Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Life In Parts - Bryan Cranston

BOOK REVIEW
A LIFE IN PARTS
BRYAN CRANSTON
ORION BOOKS UK 2016

Sent to me by Orion Books UK in exchange for an honest review

Book Info: Hardback, Autobiography, 275pp

Buy/Read Now (links): Amazon UK/Amazon US/Goodreads

Rating: 5/5

Audience: Readers interested in Bryan Cranston's life, his journey to acting and his time on the sets of some of the greatest TV shows in history.

Summed up in a few words: Relatable. Inspiring. Modest. Unputdownable.

First Impressions: As soon as I saw this book I had to get a copy and devour every page! I am a huge Cranston fan, his rollerskating scene in Malcolm in the Middle is one of my earliest TV memories and it still amuses and inspires me to this day. I really loved this book, it shows many different sides to the man we know and love today. A Life In Parts is just that, it is a collection of roles that Cranston has taken on over the years from Son and Brother to the iconic Walter White and beyond.

Author Bio: Bryan Cranston won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Walter White in Breaking Bad. He holds the honor of being the first actor in a cable series, and the second lead actor in the history of the Emmy Awards, to receive three consecutive wins. In 2014 he won a Tony Award for his role as President Lyndon Johnson in the bio-play All The Way. In film, Cranston received an Academy Award nomination for his leading role in Trumbo. Among his numerous television and film appearances, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and three Emmys for his portrayal of Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.

Book Synopsis: Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father cast him in a United Way commercial. Acting was clearly the boy's destiny, until one day his father disappeared. 

Destiny suddenly took a backseat to survival. In his riveting memoir, Cranston maps his zigzag journey from abandoned son to beloved star by recalling the many odd parts he's played in real life - from paperboy to murder suspect, and chronicles his evolution on camera.

From soap opera regular to his recurring spot on Seinfeld as dentist Tim Whatley he recalls his role in Malcolm in the Middle as dad, Hal, and gives an inspiring account of how he prepared, physically and mentally, for the challenging role of President Lyndon Johnson, a tour de force that won him a Tony.

Of course, Cranston dives deep into the grittiest details of his greatest role, explaining how he searched inward for the personal darkness that would help him create one of the most memorable performances ever captured on screen: Walter White. Ultimately A Life In Parts is a story about the joy, the necessity, and the transformative power of simple hard work.

My Thoughts: I have to thank Orion Books for sending me a copy of this book! As I said before, Bryan Cranston is one of the first actors to bring me into the world of television. He amazed and inspired me and I relished the opportunity to read about his life. A Life In Parts is just that, a collection of all the roles that Bryan Cranston has had to adopt to survive and eventually succeed. 

BC is almost the living embodiment of the term 'fake it till you make it', he always had the talent but TV/Hollywood are always looking for the next best thing and BC was willing to work himself to the bone to give it to them. His anecdote about the Mars Bar commercial where he had to learn to mountain climb in 5 hours to score a part will stay with me for a long time. Bryan Cranston is all about hard work but before he decided to go into acting he had a string of jobs that always added a new dynamic to his character from a back-breaking work ethic to letting loose and just being yourself. 

If you enjoyed his work in TV/Movies then there are plenty of insights for you to enjoy here. From how deep he had to dig into himself to bring Walter White to life, to the amazing/crazy things he did as Hal on Malcolm in the Middle, including covering himself in 70,000 live bees for a scene. This book is by no means all roses, Bryan had to navigate a childhood rife with turmoil which I can somewhat relate to, having a father leave at a young age is devastating but BC, along with his brother Kim, worked hard to turn their lives into something amazing. 

Bryan Cranston is forever moving forward with his life, every day is a new lesson in life and that is what this book is all about. I was truly inspired by his outlook on life and I can see myself returning to this book whenever I need some perspective on how life is all about getting out what you put in.

Thank you for reading this review. The link to pick this book up is at the top of the page. Buy it, Enjoy it and let me know what you thought in the comments. Please follow Always Trust In Books for reviews, features, interviews, giveaways, extracts and general bookish awesomeness.

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