this story. Hadley A more straightforward trip through dream logic. This is what I was expecting from the book. Solid! Where Walls Would Have Cautionary story, definitely in the bizarre set of things. Not sure where the Lynchian aspect comes in (too blunt for ambiguity, too straight a story, too ...?). Imprinting Another story that I'll need to revisit to digest. Especially as the end reveals the imprinting has worked (and maybe been working so well, it's bled into the worklife?). Plays with Lynchian themes of doubles, dream logic, exploring the underside/emotional-side below the surface. Population: 2 Fun story. Feels more at home in a Stephen King collection or maybe Harlan Ellison than Lynch, but enjoyable. ~ The editing of this collection is solid. Throwing pieces that feel more straight forward between the more abstract works is a great choice! Kudos to Mr. Pierce ~ Nightbomb and Friendship is Niceness and is No, these two are not the same story, but my reaction at the end of both of them is the same. Why can't I see this instead of read it? Both of them hide so much nuance between the lines with facial tics that the camera would capture (especially with Lynch directing); clearly revealing the depths behind contradictory lines or repetition. Due to the strangeness of both of these, I feel Nightbomb succeeds most in being concise; though FiNai may have the more satisfying conclusion. Portents of Past Futures This feels like the best blending of Lynch and Bizarro so far. So many subtle callbacks (and not so subtle) to Lynchian tropes while playing in a space that uses the best Bizarro has to offer; most specifically the mixture of ambiguity and specificity of the final image ties the two styles together. (Yes, I know Lynch's works is a big influence of Bizarro in general ... but there's a lot more to the literary style than just Lynch). Beast With Two Backs Feels grimier than an Lynch film ... yet plays with the dream logic incredibly well. Lou Reed Sings ... I think I need to rewatch some Lynch because there's a strong diner theme in this book that I just don't get. It's a surface detail that comes from Twin Peaks and ... one other movie? The rest of this is a brilliant play on "Lost Highway" (the title references a key scene and the character names are the same). If you haven't watched that movie in a while, this story won't be as rewarding. A truely Lynch-inspired work written to honor Lynch's legacy. Zygote Notes ... So far, THIS is the story that has truly captured what makes Lynch films so special. The empathy and care he puts into the world around him. The idea of love that comes from just opening up to the world and stories surrounding us and letting them bounce back and forth. Sure, there's Twin Peaks references in here, but this story is really an homage to the Lynch's Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. Excellent! A Love Song to Frank Booth If ever there was a story written specifically for this collection. Short enough to keep its power intact as Edward Morris explores Frank Booth from Jeffrey Beaumont's hiding place in the closet. And framing it as a "love song" truly encapsulates the horror and ambiguity of the movie "Blue Velvet". Girl from Iowa A good story, but one that felt out of place. Almost more Hubert Selby Jr. than Lynch? That could just be me, though. Blue Velvet Cake Definitely plays with the Lynchian trope of "what you see covers the darkness." Solid dream logic at play ... another read will emphasize the parallels of the two stories. Trembler I feel like I'm missing the connection between a good chunk of these stories/excerpts and Lynch. Is it the industrial setting (train tracks) that brings the Lynchian vibe for these two pages? The weird person in the distance? Maybe I just have some seriously rose-tinted glasses on when watching Lynch; these feel too dark and grimy. Model made of Card... AWESOME story narrated as non-fiction. Truly inspiring. Twin Peaks... What was the genesis of Lynch/Frost's epic soap opera? This attempts to give "a weak dream in a hotel room" as the answer. Forgettable. Hipster Hunter Leave it to Jeff Burk to take the nuttiness of Wild At Heart and blend his own silly sensibilities in. I can forgive the steps removed from Lynch this one is. Miseryhead Someone really liked Mulholland Drive. Wish the story was up to that movie. ~ The thing about story collections is they will hit everyone differently. Especially a bizarro collection as varied as this one. Here I am halfway through and already I'm ready to highly recommend this collection to anyone interested in the genre. This is a fantastic introduction to many of the styles of bizarro - though this tends towards the serious - and even the less than stellar stories are interesting. First Movement What happens when you mix Lynch, Shirley Jackson, and strong writing? This story. Lynchian in the barest sense (a dreamy quality, a series of wishes), more strongly Jackson. Suzanne Burns is someone I need to find more of!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Collin Henderson

    You've got your good things... And I've got mine. David Lynch is a man who has concerned himself with things such as childbirth, parental anxiety, hardened criminals, the negative effects of industrialism, the dark underside of Hollywood, love as viewed through the eyes of someone who has lost it, music, the death of one person in a small town and its following effects, the magical wonders of coffee, what is reality and what is dreams, insanity, and, amongst other things and perhaps most scary of You've got your good things... And I've got mine. David Lynch is a man who has concerned himself with things such as childbirth, parental anxiety, hardened criminals, the negative effects of industrialism, the dark underside of Hollywood, love as viewed through the eyes of someone who has lost it, music, the death of one person in a small town and its following effects, the magical wonders of coffee, what is reality and what is dreams, insanity, and, amongst other things and perhaps most scary of all, Nic Cage's acting abilities. As a big fan of Lynch and his wonderful, weird, scary, and beautiful way of looking at the world and telling stories, I saw the title for this anthology (which comes from a song in his debut feature Eraserhead) and instantly knew I had to read it. And much like all of the subjects he himself has covered, this book is filled with stories that tackle everything from isolation to sexuality, hatred to love. And much like his work, most of this is great, but there are a few missteps along the way. After reading the absolutely hilarious foreword by Bradley Sands, I plunged in and read each story in order and found that there are three types of stories in this book. The first is a story that apes elements of Lynch and winds up feeling dull and uninspired because of it (stories such as "Lou Reed Sings 'This Magic Moment,'"which reads as Lost Highway fan fiction, and "Inland Where Secrets Lie," which is the literary equivalent of watching Inland Empire, my least favorite Lynch film I've seen). These honestly could have been removed and not much would have been lost. Thankfully, these types of stories aren't terribly abundant. The second kind of story is the one that uses elements or motifs of Lynch to their advantage (things like owls, character names, a shit ton of blue velvet and red curtains, etc.). These include stories such as Laura Lee Bahr's "Blue Velvet Cake" which blends the past and present, much like Lynch often does, but does so in a way that tells a unique story of hatred and resentment. Another good example of this is "Sextape" by Simon Logan, a story of a woman who is told to sell a sex tape that turns her world upside down (this is one of my favorites as it feels like a mixture of Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive, in its own nightmarish way). The last kind of story is one that feels like something Lynch might have made, but does its own thing entirely. This includes Jeremy Robert Johnson's incredible "Persistence Hunting" (which was one of the best stories in his awesome collection We Live Inside you and is one of the best in this one as well), which is a classic noir tale through and through. Then there are the more outlandish ones, like Cody Goodfellow's "Population: 2" which honestly feels like an X rated Twilight Zone episode in a really good way, and Kirsten Alene's "Gloria," easily one of the most fucked up and weird pieces of fiction I've read in a while, solely because of the ending. Then there's Lake Street by MP Johnson, which is... tough to describe and impossible to forget, again because of the ending. Point being, the good outweighs the bad in this anthology. While there are only a handful of truly great stories in here (my favorites being the aforementioned "Persistence Hunting," "Sextape," and "Blue Velvet Cake," and "Gloria," along with David J. Osborne's "Imprinting," and Jeffrey Thomas's "Portents of Past Futures"). A lot of them are pretty confusing and vague, but most are worth reading even if you don't understand them entirely or they don't wow you. In other words, this anthology reflects Lynch's own career pretty well, with everything that implies. Side note: My favorite film by Lynch is Lost Highway, followed very closely by Eraserhead and Twin Peaks is easily in my top five TV shows ever made. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some coffee to drink and donuts to eat.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fabrizio

    Being a huge Lynch fan, I received this book as a gift, and I wasn't disappointed. Overall, the stories are very much in the vain of Lynch. Being a huge Lynch fan, I received this book as a gift, and I wasn't disappointed. Overall, the stories are very much in the vain of Lynch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam Rodenberger

    This ain't your super easy beach reading material...and that's a good thing considering the stories are inspired by legendary filmmaker David Lynch. These 39 stories range from the fairly normal to the out and out persona-swapping mid-scene. If you're not a fan of Lynch's films or a fair number of the authors included in this collection already, this one might be a hard sell for you. The majority of the stories aren't quick reads and require more than a simple one-time reading. Some personal fav This ain't your super easy beach reading material...and that's a good thing considering the stories are inspired by legendary filmmaker David Lynch. These 39 stories range from the fairly normal to the out and out persona-swapping mid-scene. If you're not a fan of Lynch's films or a fair number of the authors included in this collection already, this one might be a hard sell for you. The majority of the stories aren't quick reads and require more than a simple one-time reading. Some personal favorites/standouts in the collection: "Finding Yourself as Someone Else" by Matthew Revert "Hadley" by Ben Loory "Imprinting" by J. David Osborne "Population:2" by Cody Goodfellow "Portents of Past Futures" by Jeffrey Thomas "Lou Reed Sings 'This Magic Moment'" by Andrew Wayne Adams "Blue Velvet Cake" by Laura Lee Bahr "The Class of Edun High" by Matty Byloos "Gloria" by Kirsten Alene "Nubs" by Jeremy C. Shipp "Persistence Hunting" by Jeremy Robert Johnson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ian Welke

    I found this to be very hit or miss, even more so than most anthologies, but then that seemed very appropriate for being based on David Lynch. Much like Lynch, when the stories were prioritizing storytelling over the weirdness, I really liked them and appreciated the weirdness in them all the more. But also like a couple of Lynch's films there were some stories that were just weird without giving me a base to work with as a reader. 3.5 stars, rounded up because the good stories are worth the pri I found this to be very hit or miss, even more so than most anthologies, but then that seemed very appropriate for being based on David Lynch. Much like Lynch, when the stories were prioritizing storytelling over the weirdness, I really liked them and appreciated the weirdness in them all the more. But also like a couple of Lynch's films there were some stories that were just weird without giving me a base to work with as a reader. 3.5 stars, rounded up because the good stories are worth the price of the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Juliette

    Reads like a series of dreams, sometimes disgusting, sometimes beautiful, sometimes just outright strange (in a good way). Even though some of the stories weren't to my taste, each one had at least one line or image that captured my attention. I think anyone into David Lynch's work will be intrigued by this collection. Reads like a series of dreams, sometimes disgusting, sometimes beautiful, sometimes just outright strange (in a good way). Even though some of the stories weren't to my taste, each one had at least one line or image that captured my attention. I think anyone into David Lynch's work will be intrigued by this collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lady Lovecraft

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shawn D.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael Labone

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jarrid Deaton

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Thompson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Crawford

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dzanc Books

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelby Losack

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nikos

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steve Owen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sharkkattackk_Books

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ash Woodall

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