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Extended Audio Sample A Life in Parts Audiobook, by Bryan Cranston Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 5 3.33 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bryan Cranston Narrator: Bryan Cranston Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2016 ISBN: 9781508226321
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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 back seat 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, 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 mega-stardom and a cult-like 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, its benefits, challenges, and proper maintenance, but ultimately A Life in Parts is about the necessity and transformative power of hard work. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “A cinematic record of how an actor shapes a career and an identity and a legacy all at the same time.”

    Tom Hanks, Academy Award–winning actor

  • “An illuminating window into the actor’s psyche, as he opens up about his time as Walter White on the show and the fine line he walked playing that character—while looking into himself.”

    People

  • “By turns gritty, funny, and sad, this fiercely intelligent book from the Breaking Bad star defies celebrity memoir tropes.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Genial…funny…a book about ambition and persistence.”

    Washington Post

  • “Superb.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Cranston fuses his personal and professional life in a way that’s nothing short of riveting.”

    Huffington Post

  • "[Cranston] traces his on- and off-screen life with witty, absorbing candor.”

    Denver Post

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Audie Award Winner for Best Narration by Author
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