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Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest [Paperback]

Jennifer Crusie , Leah Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 10 2007 Smart Pop
In the fall of 2000, Gilmore Girls premiered on the WB and viewers were introduced to the quirky world of Stars Hollow and the Gilmores who had made it their home, mother-daughter best friends Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. With the show in its seventh season on the fledgling CW, Coffee at Luke's is the perfect look at what has made the show such a clever, beloved part of the television landscape for so long.

What are the risks of having your mother be your best friend? How is Gilmore Girls anti-family, at least in the traditional sense? What's a male viewer to do when he finds both mother and daughter attractive? And how is creator Amy Sherman-Palladino like Emily Gilmore? From the show's class consciousness to the way the characters are shaped by the books they read, the music they listen to and the movies they watch, Coffee at Luke's looks at the sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking underpinnings of smart viewer's Tuesday night television staple, and takes them further into Stars Hollow than they've ever been before.

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Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest + The Gilmore Girls Companion + Our Little Corner of the World: Music From Gilmore Girls
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Novelist Crusie resumes editorial duties in this follow-up to her previous Smart Pop series entries (Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, Totally Charmed), a collection of essays on the television series Gilmore Girls, a small-town mom-and-daughter dramedy known for clever, rapid-fire dialogue and rich relationships. This title arrives just in time for grieving fans-after seven seasons, Gilmore recently aired its final show-but is a typically mixed bag. Charlotte Fullerton's defense of the show's cantankerous elder stateswoman, Emily, is an insightful look at "a fascinatingly complex, layered fictional human being." Sara Morrison's "Your Guide to the Real Stars Hollow Business World," in which she compares the Connecticut town of her teenage years with Gilmores' setting to determine which businesses would survive, is amusing but aimless. Further off the mark is Jill Winters' exploration of the static life of a fictional town ("Stars Hollow does not seem to be a place where one can evolve") in which she seems to forget that she's discussing a comedy-drama, not real life-a mistake she's not alone in making. This title may not have a long shelf-life, but disenfranchised Gilmore devotees-likely the most bookish TV fans a bookseller could hope for-are sure to give it attention.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A must-read for any Gilmore Girls fan."  —The Sacramento Bee

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized 'Gilmore Girls' Gabfest" is a Smart Pop series collection of essays put together by Jennifer Crusie, whose introduction points out the utter appropriateness of a bunch of people taking about "Gilmore Girls." As an overview she points out that the show always kept in mind the basic rules for great dialogue: keep it moving, give everybody the best lines, talk up to your audience, and remember that the best dialogue is the stuff you can't hear. For each of these she has choice examples, which will immediately cause you to counter with your own personal favorites, and suddenly you are sitting down and joining the conversation the back cover proposes when it suggests you have some coffee at Luke's.

The first section is entitled, "It All Comes Out in Moron: Personal Relationships." "Whimsy Goes with Everything" by Heather Swain argues that everybody in Stars Hollow is a little eccentric, but that Kirk is something special. "Boys Not Allowed" by Jennifer Armstrong explains why Lorelai had trouble staying engaged long enough to get married, an argument that extends to Rory since the Gilmore Girls are too busy to be messed up by mere mortal men. Stephanie Whiteside focuses on a particular relationship in "When Paris Met Rory," contending that they have one of the most problematical relationships in television history.

The second section, "The Other Relationship: Parenting," focuses more on Lorelia and Emily. In "Mothers, Daughters, and Gilmore Girls," Janine Hiddlestone analyzes the fears, disappointments, and triumphs of being a mother in Stars Hollow, focusing in the end on the reversal of Lorelai and her parents' roles when Rory dropped out of Yale.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of essays that provide food for thought on the "Gilmore Girls" June 9 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized 'Gilmore Girls' Gabfest" is a Smart Pop series collection of essays put together by Jennifer Crusie, whose introduction points out the utter appropriateness of a bunch of people taking about "Gilmore Girls." As an overview she points out that the show always kept in mind the basic rules for great dialogue: keep it moving, give everybody the best lines, talk up to your audience, and remember that the best dialogue is the stuff you can't hear. For each of these she has choice examples, which will immediately cause you to counter with your own personal favorites, and suddenly you are sitting down and joining the conversation the back cover proposes when it suggests you have some coffee at Luke's.

The first section is entitled, "It All Comes Out in Moron: Personal Relationships." "Whimsy Goes with Everything" by Heather Swain argues that everybody in Stars Hollow is a little eccentric, but that Kirk is something special. "Boys Not Allowed" by Jennifer Armstrong explains why Lorelai had trouble staying engaged long enough to get married, an argument that extends to Rory since the Gilmore Girls are too busy to be messed up by mere mortal men. Stephanie Whiteside focuses on a particular relationship in "When Paris Met Rory," contending that they have one of the most problematical relationships in television history.

The second section, "The Other Relationship: Parenting," focuses more on Lorelia and Emily. In "Mothers, Daughters, and Gilmore Girls," Janine Hiddlestone analyzes the fears, disappointments, and triumphs of being a mother in Stars Hollow, focusing in the end on the reversal of Lorelai and her parents' roles when Rory dropped out of Yale. Stephanie Lehmann focuses on the "The Best-Friend Mom" idea as one of the biggest fantasies and concludes that such an ideal was no longer the case by the end of the sixth season. Charlotte Fullerton's "In Defense of Emily Gilmore" makes the case for Emily as the much maligned but third Gilmore Girl and draws a series of strong parallels between Emily and Lorelai. Miellyn Fitzwater looks at "My Three Dads," analyzing Rory's trio of father figures of Luke, Richard and Christopher in terms of the time, money, and emotional support each provides here. However, her quantitative judgment strikes me as being skewed by the money factor because her conclusion as to who comes out ahead runs counter to by watching the show.

"Second Hamlet to the Right: Stars Hollow" is the third section. Sara Morrison provides "Your Guide to the Real Stars Hollow Business World," providing a harsh dose of reality as to how the town's commerce would do in the real world (sadly Taylor's Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe has a better chance of surviving, much more so than Luke's Diner, which has a three-times better chance of making it than the Dragonfly Inn). My favorite essay is Jill Winters' "Happiness Under Glass: The Truth about Lorelai and Life in Stars Hollow," which makes a strong case for Lorelai's ambivalence towards the town in which she lives (the "Emily Junior" section is especially telling). Stephanie Rowe's "It's Not Luke's Stubble" makes the case for Stars Hollow being quintessential New England in terms of intellectual snobbery, money, history, heritage, and winter.

The next section is called "The Best Things in Life: Food, Books, and Sex," with one essay on each. "Dining with the Gilmores" is Gregory Stevenson's look at how food is the show's third passion behind talking and reading, which ends up seeing the show's secular morality as "The Chewy Moral Center." Maryelizabeth Hart's "Reading, Rory, and Relationships" makes a compelling case for books and writing being shorthand for character and emotional development. Kristen Kidder's examines the way the young women on the show pay for losing their virginity, dealing with what happens to Paris, Rory and Lane in an essay that had to be entitled, "'That's What You Get, Folks, For Makin' Whoopee.'"

The final section, "There's Reality and Then There's Lorelai: 'Gilmore Girls' and the Real World," begins with an interesting idea. Chris McCubbin recasts "Gilmore Girls" as a 1952 screwball comedy directed by Howard Hawks and starring Katharine Hepburn as Lorelai and Audrey Hepburn as Rory. The rest of the cast list is equally intriguing (William Holden as Luke, Agnes Moorhead as Emily, Vivian Vance as Sookie). From that starting point McCubbin explores the roots of the show in the fast-talking screwball comedies of the 1930s and 40s. Carol Cooper's "'Mama Don't Preach': Class, Culture, and Lorelai Gilmore as Bizarro-World Suffragette" reconsiders Lorelai's choices as being "so inexplicable she must be part of Bizzaro World," and concludes they are more bold than they are bizarre.

The back of the book includes a section of "Coffee at Luke's-isms" that explains veiled references in the essays from "7th Heaven" and "The actor became Alexis Bledel's real boyfriend off the show" to "Wicked Witch of the West" and "William Holden." This is the third completely unauthorized volume in the Smart Pop series that I have read and to date they have all provided food for thought in bite size morsels. So those essays that are not particularly interesting to read do not last long, which trades off against those where you would like to hear more of what the author has to say. Fans of "Gilmore Girls" will not be disappointed checking this out, especially since there are no new episodes to look forward to anymore.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT GILMORE GIRLS READ! Aug. 15 2007
By Chad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Hi all, as a 35 year old guy - i'll just say it - I ADORE GILMORE GIRLS! Such a great show, witty writing , a cool mom like Lorelai and Stars Hollow - what a town to seek to live in. I found this book here on Amazon, theres not much reference for Gilmore Girls, so this was a welcome addition, great essays and quotes, i highly reccomend it. Now if only someone would do a complete Episode guide covering the entire series that would be perfect.Recomended!!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (Semi-)Scholarly Analysis of Star's Hollow April 21 2008
By Tracee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved reading the essays, which analyzed everything from Emily (wow, most psychiatrists wouldn't take on that job) to the massive amounts of food consumed on the show. While I disagreed with the point made by a few of the essays, I think that the book points out the many subtleties that make Gilmore Girls a fan classic.
Did you ever notice the significance of Lorelai becoming a maid after leaving home? Emily fires maids every day, doesn't consider them human, and in season 6 calls them criminals who get their children to rob you. She said that to Rory, the child of a former maid. Little gems like that make this book a must-read. Plus, it gives you an excuse to break out the much-watched DVDs again.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish'n there was a Luke's near me Oct. 10 2007
By Patty Conroy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you love Gilmore Girls, you will enjoy this book. This book reviews some of your favorite Gilmore moments, with perspective and wit from true Gilmore Girls addicts.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GG -You'll be missed... July 4 2007
By C. Smallwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I feel the essays were accurate assessments of the show. They made me realize how many different perspectives could be achieved by different people. But most importantly, the book made realize how the wonderful and innovative the show was for women and how it excelled when it was at it's best!
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