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Happy Accidents | [Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett (foreword)]

Happy Accidents

In the summer of 1974, a 14-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream - a dream to become an actress. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling, or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that "professional training was a requirement". But the funny thing is, it all came true....
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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1974, a 14-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream. A dream to become an actress, like her idols Ron Howard and Vicki Lawrence. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling, or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that "professional training was a requirement".

But the funny thing is, it all came true. Through a series of happy accidents, Jane Lynch created an improbable—and hilarious—path to success. In those early years, despite her dreams, she was also consumed with anxiety, feeling out of place in both her body and her family. To deal with her worries about her sexuality, she escaped in positive ways—such as joining a high-school chorus not unlike the one in Glee—but also found destructive outlets. She started drinking almost every night during her freshman year of high school and developed a mean and judgmental streak that turned her into a real-life Sue Sylvester.

Then, at 31, she started to get her life together. She was finally able to embrace her sexuality, come out to her parents, and quit drinking for good. Soon after, a Frosted Flakes commercial and a chance meeting in a coffee shop led to a role in the Christopher Guest movie Best in Show, which helped her to get cast in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Similar coincidences and chance meetings led to roles in movies starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and even Meryl Streep in 2009's Julie & Julia.

Then, of course, came the two lucky accidents that truly changed her life. Getting lost in a hotel led to an introduction to her future wife, Lara. And then a series she’d signed up for abruptly got canceled, making it possible for her to take the role of Sue Sylvester in Glee, which made her a megastar. Today, Jane Lynch has finally found the contentment she thought she’d never have.

Part comic memoir and part inspirational narrative, this is a book equally for the rabid Glee fan and for anyone who needs a new perspective on life, love, and success.

Read by the author, with a foreword written and read by Carol Burnett.

©2011 Canyon Lady Productions (P)2011 Hyperion (packaging elements only)

What the Critics Say

"A triumphant memoir recounting the inner struggles of one of the most versatile actresses working today…Achingly sad and sweetly comic at the same time." (Kirkus)

"[A] frank, engaging, and at times uproariously funny autobiography of a roller-coaster life." (Vogue)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (369 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lilypons The Woodlands, TX, United States 12-24-12
    Lilypons The Woodlands, TX, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2011

    lilypons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Joyous Story"
    If you could sum up Happy Accidents in three words, what would they be?

    Struggle Discovery Fulfillment


    Any additional comments?

    I was mesmerized by Jane's story and by her telling of it. The transitions in her life and personal growth are a joy to behold. It's lovely to "see" the real person that allows her character, Sue Sylvester, be both so tough and so soft! I hope many years from now that Jane writes "Happy Accidents: Part Deux"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leila CA, United States 12-24-12
    Leila CA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic Read by Jane Lynch"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Happy Accidents to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I started reading the text in a bookstore and realized, wait.... I bet she narrates the audiobook... And she does! and in brilliant fashion. It's funny, smart and touching. You have to hear Ms. Lynch narrate her own story and breathe life in into it! Her narration and delivery (of jokes or anything comedic) are excellent, making the audio production fantastic.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is fantastic, inspring and entertaining. Lynch's reading of it is just the icing on the cake!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Fountain Valley, CA, United States 12-19-12
    Donna Fountain Valley, CA, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2011

    eclectic reader

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    "It was OK"

    I thought it would be funnier. I love memoirs but this one didn't do it for me. It wasn't awful, just OK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colleen Carthage, NY, United States 12-06-12
    colleen Carthage, NY, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I didn't even know I loved Jane Lynch!"
    What did you love best about Happy Accidents?

    Now I do love her. She's so honest--she used to be a bit of a jerk, now she's accepted herself and enjoying life's surprises. A rather smart bildungsroman. This is funny and authentic and makes you think about mistakes you have made, but also makes you think about accepting them and getting on with it.


    What other book might you compare Happy Accidents to and why?

    Maybe Rachel Dratch? Lynch is less performative and a bit less funny, but more down to earth in a fun way.


    Which character – as performed by Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett (foreword) – was your favorite?

    Jane. I might even watch Glee now. Definitely Best in Show.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes--it made a very long road trip relaxing and even reinvigorating.


    Any additional comments?

    I stole this when it was on sale--it's definitely worth a credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Galloway, NJ 05-28-12
    Patrick Galloway, NJ 05-28-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I like the lady"
    What made the experience of listening to Happy Accidents the most enjoyable?

    She has a great voice and persona.


    Any additional comments?

    I like her and I was able to find out about other performances of hers by listening to her book (Lovespring International is hilarious!). There is nothing too surprising in her memoirs, and I did not come away from it seeing the world differently, but it was enjoyable to hear her tell her story in her own voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bmrslc Bountiful, UT, United States 05-24-12
    bmrslc Bountiful, UT, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2011
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    "So much fun to listen to! I love Jane Lynch!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Happy Accidents to be better than the print version?

    Jane's infectious smile comes through in so many places in this book. Her reading makes me laugh throughout the entire book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved hearing her talk about the different plays and shows she's been in, and how she got to where she is today.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth W. Andrews Philadelphia, PA 05-22-12
    Ruth W. Andrews Philadelphia, PA 05-22-12

    one view

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    "Great book"
    Where does Happy Accidents rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 1%


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Happy Accidents?

    She describes roles I've loved her in but also roles (like in 'The Fugitive") that I didn't realize she was in. She made me laugh out loud many times.


    What does Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett (foreword) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jane Lynch has such a distinct voice that lends humor and emotion to everything she says. I generally prefer reading books to listening to them, but this is an instance where you would be robbing yourself of a great experience if you didn't have Jane Lynch's voice reading her book to you.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yep!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Hollywood, FL, United States 04-09-12
    Nancy Hollywood, FL, United States 04-09-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Alittle slow but interesting"
    Where does Happy Accidents rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The story was not captivating but Janes delivery kept you interested. It was real and funny and overall enjoyed her story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The honesty and the humor.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Phila, PA, United States 08-28-12
    Jesse Phila, PA, United States 08-28-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Love this woman more now than ever!"

    I really connected with this book. Jane is a real person and really lays herself out there for the listener. I am a big fan of books read by their authors. What a great lifespan and so many smaller stories within the life of Jane Lynch. You will love it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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