Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Rating - 7/10
Alright Alright Alright...I couldn’t resist. I love McConaughey, I find him weirdly interesting, I think he’s an excellent actor, and I wanted to hear what his life is all about. When I heard that McConaughey himself was narrating it, I had to listen to his audiobook! I love his creamy voice, I also love that he lives in Austin, Texas. Austin is a great city in Texas and there’s something quite humble and real about him. It also helps that this book is a NY Times #1 bestseller so I wanted to see what the hype was all about.
Well if you haven’t guessed already, this book is an informal autobiography of Matthew McConaughey’s life.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, he has an Oscar. Just thought I’d mention that. Bring some weight to this blurb and all.
Greenlights is an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw, quirky wisdom and lessons learned the hard way about living life with greater satisfaction
McConaughey has been in this world for 50 years, and along the way, he has kept diaries and notes to his successes. His joys, his failures, his sorrows, things that fascinate him and things that make him laugh out loud. He has acquired notable life lessons, such as how to be fair, how to live a less stressful life, how to have fun, how to be a good man, how to live a more meaningful life and how to stay true to himself.
He found the courage to finally sit down with those diaries and notes and rediscovered all of the great stories he wrote, the lessons, poems, prayers, photographs and some awesome bumper stickers too. And in all of this, he found a reliable and an interesting approach to how to live his best and fullest life. An approach that would allow him to receive better satisfaction, to deal with life’s complex challenges, deal with the inevitable and to enjoy a state of success of which he calls “Catching Greenlights”.
So what does McConaughey now do? Well, he takes a one way ticket to the desert and ends up writing this epic book of his life story so far. This book is his fifty years put into one neat and bitchin and bundle.
This last paragraph is straight from his blurb on the book - I had to share it with you.
“It's medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.”
It’s a love letter. To life.
It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights - and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.
I absolutely LOVED listening to this audiobook. It’s probably the most entertaining audiobook that I’ve ever listened to! Haha not that I’ve listened to many books, I’m definitely more of a reader, but I highly recommend this audiobook. You become completely immersed in his warm, southern, charming, hilarious, quirky and recognizable voice of McConaughey. It’s like listening to a monologue of his life. Very entertaining and insightful.
I will say that I’m one of those people who will probably watch a movie if it stars McConaughey in it simply, because I find him quite charismatic and great to watch. I loved his rom-coms back in the day, and really love his more in depth roles such as, Dallas Buyers Club, Mud and True Detective, to name a few. I think he’s a talented and interesting actor, hence why I wanted to read his autobiography.
We basically follow McConaughey throughout his life as he tells us his life story. He tells us about his family and humble upbringing in rural Texas, and how he ended up getting into acting. I actually enjoyed these chapters the most, learning about his upbringing and how he started out in this field of being an actor. It was quite intimate of him to describe his personal background and how he came to land his first ever role in Hollywood. There’s no denying that his family and humble beginnings shaped him into the man that he is today and his belief systems. Hearing about his past life really makes you understand Matthew McConaughey more as a person and as an actor too.
I found the chapters about Hollywood life as an actor extremely fascinating too! This is an awesome book if you are a film student, or if you simply would like to get into acting as a career. I felt like he gave us an inside look into how film productions work, and how it is in this industry but from his experience obviously. It was interesting to learn and to get an inside look into this super foreign world. My favorite chapter was when he described his first ever acting job for the cult classic film ‘Dazed & Confused’, and how his first ever line in a film was probably how we associate McConaughey forever,- ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’. It was seriously so much fun listening to his story of how this role came to be, and his experience being in his first ever major acting role in Hollywood. It was really interesting! I loved his storytelling in it too. You could picture it all happening right in front of your eyes. Another reason why I highly recommend the audiobook.
The structure of the book was quite informal but also extremely insightful. He obviously starts off with describing what Greenlights actually means to him, and this becomes the sort of basis of the mini life lessons that he instils for himself throughout the book. It was quite clever. He would have funny little quirks in the book that he would apply to life lessons for himself, and it almost felt like you were reading a diary of his life, with little side notes thrown in the mix. Within each chapter or section, he would have mini life lessons or ethos in ways that he wants to take control of his life, or ways that he wants to live his life, professionally in his career & in his personal life. He definitely has a ‘live your life the way you want it’ vibe in this book, which I admire. Also it’s quite an individualistic book, in a sense that he really looks into himself and learns about who Matthew is, and what he wants out of his own life. It’s all about self reflection which is always a good thing for any human being. There’s no denying McConaughey loves McConaughey, but it’s weird, you kind of forgive him for it. Haha
What can I say, if you like Matthew McConaughey, you’re gonna love this book. It was an awesome audiobook and I highly recommend you listen to his quirky and charming voice! It’s an excellent book if you want to know the ins and outs of Hollywood, the film industry, if you also want a bit of a ‘self-help’ read then you will learn all about ‘catching greenlights’ in your life too - I get the sense that he didn’t write this book as a self help read, it’s more about how he has helped himself if that makes sense. If you are a free spirit traveler, then you will enjoy this book too. It wasn’t as in depth into his life as I thought it would be, but it was enough for me. I genuinely enjoyed it. Spiritual, entertaining, and classic eccentric McConaughey vibes indeed. Also, I love that he lives in Austin, Texas (I LOVE Austin) and follows his own path. You do you McConaughey, you do you.
I wanted to pick a song that had those feel good groovy vibes that McConaughey puts out. Also a song from an artist based in Texas, a country song but also a song that has charm and warmth. A song about being free and on the road. For this book, I felt that the perfect song would be, 'On The Road Again' by the legendary Willie Nelson. Such a fun song and a perfect soundtrack to 'Greenlights'.
Click the Amazon link to purchase 'Greenlights'.
Genre: Autobiography | Memoir | Non Fiction
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Pages: 304 Pages
Publisher: Crown Publishing