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Happy Accidents: A Memoir Hardcover – September 13, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Excellent and often surprising ... contains plenty of hilarious lines ("Like any good, closeted young lesbian of the 70s," the second chapter memorably begins, "I developed a raging crush on Ron Howard") ... [and] evocative descriptions of the intense anger, loneliness and confusion that Lynch has known in her life ... self-knowledge and biting honesty characterises the book.' Guardian 'A frank, engaging, and at times uproariously funny autobiography of a roller-coaster life.' Vogue 'Hilarious, smart and stunningly honest.' Scotsman 'How a bubble-permed boozer from Illinois cleaned up her act to become one of the hottest names in Hollywood.' Daily Telegraph 'Moving and funny.' Star magazine 'Lynch is, for once, not going for laughs; she's going for something remarkably close to wisdom... look[s] back over a life that would drive many memoirists to hyperbole if not histrionics with astonishing perspective.' LA Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jane Lynch grew up on the south side of Chicago. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her wife, Dr. Lara Embry.

Lisa Dickey, a long-time friend of the author, is the co-writer of New York Times bestsellers by Patrick Swayze, Euna Lee, and Cathie Black. She also lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Voice; 1st edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341763
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Cassius on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always loved Jane Lynch. Whenever we'd see her in a movie or a bit part in a TV show my boyfriend and I were always rooting for her. There is something so very authentic about her and it really comes through in this bio. I am so happy we got to have an insight into the inner workings of this very talented and wonderful human being. Mostly I am happy to see such a strong woman in Hollywood who busts through gender roles. Jane worked so hard to get to where she is now: both personally and professionally happy. I am happy she shared her journey with me. I felt like I was right there with her listening over a soy latte. GOOD STUFF JANE. (Would also love to know where I can read the full script for "Oh Sister my sister" I laughed so hard my face turned bright red when I read the writing excerpt she put in the book from that show.)
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Larry Mark MyJewishBooksDotCom on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The actress and comedian, Jane Lynch, wants you to find out what you do best, and do your best at it

Lynch is famous for her work with ensemble comedies, Christopher Guest films (Best in Show), Second City Chicago, playing a therapist on Two and a Half Men, her recent marriage to a female physician/scientist, and, of course, GLEE. On GLEE she plays Sue Sylvester, the cheer-leading coach.

The title of this memoir is from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (where Malvolio thinks a fake love letter is for him). But the title, HAPPY ACCIDENTS, is ironic, since Lynch, an Irish Catholic from Dalton, IL, though a follower of astrological horoscopes and rules, does not believe in accidents. Lynch believes in preparation.

Did you know that as a teen, Lynch wrote letters to casting agents in Hollywood. She wanted a role on the BRADY BUNCH. She got devastating rejections (one replied that, "we don't always get what we desire."). But Lynch wanted to be an actress none the less. After deciding to be an actress, she arrived in Chicago and sent out resumes for acting positions. (Did I mention that she dropped out of her first high school acting role during her Freshman year). The only role offer she got was with Second City, an improvisational comedy group. This was something she did not desire, but she ended up thriving at it.

Another happy accident happened. She ran into Christopher Guest at a coffee shop, and landed roles in his films from that chance meeting. She scored a role in Steve Carell's films through Steve's wife. She was only supposed to be a recurring role on GLEE since she was committed to another pilot; but when that pilot failed, she joined GLEE to great success. Lynch shares how she has been sober 20 years, and now has a wife (plus had her wedding announcement in The NYT). This is an enjoyable and entertaining read, and an example of how one should persevere and overcome.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Trace on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Spread the word about an excellent biography. I'm not much of a reader, but I picked up her book today on a business trip and could not put it down. Deserves recognition. Thank you Jane for sharing your story.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Karen T on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE Jane Lynch and I really wanted to LOVE this book. I think that she is massively talented and has been very underrated for years. I'm so happy that Glee put her in the spotlight where she belongs. Having said that, I found it really hard to get through her book. It was very slow at times and if I didn't love her so much, I would have quit half way through.
If you aren't a die hard fan, (and maybe even if you are!) don't bother to buy it. Get it from your local library and see for yourself before you spend the money.
Sorry Jane, I still love ya.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By annlee on September 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered the book a few weeks prior to its release. I was excited to find the book downloaded to my kindle the night of its release. From the moment I read the first page I could not put the book down. Jane's story is truly a treasure to read. I laughed and cried throughout reading this book and I enjoyed every part of it. I have been a fan of Jane's since Best in Show and I could not be more happy for her success in the years after. Happy reading!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MED on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I buy all my books on Amazon but saw this walking through the mall and had to have it. Love her! "Best in Show" might be the funniest movie ever and it is because of Lynch (and Christopher Guest). She was always the funniest character on the episodes of "Two and a Half Men" in which she appeared. Now when she appears on screen I smile. Her personality shines through the book - she is funny and endearing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Staedtler on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love reading author written autobiographies. Sometimes you come across really good ones (Craig Ferguson, William Shatner) and sometimes you come across ones that are just meh and that was the case for me with this book. I was hoping that the humor that radiates from Jane Lynch would shine in her book but sadly it wasn't there. I kept wondering why as I was reading it and finally at one point she mentions writing the book and how she's better at vocalizing a story rather than typing it out and that's the problem I was having with the book.

I honestly can't pinpoint a single part of the book that I would pull out and mention as a fun fact in a conversation. Nothing really stood out as an interesting part of her life. Jane Lynch calls herself an alcoholic and you expect to read a life altering downward spiral but it was anything but that for her. Her struggle to break into acting was probably no different than what most of hollywood's actors go through either, with lots of theater work and auditions. Falling in love with her wife was much like love at first sight for anyone else who's experienced it themselves.

I'm not disappointed but I was not left with a feeling that I read a book worth recommending to others.
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