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Extended Audio Sample Happy Accidents, by Jane Lynch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,534 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Lynch Narrator: Jane Lynch Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the summer of 1974, a fourteen-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 her freshman year of high school and developed a mean and judgmental streak that turned her into a real-life Sue Sylvester.

Then, at thirty-one, 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 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. 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Amid all the jokes she cracks, Lynch deserves credit for honestly and seriously handling subjects that could have been melodramatic minefields with a lightness that doesn't drag the reader into a morass of therapeutic psychobabble. Many celebrity memoirs are so obviously ghostwritten that it seems fair to wonder whether the alleged author even knows the book has been published. But, refreshingly, the prose in Happy Accidents reads like it's been pecked out on a laptop keyboard by Lynch herself.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] compelling memoir packed with personal revelations…Her honest insights make this a potent page-turner.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Lynch is an experienced voice-over performer and great reader of her own story.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Darlene | 2/16/2014

    " I enjoyed the book. She doesn't hide her warts and failings at all. She's not perfect and knows it and lives with it. It's not a feel good book but it still makes you smile. I love her wry humor and sarcasm. A good read over all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisa | 2/12/2014

    " (Non-Fiction, Memoir) I loved Jane Lynch in the Christopher Guest movies and love her, love her, love her in Glee as the evil Sue Sylvester. Her memoir is an honest and heavy narrative of her sexuality, her acting career, her great family, her battle with alcoholism, and her reflectance to romantic commitment. She is funny at times, but most of the time, she is as real as death and taxes, which was just fine with me. For fans of Jane Lynch and fans of Bossypants by Tina Fey. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Susie | 2/9/2014

    " Started off pretty well but got slower in the middle section whilst talking about her acting jobs. Touching and funny in places. A decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lynn Kearney | 2/5/2014

    " I'm a big fan of Jane Lynch, but this book was a bit plodding and didn't provide much illumination about what makes her such a funny person. "

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