Review: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
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 didn't expect to like Talking as Fast as I Can quite as much as I did, in part because I was so disappointed by A Year In The Life. I know that's not particularly fair--it isn't like Lauren Graham is literally Lorelai Gilmore, right?--but I couldn't help it. I guess I just thought she might spend a lot of time just going on about how perfect that reboot was or something, and I'd end up furious.
But Lauren Graham got to me. Talking as Fast as I Can was clever, quirky, and got me in all the feels (like, I got teared up reading it at work, which was only slightly embarrassing). I learned a lot about her I didn't know (like basically everything, apparently), and I appreciated watching her go through all of those seasons all over again. I listened to the audiobook, and I'm so glad I did. (For the record, I've hated every single audiobook I've ever tried to get through, but I. Loved. This.)
There are so many wonderful things about this book. I especially loved the chapter about her romance with Peter Krause, as well as her memories as a young actress. The chapters about Gilmore Girls are sweet, too (yes, even the ones about the reboot).
Despite all it's good parts, it is still a pretty surface-y book. There are a lot of facts, and a lot of memories, but no big revelations here. This isn't a book that's going to change your life in any significant way, but it's nice to read about the things that changed someone else's life in huge ways.
Should you read it? If you've been thinking you'd like to read Talking as Fast as I Can, do it. (If you've considered listening to the audiobook narrated by Lauren Graham herself, do it). It's a short, sweet, breezy meandering through some of the big days in the life of one of the most beloved TV moms.
Published November 29, 2016 by Ballentine Books