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)
"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)
Struggle Discovery Fulfillment
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"
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.
The story is fantastic, inspring and entertaining. Lynch's reading of it is just the icing on the cake!
I thought it would be funnier. I love memoirs but this one didn't do it for me. It wasn't awful, just OK.
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.
Maybe Rachel Dratch? Lynch is less performative and a bit less funny, but more down to earth in a fun way.
Jane. I might even watch Glee now. Definitely Best in Show.
Yes--it made a very long road trip relaxing and even reinvigorating.
I stole this when it was on sale--it's definitely worth a credit!
She has a great voice and persona.
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.
Jane's infectious smile comes through in so many places in this book. Her reading makes me laugh throughout the entire book.
I loved hearing her talk about the different plays and shows she's been in, and how she got to where she is today.
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.
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.
The story was not captivating but Janes delivery kept you interested. It was real and funny and overall enjoyed her story.
The honesty and the humor.
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.
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