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A Life in Parts
by Bryan Cranston


Overview - A poignant, intimate, funny, inspiring memoir--both a coming-of-age story and a meditation on creativity, devotion, and craft--from Bryan Cranston, beloved and acclaimed star of one of history's most successful TV shows, Breaking Bad.  Read more...

 
Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged
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More About A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston
 
 
 
Overview
A poignant, intimate, funny, inspiring memoir--both a coming-of-age story and a meditation on creativity, devotion, and craft--from Bryan Cranston, beloved and acclaimed star of one of history's most successful TV shows, Breaking Bad.

Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father, a struggling actor and director, cast him in a United Way commercial. Soon, Bryan was haunting the local movie theater, memorizing and reenacting favorite scenes with his older brother. Acting was clearly the boy's destiny--until one day his father disappeared. Suddenly, destiny took a back seat to survival.

Seeking something more stable, perhaps subconsciously trying to distance himself from his absent father, Cranston decided on a career in law enforcement. But then, a young man on a classic cross-country motorcycle trip, Cranston one day found himself stranded at a rest area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. To pass the time he read a tattered copy of Hedda Gabler, and in a flash he found himself face-to-face once again with his original calling. Suddenly he thought: This was what he wanted to do, what he would do, with the rest of his life. Act.

In his riveting memoir, A Life in Parts, Cranston traces his zigzag journey from his chaotic childhood to his dramatic epiphany, and beyond, to mega-stardom and a cult-like following, by vividly revisiting the many parts he's played, on camera (astronaut, dentist, detective, candy bar spokesperson, President of the United States, etc.) and off (paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, son, brother, lover, husband, father). With great humor, and much humility, Cranston chronicles his unlikely rise from a soap opera regular, trying to learn the ropes and the politics of show business on the fly, to a recurring spot as Tim Whatley on Seinfeld, finding himself an indelible part of popular culture. He recalls his run as the well-meaning goofball, Hal, on Malcolm in the Middle, proving to writers and fans that he was willing to do anything, anything, for a laugh, and he gives a bracing account of his run on Broadway as President Lyndon Johnson, pushing himself to the limit as he prepared, physically and mentally, for a tour de force that would win him a Tony, to go along with his four Emmys.

Of course, Cranston dives deep into the grittiest, most fascinating details of his greatest role, explaining how he searched inward for the personal darkness that would help him create one of the most riveting performances ever captured on screen: Walter White, chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin.

Discussing his failures as few men do, describing his work as few actors can, Cranston has much to say about innate talent, its benefits, challenges, and proper maintenance, but ultimately A Life in Parts is about the necessity and transformative power of hard work.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781508226314
  • ISBN-10: 1508226318
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Books > Performing Arts > Television - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-01-30
  • Reviewer: Staff

Cranston recalls the highs and the lows of his life, from his early aimless years and his moment of Zen inspiration to be an actor to his acting success on Breaking Bad. Listeners are likely to be fascinated by his growing up in a family of actors and his early career as a police officer. Both his words and tone convey a fitting amount of humbleness and sincerity that are likely to endear listeners all the more. Cranston sprinkles more sobering moments throughout the memoir, including losses, mistakes, and epiphanies, which gives the production depth. As the narrator, its perfect Cranston, drawing upon his acting skills to determine the right amount of emotional energy in any given passage. Listeners can all but hear the tears starting to trickle when he talks about the loss of loved ones, and he leaves no doubt about how much joy his wife and daughter bring him. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Oct.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews