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)
I so wanted to love this book, since I've loved Jane Lynch in virtually everything I've ever seen her in -- from The Forty-Year-Old Virgin to O Sister, My Sister. But her life story, as it turns out, is much too thin to support an entire book -- at least in this well-scrubbed, mild-mannered telling. Coming-out stories just aren't enough to warrant autobiography, at least not anymore -- and particularly not when coming out seems as painless and matter-of-fact as it seems to have been for Lynch. Moreover, everyone she's ever met is just super -- incredibly nice, warm, unpretentious, etc. Everything that's ever happened to her has at least one (if not two, or three) silver linings. And life is pretty much uneventful and awesome, such that whole hours of this audiobook can be spent (and are) on the life-changing dilemma of what color to paint the master bedroom in her fabulous new house.
Hearing Jane's telling of her life makes her more likeable and real to me now!
Ellen Degeneres' "Seriously, I'm Kidding" - real stories about how they came into the business and how they came to their lives.
Jane's voice, with her sly vocal movements make it so much more consumable.
Will the real Jane Lynch please stand up!
I enjoyed it overall, although Jane Lynch's life hasn't really been dramatic or traumatic enough to put this at the level of tell-all Hollywood bio, and she doesn't dish about other stars much, either.
All that's undoubtedly to her credit, but it doesn't exactly make for a page-turner. Still, if you like her work in Glee or anything else she's done, it's a pleasant listen. Not up to the humor in Tina Fey's Bossypants, but interesting enough for listening while driving or walking.
I'm not sure she could have changed it. It was honest, or at least, honest enough.
Her struggles with coming out were probably the most interesting parts of the book.
Overall, yes, but I'm a fan of her work.
I might listen to it again, or to parts of it that are particularly compelling and that describe transformative moments in the writer's life.
It's an autobiography so obviously the favorite character is Jane Lynch, the author and narrator of her own story.
Anytime an author narrates his or her own autobiography, it's a plus. A third-person narrator often misses the appropriate tone for specific incidents and feelings that are being conveyed. Carol Burnett's foreword did not add much. It seemed more like a kind of requisite endorsement from an established comic actress (
An unlikely star sees all her dreams come true.
The best things about this reading are 1) Lynch's own narration 2) Her willingness to tell the
The entire book: from hearing Carol Burnett's voice as well as Jane's, hearing about Jane's,
Jane meeting her life partner Dr. Lara Embry and her new daughter, Haden.
All of it. Well read/written.
All of Jane's experiences.
Looking forward to,
Yes, I would recommend it. Jane Lynch is so interesting and describes her life with such detail that I was intrigued from the get go. I love her dry humor too. She's great.
Happy Accidents kind of reminded me of Tina Fey's Bossypants. In fact, it was funny to hear about their experiences with the Chicago improve group, both mentioning being part of the touring groups and how they viewed these quite differently. Really funny.
I listened to Carol Burnett's autobiography too. Loved it as well. It was fun hearing both talk about each other in their separate books. Great background, behind the scenes details in both books was a lot of fun to hear.
There were certainly parts that made me laugh. There were some very touching parts too but I don't think I cried too much.
If you don't know who Jane Lynch is at all it probably wouldn't be AS interesting as it is for somebody who likes her work.
I really loved hearing Jane tell her story with all her animation and honesty, as well as a great story overall.
maybe 2 - 3 but you will get through it quick
I didn't know much about Jane Lynch except for her portrayal of the aggressive lawyer on The "L" Word and the competitive but complicated coach in Glee. After hearing her life story, I now know her as a funny, honest, reflective individual. She is candid about her addiction to alcohol, the journey she has taken to get to where she is now, and the many "happy" accidents that have brought her so far along. Her bright, positive outlook is contagious and refreshing. I was sorry when my life got in the way of hearing about hers. This was a true joy to listen to, and I was sorry when the story ended. I could have listened for hours longer.
In the pursuit of great entertainment!
I expected some funny antedotes or sarcastic wit. I got half way through the book and could not continue.
I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha
Because I always learn something & generally this leads me to other interesting information. For example, the TV show Jane went on to star in "Glee," was one I hadn't chosen to watch. Probably because I started watching it somewhere in the middle of the series & by then it didn’t make much sense to me. It was like watching a movie in the middle of it. Anyway I ordered the pilot of Glee & thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jane herself, because I appreciated her honestly & candor & her biography gave me a much deeper understanding of her life & her acting experiences. And it just goes to show people are much more than the covers they wear around themselves like a book. In Janes case her personal life became an acting experience. I began noticing Jane when she played the therapist for 'Charlie,' for the two & a half men series. Being a therapist myself I thought her performance was very beleivable. It wasn't so much what she said but how she said her lines & how she appeared to the audience. She carried herself & her part with a great deal of assured confidence. And dealing with the stars of that show who were (always clowning around) was no easy feat. As an actor watching her act with Charlie Sheen & others was always fun to watch. She seemed to always get behind him & swat him on the back of the head with her lines without him even noticing.
Her book was enlightening & i am sure helpful to others who may be going through similar challenges.
I always adored Carol Burnett. As a comedian she is the best & her foreward was a real tribute to Jane.
Any book could use a follow up if life continues to be ever changing & interesting.
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