Wednesday, March 8, 2017

*Review* #BeatTheBacklist - Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Genre: Memoir
Published: November 29, 2016
Pages: 224


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 listened to the audiobook version of this book, which I highly recommend others do as well, but I also insist that if you listen to the audiobook, you listen to it at 1.25 speed or greater. Honestly, for a book with a title like Talking As Fast as I Can, you just have to listen to it at an increased speed to do it justice. I promise. Also, if you're a fan of Lauren Graham because of her role as Lorelai Gilmore, the pace won't seem weird at all. 

This book was a fast listen for me, granted it's relatively short so that was only about 4 1/2 hours of listening time, but I was so interested in it, I actually did extra housework just to keep listening so I could finish it sooner. And while a significant portion of the book focuses on Graham's time as Lorelai Gilmore (and that's what stands out most to me overall because it came at the end of the book), she also talks about her start in show business and even tells us THE Hollywood diet secret to ensure you stay in shape (essentially you can only eat ice chips made from pure, vegan, Himalayan spring water...I don't think she actually says that, but it's the basic gist of things.) Her actual advice on dieting is to figure out what works for you and ignore the hot diet fads espoused by celebrities because in most cases they're not going to work for large portions of the population and end up just being a waste of money. It's pretty solid advice if you ask me. 

The part of the book that I enjoyed most was her reflections on filming Gilmore Girls though, because that is the role I love her in most, and according to this book, it's the role she most loved (but maybe she was just saying that because of the reboot.) At one point in the book, Graham talks about how there are basically two roles for women in Hollywood: the hot single chick living in the city and the mom, and once a woman reaches a certain age, she is stuck in mom territory. As she was describing these two roles though, I felt like both of them fit Lorelai Gilmore, which makes sense because she was such a young mom (also somewhat irresponsible). Graham also made my eyes leak when she talked about Ed Herrmann not being there to film A Year in the Life, so you may want to have some tissues handy. 

Overall I give Talking as Fast as I Can 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for fans of Gilmore Girls. Lauren Graham really does seem to actually be Lorelai Gilmore. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Lauren Graham is an actor, writer, and producer best known for her roles on the critically acclaimed series Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, Someday, Maybe. Graham has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Because I Said So, and Max. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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