Book Review – Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

23 07 2021

Autobiographical books are rarely near the top of my reading list but for some reason this one called out to me.  I do find McConaughey interesting in an odd kind of way.  I always got the sense that he would be fun to share a drink with and that he has some depth behind his casual, surfer, stripper, and rom com love interest persona that he has cultivated over his career.  His best performances have been as good as any out there (I am thinking Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective, A Time to Kill) and how he balances those with his sometimes larger than life party dude persona is intriguing to me.

I picked this up on a whim while on vacation and was pleasantly surprised to find it full of entertaining and offbeat stories.  Observations on life from a man who has lived it thoroughly.  He has lived an atypical life and learned to identify the ‘Greenlights’ along the way which signal times when you have an opportunity to seize.  These stories start in childhood and progress through schooling, acting, and pseudo comeback.  It hits on relationships, the human condition, and a spiritual understanding that has allowed him to succeed and be happy.

While I would not say that anyone can take great insight from his philosophies, they are very entertaining and make him even more likeable if that is possible.  He has lived a charmed life but it hasn’t always been easy and the way forward has not always been obvious to him but he has found his way to center himself and grow.

A light and fun read overall if you approach it with an open mind.  The poetry is a little awkward and cringy, but the rest of the book is great.  Worth a read as long as you do not have a strong distaste for the author. 

Overall 4.3/5