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A Life in Parts Audiobook

A Life in Parts

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Publisher's Summary

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 backseat 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, while 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 megastardom and a cultlike 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 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 and its benefits, challenges, and proper maintenance, but ultimately A Life in Parts is about the necessity and transformative power of hard work.

©2016 Bryan Cranston (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"The narration is pitch-perfect, profound, and room-filling, thanks to Cranston's sonorous timbre and expert inflections. Audio fidelity and production values are exceptionally strong, and Cranston's performance is on par with any of his award-winning TV roles.... This is a winner - a great listening experience." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (1040 )
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  •  
    Tim United States 10-20-16
    Tim United States 10-20-16 Member Since 2011

    I read nothing that is popular.

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    "Pure Insight"

    Excellent memoir on Bryan Cranston. "A Life in Parts" is a pure insight on his professional career on his acting and also his personal life. Not only he goes in depth on Walter White in Breaking Bad, but he also talks about his failures in his acting. There are very touching moments in this book, where my heart was warmth. When Cranston talks about his mom and how his proposed to his wife is one of those moments where you see his normalcy as being a son and a husband.

    Cranston talks a lot on Breaking Bad. It's a must read to anyone that binged watched on one of the best series ever.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Moseley 10-16-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Great book!"

    I love his voice. The story was compelling, inspiring and entertaining. I could not stop listening.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Flint Binghamton, NY, US 10-17-16
    Joseph Flint Binghamton, NY, US 10-17-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Funny, Honest, Heartfelt, and In formative! ..."

    Brian Cranston, Has shown a great talent for writing, as well as acting! I could not put this book down. This book will be on the best sellers list! A great book for anyone wanting to become an actor. Breaking Bad fans will love it as well. Pick up a copy, and enjoy the Read. This is one of the best auto biographies, I have read in awhile! Thanks, Brian.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zach 10-16-16
    Zach 10-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Phenomenal"

    Bryan Cranston is a beautiful human being. The book was very interesting and it felt so much more genuine with him reading his own story. Strongly recommend!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelli mcgourty 10-23-16

    I obviously have a dark side, true crime, grim tales, & horror are a few of my favorite genres with a bit of romantic comedy for variety.

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    "They're all good parts."

    Bryan holds nothing back, the reader is left knowing he's been true in his retelling of his life's story. wonderfully written, paced perfectly and performed wonderfully by the author making the read even more enjoyable. I found myself laughing & crying at times but never bored waiting for the next good part to come along, because they are all good parts. Thus far Bryan seems to have had one heck of an interesting life. I can't wait to hear more from him, either written or narrated!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 10-17-16
    A 10-17-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Deliciously entertaining!"

    A very enlightening and fun trek through the life of this self made, adventurous man. A man who carved a path through adversity, lived life on his own terms, and found himself in the process. A man who has taken his fans on an emotional rollercoaster ride; from his perfect comedic timing as Hal, to the shockingly human and dark side of Walter White. He will be best remembered for his impeccable ability to force so many of us to look deep into our soul and ask ; 'What would Walter White Do?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michele berke 10-28-16
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    "He's known as Walter White, but Cranston is the one who knocks..."

    Breaking Bad was my "real" intro to Bryan Cranston the actor and it was love at first sight. After listening to him read "A Life In Parts" - that love affair only grew stronger. His way of storytelling made you visualize his life's journey and all the shit he happened upon along the way. He may have been "the danger"as Heisenberg but as Bryan he's just a big old teddy bear...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JM 10-24-16
    JM 10-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Boring"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I love Bryan Cranston. I think he is a great actor and I guess I just expected his life to be less boring and more about his acting. It took more than half the book to get into the part of his life I was interested in. My back story is more interesting.


    What was most disappointing about Bryan Cranston’s story?

    He gave very little about his acting that made him famous. Yes, we know he had all sorts of jobs before he became a famous actor but I kept waiting and waiting until something interesting happened.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    The book pretty much left me feeling I knew nothing about him. I loved the way he read the book as I always do when the author writes a book but I was disappointed in the actual context.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z 10-23-16
    Z 10-23-16 Member Since 2013

    Audible is AWESOME! With 2+ hrs driving a day, I was dying from mindlessly radio music & talk shows. w/Audible, I now love my commutes!

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    "Beyond the Bad"

    Great book. It was very cool to learn so much more about Bryan Cranston. Beyond his many characters, regressing back into his rocky and near direction-less beginnings. The events that shaped him into the man/actor he has become. Some of the information he shares is so personal and surprising, you can't help but blush, gasp, or laugh out loud as he reads it to you.

    Great book. Great man. Bryan Cranston.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Tania 10-23-16
    Tania 10-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Breaking Bryan Cranston !"

    Wow. Something about his voice , really captures you. This man's book talks about his life , the struggles he went through to get to where he is today and detailed moments about his family , plus his view on acting. His forever curious and learning passion for the arts shows in this book and he talks about his moments in breaking bad and how he felt during certain scenes. I really liked it , and some said it was emotional but I caught myself laughing more than anything else. His life is beautifully told ! I hope he decides to narrate more books. I would listen to this again.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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