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Happy Accidents: A Memoir Hardcover – September 13, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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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 (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,073,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I may be one of the few readers reviewing this book who hasn't seen "Glee" often but I have enjoyed watching Jane Lynch in at least a couple of films...first in "Role Models" and then, especially, in "Julie and Julia", where her repartee with Meryl Streep was pitch perfect. She is an actor who has broad skills and a wonderful appeal.

"Happy Accidents" is, as presented, a memoir of Lynch's life and I was drawn to it particularly because of her struggles with sexual identity and alcoholism. The book has a breezy style and her narrative seems to move as fast as the actor herself...often charging ahead. While she does tell us about her youth...her parents and her siblings figure into the story a good deal...it's after she leaves the nest that things really pick up. What I found most compelling about Jane Lynch was her sense of worry about things and how so many friends helped her along the way to "let things go". A psychiatrist friend aided her in coming out to her family but Lynch really seems to have found the inner strength, herself, to keep sober for so long. And to top it off, finding a woman to whom she is now happily married.

It may sound funny to call her a "rising star" at the age of fifty-one, but she has really hit her stride in the past few years and I think she's terrific. "Happy Accidents" is a quick read with shared pain but with much humor as well. Even if you don't know much about Jane Lynch, this is a good way to get to know her.
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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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