By Ashley Lessa
“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?'”-Penguin Random House
Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between, published by Penguin Random House, is a lighthearted memoir filled with laugh-out-loud humor and heartwarming moments.
Talking as Fast as I Can is not a stuffy autobiography. Reading this book is like picking up a well-written diary. Lauren Graham is a tv actress and author known most notably for her lead roles on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. In her memoir, Graham tells stories from her childhood to present-day, through her early career to her trailer on the set of the recent Gilmore Girls revival. Graham tells her life story in concise anecdotes, written in a conversational style familiar to those who follow her work.
Intentionally or not, Graham infuses comfort and advice throughout the book. While not incredibly earth-shattering, her insights are relatable to anyone who has ever struggled with finding themselves, whether as an actress, in life or their career. She talks about her early years living in Japan, her time struggling as an actress fresh out of college, her first day on the set of Gilmore Girls, and navigating the often-bizarre world of Hollywood. Through each story she tells, Graham maintains a sense of wit and an air of respect for the colleagues and family members she mentions. Graham’s humor is lightly self-deprecating, describing mishaps with relatable wit.
While many may enjoy this book, it is written for fans of Graham’s work first and foremost; while she does briefly summarize her resume, many of her anecdotes later in the piece, (and indeed, some of the fun facts she notes about each show), are more interesting and will make more sense to those who have followed her acting career.
A writer as well as an actress, Graham can write well, but the conversational style of the work, while it makes the book relatable and humorous, takes the reader out of the story at times. Graham has the tendency to insert witty asides, that while interesting is distracting, perhaps making this memoir better suited for an audiobook than a hardcover.
Warm and relatable, this book is a wonderful read, (or perhaps, a listen), for those interested in taking in a genuinely lighthearted success story. While it lacks immense depth, it makes up for that in humor and artful storytelling. (★★★☆☆)