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A Life in Parts
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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 challenging 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."
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Reviews

"Cranston delivers crisp stories about his onscreen performances in everything from daytime soaps to "Malcolm in the Middle" to his 2014 Tony-winning portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way." But he also offers many chapters in which the "part" is his real-life experience as a farmhand, hypnotist, dating consultant or even a murder suspect."--Kansas City Star "This splendid, moving, heartbreaking memoir is doubly triumphant. It regales and entertains while at the same time providing inspiration and practical wisdom. A truly gifted storyteller, Cranston captures the reader's imagination and emotions from beginning to end."--Doris Kearns Goodwin "Boy, you think you know a guy! I worked six solid years with Bryan Cranston and figured there weren't any secrets left between us. All those hours I spent watching him wander the desert in his underpants? That alone should make me an expert on the man. But now, along comes A Life In Parts - and suddenly I'm reading about a whole other Bryan, one who performs weddings in airplanes and camps out at mortuaries. This Bryan bathes in the blood of chickens and stuffs mackerels in air vents. He even accosts poor Alfred Hitchcock. Yes, it's all in here. Better still, there's an exceedingly honest discussion of his craft, which will be a godsend to struggling thespians everywhere. Think your job waiting tables sucks? One of the world's greatest actors had it worse (what with being under suspicion for murder and all). I loved this book. It's just the right mixture of funny, sad and heartfelt. If I'd known Bryan could tell stories this well, I would have had him writing episodes of Breaking Bad."--Vince Gilligan Fascinating...The candor and self-introspection of this book are reminiscent of another unflinchingly honest memoir, the late Katharine Graham's magnificent 'Personal History.'"--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Cranston's memoir is an illuminating window into the actor's psyche, as he opens up about his time as Walter White on the show and the fine line he walked playing that character--while looking into himself."--People "Brilliant...[Cranston] has a knack for describing the ordinary in a way that makes it fascinating."--The Buffalo News "[Cranston] traces his on- and off-screen life with witty, absorbing candor."--Denver Post "Deeply personal...the way in which Cranston's simple, staccato prose invites readers to empathize with every 'character' he's played elevates this autobiography to more than just a look behind the scenes--it's a look behind a life."--Publishers Weekly "Cranston fuses his personal and professional life in a way that's nothing short of riveting....an engrossing first-person account by one of our finest actors."--Huffington Post "By turns gritty, funny, and sad, this fiercely intelligent book from the Breaking Bad star defies celebrity memoir tropes."--Entertainment Weekly "[A] substantial memoir from one of Hollywood's most introspective stars...anyone interested in acting will devour Cranston's savvy advice about honing one's craft and building one's career."--Booklist "The highs here--and there are many--are meth-less but addictive."--Kirkus Reviews "Bryan Cranston has created a cinematic record of how an actor shapes a career and an identity and a legacy all at the same time." -Tom Hanks "Superb."--Chicago Tribune "Genial...funny...a book about ambition and persistence."--The Washington Post "A literary cup that runneth over: A candid portrait of a great actor."--Newsday "[A] must-read memoir."--Philadelphia Inquirer

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