Select language, opens an overlay


Book - 2020
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"I've been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five." McConaughey sat down with those diaries. He found lessons he learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. This book is an album, a record, a story of his life and the graces, truths, and beauties he has seen while trying to dance between the raindrops. It's also his guide to catching more greenlights-- and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.
Publisher: New York : Crown, [2020].
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780593139134
Characteristics: 289 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Alternative Title: Green lights


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 13, 2021

I love Mathew as an actor and I waited for the book to become available for me for months, and when it was finally ready for pick up, I was very disappointed.
During his TV interviews, Mathew doesn't seem to have written a memoir / autobiography, and at the beginning of the book he says that it's NOT a memoir, but it in fact IS. He writes facts about his mom, dad, about his childhood etc. so how it is not a memoir or an autobiography?? He didn't brings any news in the book. Every baby already knows everything he wrote in there. In short, this was just a waste of time (very short time - I gave it just a few minutes and was done with it). VERY QLICHE'. Is this what money make people do? write empty clichés?
Obviously famous celebrities have too much time in their hands to use on writing clichés.
I hate it.

Apr 28, 2021

A brilliant and fascinating actor who (unfortunately) in his personal life is less interesting than he seems to think he is.

Apr 23, 2021

Interesting book. McConaughey's reading is stellar. If you haven't listened to his interview with Joe Rogan, it's worth the time.

Apr 09, 2021

Unlike Val Kilmer's autobiography, this weird actor's biography is poor. I read 'Huckleberry' twice, because the anecdotes were funny, the stories were poignant, the philosophy was earnest, and the journey was moving. Not this one. The anecdotes were cruel, the stories were bizarre, the philosophy was fluffy, and the journey was often pointless. Add it to the list of 'wish I hadn't read it after all.'

Apr 09, 2021

"Alright! Alright! Alright!"
- Wooderson

Matthew McConaughey sees the world in terms of Red Lights (things that stop us), Yellow Light (things that slow us down), and Greenlights (things that allow us to move forward) and explains how he has been able to convert Red and Yellow lights into Greenlights. "Greenlights" is, of course, the title of McConaughey's 2020 autobiography.

The book is a series of anecdotes, mostly about overcoming adversity and turning negatives into positives. He grew up in a dysfunctional family with an overbearing, sometimes violent, redneck father, but he learned some valuable lessons about self-reliance from that father.

While a high school exchange student, he was assigned to live with a crazy Australian family who tried to control all his actions, but he asserted himself and was able to maintain his independence and move to a more normal home.

He was a film student struggling to find his first break when he won his first movie role, playing Wooderson in Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" - a small part, but a memorable character in a movie that would later become a cult favourite.

When confused about his next step, he took a sabbatical to travel along the Amazon River or through central Africa or across America - in each case returning with greater clarity.

After establishing himself as a bankable leading man in romantic comedy films, he decided he needed new challenges and refused to accept any more rom-com roles. After a few months, the phone stopped ringing; but he eventually landed the lead in "The Dallas Buyers Club", which earned him his first and only Academy Award.

In each case, McConaughey was able to create a positive (or "Greenlight") through a combination of talent, positive thinking, hard work, cleverness, and perseverance. McConaughey comes across as an eternal optimist who lives life on his own terms. He was blessed with looks and talent, but he did not rely solely on that. He also comes across as a bit of an oddball, as he describes his drug use and his wet dreams.

Each chapter includes at least one poem or a philosophical statement or a "Note to Self" or a clever bumper sticker that relates to the coming or preceding story. It is a bit cheesy, but it works.

One wonders about the veracity of his stories: Did he really fight a champion wrestler to a draw in remote Mali? Was teenage McConaughey as successful at outwitting adults as he claims?

But we cannot doubt the entertainment value. McConaughey speaks with an engaging humor and his stories are fun.

Feb 20, 2021

Narcissistic. Self-absorbed. Shallow. Boring.

Feb 17, 2021

Excellent book - I imagine the audio book would be even better. Highly recommended.

Jan 06, 2021

Amazing, insightful, a work of art, and a new way of thinking written in an easy to digest, funny, and humanizing way. McConaughey is a wizard with his words and the internal insights that I gathered from his book sprung me on a path of self-discovery. This book is a memoir but also a journey for my own self-discovery. I'm now on a path of establishing my own values, erasing what I *think* I should be doing, and livin this thing called life.

Highly recommend this book and I thank God that this book came across my path. Dance the music of life.

Dec 12, 2020

Before I started reading this, Ididn't know a lot about Matthew McConaughey except that he is from Texas and went to the University of Texas. But he is so much more. I love that this was unlike any other autobiography I've ever read. It's absolutely hilarious, sensitive and extremely personal. I loved it so much that I really want to listen to the audio book, which he narrates. My only "complaint "is that the pictures are really small. But they tell a very big story.

Dec 02, 2020

step 1 ; be incredibly lucky


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top