Book review: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Rating: 4/5 stars

To start out, I want to say that if you’re not a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, this book is probably not for you. Unless you’re a huge fan on Lauren Graham and her writing style and humour appeal so much to you that you don’t really care about the content.

I am a huge fan of Gilmore Girls.

I am in love with the characters and I am in love with Stars Hollow. It’s just so cosy. Lots of humour and warmth and just great characters and stories that I keep coming back to. Of course reading this book made me start rewatching the show again because it reminded me how much I love it. It’s one of those shows that just makes me feel like coming home, like I’m visiting with old friends and like everything will be OK. And while some people (like J – though we’ve rewatched Buffy I don’t know how many times together) may feel like it’s a waste of time to watch shows and movies again that you’ve already seen countless times, for me it’s like comfort food, it’s like pure relaxation. And because I inevitably get so involved in whatever it is I’m watching, I still experience all the highs and lows, ups and downs with the characters, even though I’ve seen it all before. I enjoy the budding romances between Lorelai and Max, Rory and Dean, Lorelai and Luke, Rory and Jess… I get annoyed by Richard and Emily’s constant meddling, I revel in Kirk’s weirdness and all his odd jobs, I am entertained by every town meeting and I would just love to have a cup of coffee at Luke’s accompanied by a lecture about how coffee will give me high blood pressure from the man himself. I will often espouse to anyone who will listen that Luke Danes is the perfect man. J keeps reminding me that he’s fictional – I think he may feel slightly threatened. 😉

Right, so, back to the book… It is very light, it is very short, and it is a little all over the place. It’s part memoir and part promo for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. This doesn’t bother me. If it sounds like it would bother you, don’t read it.

It is organised in chapters that have an overarching theme, like childhood, starting out as an actor, becoming a writer, life in Hollywood, Gilmore Girls the first time around, etc. But within each chapter the style is very much train of thought and she jumps back and forth and it’s not always apparent why. I kind of regretted not getting the audiobook version as I think it would work very well with her reading it aloud – and apparently she also sings. On the other hand the e-book (and probably also hardback) have pictures.

Though Lauren (yes, we’re on a first name basis – and since I know from reading her book that she doesn’t read anything about herself in the media she cannot contradict me – I’m drunk with power!) does cast a sarcastic glance at the cult of celebrity and Hollywood life, this is not a deep going or analytical criticism of said lifestyle. She is part of it after all, and chooses to remain so. But she’s quite down-to-earth, does have a bunch of funny observations, and maybe dispels a myth or two. Turns out celebrities don’t have magical dieting powers – they need to work out like maniacs and try all the weird diets, just like us, to figure out what works for them. And all the while everyone is judging them. Yes, OK, for someone in Lauren’s position it also pays pretty well (her net worth is estimated at 22 million USD, but I don’t know what calculations the magic internet gnomes used to arrive at that number) – but personally I would definitely not switch places. The incredibly long hours, the promotional stuff, hours of hair and make-up, your every move being scrutinised – it sounds both incredibly stressful and boring to me. But I cut my own hair, so I’m probably not the “target audience” for this sort of lifestyle. Nevertheless it was interesting to get a little bit of insight into what the famous actor life is like.

There’s also interesting bits on the struggles of writing, and some useful advice (based on the pomodoro technique) that I may utilise next time I feel blocked. As you may be aware, Lauren Graham had already written a novel called Someday, Someday, Maybe before she wrote this book. I read that one too, a few years ago, but remember it as only OK (sorry Lauren!). Admittedly, I bought it solely because it was written by Miss Graham, and the storyline of a young actress struggling to make it is not really something that interests me a great deal. I think I was expecting something more “Gilmore-y” in style, even though I was fully aware that the show was in fact not written by her at all, she just spoke the lines. So, I liked this one better.

I loved the Gilmore Girls bits, both about the original series and about the new Netflix movies. I’d have loved to have more of those bits. More of Lauren’s thoughts on the show, the plot lines, fun moments with co-stars, etc. Like I said, watching the show for me is like visiting with old friends, and I love to hear how much Lauren liked working on the show, how important it was to her and how she had great off-screen relationships with the other actors. Similarly; I always love hearing the actors of Firefly talk about the show, because it seems magical and like everyone loved it. And it’s gratifying that something that carries importance to me was also important to the people who helped create it. And I was also gratified to read (warning: Gilmore Girls original series spoiler) that Lauren had to be convinced multiple times that Lorelai and Chris did in fact get married in Paris in season 7, because it just seemed so bizarre to her. Season 7 was pretty weird overall really, though they managed to rein it in at the end and give the show a somewhat satisfactory conclusion. Though the ending was quite open, it was easy to draw the conclusions I wanted to based on it.

Speaking of which, did anyone else notice that the last words of the Netflix series were kind of a cliffhanger?* Lauren did. She does say a bunch of stuff to indicate that doing the Netflix series felt like the ending they’d all sort of been missing since the ending of the original series. But she also doesn’t close the door on the possibility that there could be more Gilmore in our future, and neither does the Netflix show – because did you notice how the ending is kind of a cliffhanger?…

*Yes, of course you did, this is just a reference to Talking as Fast as I Can.

 

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