Talking As Fast As I Can, by Lauren Graham, is a must have for all you Gilmore Girls fans out there.
If you were in any doubt that Lauren is similar to Lorelai Gilmore this book will talk you around... and then some.
I was hesitant to pick the book up at first. I love the original series so much and I love the new episodes, too; flaws and all! With that in mind I didn't want to read something that might have tarnished my feelings.
Luckily this book isn't one of those 'tell all' books which really details how awful it was to work on the show and how none of the cast got on. In fact, I could stand to know more about how it all went but, as Lauren describes, the years they were making it go by in a blur and I can understand it completely. Especially now I know so much more about her as a person.
The book starts with Lauren's past. Some readers might not care to read about her, and I understand. The book is marketed on the basis of it being an almost 'behind the scenes' view on the show but it's not at all. What it is is a lovely memoir about how she even got to be a part of the show in the first place.
I love books on women who have worked hard and carved careers out in a male dominated world and, let's face it, that's Hollywood all over! Through her flash-back musings it's so clear that she's a damn hard worker. Someone who is always striving to reach that ultimate goal [I think most of us can understand that struggle].
After learning about her early life she finally gets to the years playing the famously fast talking mother of a famously fast talking daughter and there's not really much to it. I can't say I wasn't disappointed; I wanted more. Lots more. Pictures, perhaps, or anecdotes about particularly funny moments. Unfortunately, because of the way she lives her life, she doesn't really have many because even thought she was on the show she was so focused on achieving her goals that I feel like she missed out on a lot of it. She never watched the show when they were making it meaning she didn't have that uber-knowledgeable inside scoop. It's not detrimental to the book but is a testament to her character as a real life person and also illustrates how similar she is to Lorelai. Hard working, fun loving, but at the end of the day, just trying her hardest to make something of her life. It's inspiring as much as it's frustrating!
Throughout the book she does give little glimpses into the life of a working actress and a woman who has grown up in a world obsessed with body image. Her take on things is refreshingly normal and grounded. She comes across as being the sort of woman you'd like to be friends with. Each page I turned made me smile, like I was reading a letter from someone I knew, rather than a stranger I watched on the TV after school.
The last section of the book is dedicated to the remake of the show and it's a tear jerking read [if you're obsessed with it as much as I am]. Knowing she missed so much of it the first time around she really made an effort to appreciate every moment and she had a lot to show for it. She kept a journal and shared the pages. She talked about the passing of Edward Herrmann and told of how there were spooky signs that they were doing the right thing with the new episodes [you'd have to read the book to find out what the signs were – no spoilers here!], but most of all she was able to capture the emotions that went into the new show so well that by the end of it I was feeling the loss of the characters all over again. A re-watch of the entire thing is now in order!
If you're a fan of hers or the show this book is pivotal reading. It's also such an inspiration for women who are trying to make a place in the world for other women to step into. Lauren is hard working, creative and an advocate for giving women a helping hand when they need it. I've already gotten some friends to read it, now it's your turn!