Back in 2002, HarperEntertainment released four WB-authorised Gilmore Girls books. I recently got hold of a second-hand set as a Christmas present to myself – opened early purely in the name of research, you understand.
Each is an adaptation of a number of collected episodes, for example The Other Side of Summer pulls together the second season episodes Nick & Nora / Sid & Nancy, Presenting Lorelai Gilmore, Like Mother, Like Daughter, The Ins and Outs of Inns and Run Away, Little Boy. A lot of Chilton, Tristin and Debutante Ball. This particular book was adapted by Helen Pai – that’s the Helen Pai, Gilmore Girls producer, script co-ordinator and the anagrammatical inspiration behind the band name Hep Alien.
They are all written solely from Rory’s point of view, with Rory’s thoughts and reactions interjected appropriately. She has the occasional enjoyable train of thought that wasn’t reflected on-screen, for example, from the Prologue to Like Mother, Like Daughter:
We’re slaves to it. We talk to it. “Hey, Mr. Coffee, how are you today? Good? Glad to hear it. Me too.” Mom said if she ever had a boy she’d have to name it Juan Valdez.
However, such additions are sadly few. For the most part, the scenes are the lines from the show, adapted in prose form. Something like this:
“Does he have a motorcycle?” Mom yelled. “Because if you’re going throw your life away, he’d better have a motorcycle!”
I went into my room and closed the door. I did not want to talk about this. Meeting Dean was this surprising and exciting thing. Now all of a sudden Mom was talking about him like he wa an evil gang member, trying to lure me into his lair. A few minutes later, as I was getting ready for bed, my bedroom door opened. “I think that went pretty well, don’t you” Mom asked, coming in.
Each novel also contains 4 double-sided glossy pages of full-colour photographs. There’s a mixture of screengrabs, promotional shots and others are from recognisable scenes but from new angles.
So should you buy them? If you’re a completist, you either have them already or you stopped reading two minutes ago and ordered them. Personally, I prefer reading the scripts and using my imagination to picture Luke’s wry expressions or to process the timing. In novel form, the same lines are forced into a cadence punctuated by Rory’s interpretations and ‘he said’, ‘she said’ etc.
I can’t deny that they’re a talking point on any bookshelf and a sure way to sort the Gilmore-likers from the Gilmore-lovers.
Oh yes, nearly forgot. The Gilmore Girls transcript websites gilmoregirls.org and crazy-internet-people currently spell it ‘farfignugen sugen dugen’ but I’m happy to say I can set the record straight on this one, yessireebob. ‘What the Fahrfunugen is he muttering about now’ I hear you ask? It is, of course, from the first season finale, Love, Daisies and Troubadours, where Lorelai and Max attend a Stars Hollow Town Meeting and Grant Lee Mitchell is complaining about Mr Rosso (from Freaks and Geeks) encroaching on his Troubadour Turf.
Lorelai: Hear [the Troubadours] out Taylor. It can’t hurt.
[Taylor frowns at the bag of fries she’s holding in her hand]
These are not fries. They are Fahrfunugen Dugan Soogan.
The good book says so. And here’s a gratuitous snow shot because it’s that time again, can’t you feel it in the air?
Have you already got them? What did you think?
Did you just buy them? Or add them to your Christmas list?
Pics c/o me (those are my actual books and thumbs) and Harper Collins