Book Review: A Life in Parts  

A Life in PartsA Life in Parts By Bryan Cranston

Goodreads Synopsis: 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 cast him in a United Way commercial. Acting was clearly the boy’s destiny, until one day his father disappeared. Destiny suddenly took a backseat to survival.

Now, in his riveting memoir, Cranston maps his zigzag journey from abandoned son to beloved star by recalling the many odd parts he’s played in real life—paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, lover, husband, father. Cranston also chronicles his evolution on camera, from soap opera player trying to master the rules of show business to legendary character actor turning in classic performances as Seinfeld dentist Tim Whatley, “a sadist with newer magazines,” and Malcolm in the Middle dad Hal Wilkerson, a lovable bumbler in tighty-whities. He also gives an inspiring account of how he prepared, physically and mentally, for the challenging role of President Lyndon Johnson, a tour de force that won him a Tony to go along with his four Emmys.

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

Discussing his life as few men do, describing his art as few actors can, Cranston has much to say about creativity, devotion, and craft, as well as innate talent and its challenges and benefits and proper maintenance. But ultimately A Life in Parts is a story about the joy, the necessity, and the transformative power of simple hard work.
My Review: The moment I knew Bryan Cranston was going to be writing a book I knew I had to buy it. I’m a big fan of his from Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is one of my favorite shows and it’s something I will always cherish. The moment I knew this book was being made I knew I was going to listen to it on audio book. I have to say buying the signed edition was worth it.

I just got to give a bit of a warning now this book has Breaking Bad spoilers in it. If you haven’t watched the show and don’t know what happens I suggest you wait to read this. My review will have some spoilers as well. I just want to let you guys know before moving forward.

*Spoilers ahead* Whoever told Bryan that his first chapter should be about how Jane’s death in Breaking Bad made him think of his daughter, why would you do this? It was so an emotional chapter and I was already tearing up and I was just getting started. This is information I already knew about but it always breaks my heart to hear about that.*Spoilers done* I knew that from that moment on this was going to be an emotional ride and I was ready to be apart of it all.

I think my favorite part of this book was that nothing was off limits. I’ve read a couple of celebrity autobiographies. I read them because I like the celebrity but I also want to know more about their life. I want the details of the things that you’ve read in the magazines but they didn’t go into much detail. This book didn’t hold back. Bryan talked about the time he lost his virginity, his first marriage, and even how he thought for a second he might have killed one of the girls he was dating. That last one sounds crazy but read the book and you’ll find it there. I wasn’t expecting him to go such into detail about his life but he did and I learned so much more about him.

I also really like the way the chapters fit the book title so perfectly. So it’s called, A Life in Parts. Each chapter is about a different part Bryan has played in his life. He’s a father, a son, a lover, an actor, Walt and so many other different things. I really thought that fit nicely with the title. I came out learning so much about him and his dedication for his career. It was nice getting a behind the scenes peak into his life.

As I said before I read this book and listened to the audio book. I thought that really added to the experience. Majority of the time Bryan would stick to the script but there were a good amount of times he would say a different word or add a little extra to what he was talking about. It threw me off the first couple times it happened since I was following along with the reading but I feel it added to the experience. It felt like it wasn’t so scripted and he was just telling his story as it came to him.

Overall I have to say this was my favorite celebrity autobiography. I enjoyed every second of this. I feel usually when I read autobiographies I absorb the information but than I kinda forget about it but with this one it was different. Bryan had a lot of interesting stories and didn’t hold back and I felt like that added to it. He didn’t hold back with the stories he told and I enjoyed that. Plus there were a good amount of Breaking Bad stories and I could picture the scenes he was talking about. It was such a fun read. I can see myself going back to this after I watch Breaking Bad again. I do hope one day I can meet Bryan Cranston.

Have you guys watched Breaking Bad? If you have would you read this? What celebrity autobiographies have you read?



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