Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham – review

Published by Virago

Publication date – 6 December 2016

Source – review copy

isbn9780349009711-detail

“A funny, intimate memoir by Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, which recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls – the first and second time – and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood.

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood-along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and-of course-talking as fast as you can.”

I rarely read autobiographies or biographies. I barely read magazines or newspapers in the effort of avoiding celebrity gossip. So I surprised myself by reading this new book by Lauren Graham, who, whilst having played a wide variety of roles, will be most well known as playing Lorelai Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls.

Very few people will be unaware that Netflix recently showed a reboot of the popular TV show. In four ‘mini movies’, the viewer revisits Stars Hollow and it’s wonderfully varied and often quirky characters. I was a fan of the original show, I enjoyed watching the stories of Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory, how they traversed life’s little obstacles on the road to Rory eventually leaving home. Whilst not a super fan, I can’t quote verbatim my favourite lines or scenes, I do remember the series with fondness. I remember how homely and appealing Stars Hollow seemed, the difficult yet often touching relationship Lorelai had with her parents, the will they, won’t they storyline between Lorelai and Luke and the rapid fire nature of the conversations between mother and daughter. Scenes that stayed with me would invariably include Friday night dinner, Sookie discussing the latest Sue Grafton book, Michel being wonderfully curmudgeonly and Lorelai regaling Rory of her long labour.

I was curious to see what would happen in the reboot, and not having a Netflix subscription I thought I’d do the next best thing; I’d let Lauren Graham tell me.

Talking As Fast As I Can is a short book at just over 200 pages but it is packed with information, anecdotes and reminisces that make it a pleasure to read. There are some moments when I genuinely laughed out loud. Obviously I have never met Ms Graham but I can only imagine that this book is how she is in ‘real life’. The book looks at Lauren Graham’s career, how she went from high school plays to the big screen. Quite open about the unstable nature of acting, she is down to earth when assessing her success. Also a breath of fresh air is the awareness of the body conscious aspect of Hollywood. Instead of touting this diet or that exercise plan she discusses that simply eating healthily and getting some exercise is the best way. I am also going to blatantly pilfer the Kitchen Timer technique her friend advised her on when writing her novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe.

I found myself speeding through this book. It is written in such a frenetic yet fun way that you feel as if you are having a conversation with Lauren Graham, albeit at the speed of an extremely caffeinated Lorelai Gilmore.

There are sections of the book that talk about the new Gilmore episodes. If you intended watch the program I would do so before you read the book. There are also some references to U.S. T.V. and personalities that are not really as well known over in the U.K. so some of the jokes and anecdotes passed me by.

Lauren Graham has written a warm, witty and entertaining book, perfect to curl up with for a few hours. Now I just need her to tell me those four last words…

About the author:

Lauren Graham is the actress best known for her roles on the critically-acclaimed series “Gilmore Girls” and “Parenthood.” She has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, and Because I Said So. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling novel SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE, which Ballantine Books published in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s interesting to know she has written other books as well as this. Seems like a fun read.

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      It was fun, almost like having a really fast conversation. Some references went over my head as I’m not that up on U.S. TV culture but the bits I did get I enjoyed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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