Greenlights

Greenlights

Book - 2020
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"I've been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five." McConaughey sat down with those diaries. He found lessons he learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. This book is an album, a record, a story of his life and the graces, truths, and beauties he has seen while trying to dance between the raindrops. It's also his guide to catching more greenlights-- and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. -- adapted from front flap
Publisher: New York : Crown, [2020]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780593139134
0593139135
9780593139141
Call Number: 791.4302 M1343a
Characteristics: 289 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Green lights

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t
tauseef365
Apr 09, 2021

Unlike Val Kilmer's autobiography, this weird actor's biography is poor. I read 'Huckleberry' twice, because the anecdotes were funny, the stories were poignant, the philosophy was earnest, and the journey was moving. Not this one. The anecdotes were cruel, the stories were bizarre, the philosophy was fluffy, and the journey was often pointless. Add it to the list of 'wish I hadn't read it after all.'

d
dgiard
Apr 09, 2021

"Alright! Alright! Alright!"
- Wooderson

Matthew McConaughey sees the world in terms of Red Lights (things that stop us), Yellow Light (things that slow us down), and Greenlights (things that allow us to move forward) and explains how he has been able to convert Red and Yellow lights into Greenlights. "Greenlights" is, of course, the title of McConaughey's 2020 autobiography.

The book is a series of anecdotes, mostly about overcoming adversity and turning negatives into positives. He grew up in a dysfunctional family with an overbearing, sometimes violent, redneck father, but he learned some valuable lessons about self-reliance from that father.

While a high school exchange student, he was assigned to live with a crazy Australian family who tried to control all his actions, but he asserted himself and was able to maintain his independence and move to a more normal home.

He was a film student struggling to find his first break when he won his first movie role, playing Wooderson in Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" - a small part, but a memorable character in a movie that would later become a cult favourite.

When confused about his next step, he took a sabbatical to travel along the Amazon River or through central Africa or across America - in each case returning with greater clarity.

After establishing himself as a bankable leading man in romantic comedy films, he decided he needed new challenges and refused to accept any more rom-com roles. After a few months, the phone stopped ringing; but he eventually landed the lead in "The Dallas Buyers Club", which earned him his first and only Academy Award.

In each case, McConaughey was able to create a positive (or "Greenlight") through a combination of talent, positive thinking, hard work, cleverness, and perseverance. McConaughey comes across as an eternal optimist who lives life on his own terms. He was blessed with looks and talent, but he did not rely solely on that. He also comes across as a bit of an oddball, as he describes his drug use and his wet dreams.

Each chapter includes at least one poem or a philosophical statement or a "Note to Self" or a clever bumper sticker that relates to the coming or preceding story. It is a bit cheesy, but it works.

One wonders about the veracity of his stories: Did he really fight a champion wrestler to a draw in remote Mali? Was teenage McConaughey as successful at outwitting adults as he claims?

But we cannot doubt the entertainment value. McConaughey speaks with an engaging humor and his stories are fun.

a
AnneCarolineDrake
Feb 20, 2021

Narcissistic. Self-absorbed. Shallow. Boring.

s
Sparky99
Feb 17, 2021

On my list of 'people I'd most like to have a beer with.' It's easy to dismiss this guy as Hollywood fluff but that is a disservice to an original thinking, guy who is purposeful in his actions (well except maybe the bongo drum thing), and long-time reflective of his time and purpose in life.

I enjoyed this book more than I had expected to. Format is a bit chaotic with scrawled personal notes but worth the read for a talented person who set his life's course and doesn't hold back in pursuing all that our short time offers us.

m
Mehling1
Feb 17, 2021

Excellent book - I imagine the audio book would be even better. Highly recommended.

o
Olivebranch1264
Jan 06, 2021

Amazing, insightful, a work of art, and a new way of thinking written in an easy to digest, funny, and humanizing way. McConaughey is a wizard with his words and the internal insights that I gathered from his book sprung me on a path of self-discovery. This book is a memoir but also a journey for my own self-discovery. I'm now on a path of establishing my own values, erasing what I *think* I should be doing, and livin this thing called life.

Highly recommend this book and I thank God that this book came across my path. Dance the music of life.

i
iloveseaotters
Dec 12, 2020

Before I started reading this, Ididn't know a lot about Matthew McConaughey except that he is from Texas and went to the University of Texas. But he is so much more. I love that this was unlike any other autobiography I've ever read. It's absolutely hilarious, sensitive and extremely personal. I loved it so much that I really want to listen to the audio book, which he narrates. My only "complaint "is that the pictures are really small. But they tell a very big story.

2
22950006357453
Dec 02, 2020

step 1 ; be incredibly lucky

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