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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)

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • RuthA
  • Lafayette, CO
  • 05-22-12

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!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jesse
  • Phila, PA, United States
  • 08-28-12

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