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A Life in Parts Paperback – August 8, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,557 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Boy, you think you know a guy!  I worked six solid years with Bryan Cranston and figured there weren’t any secrets left between us.  All those hours I spent watching him wander the desert in his underpants?  That alone should make me an expert on the man.

But now, along comes A Life In Parts – and suddenly I’m reading about a whole other Bryan, one who performs weddings in airplanes and camps out at mortuaries.  This Bryan bathes in the blood of chickens and stuffs mackerels in air vents.  He even accosts poor Alfred Hitchcock.

Yes, it’s all in here.  Better still, there’s an exceedingly honest discussion of his craft, which will be a godsend to struggling thespians everywhere.  Think your job waiting tables sucks?  One of the world’s greatest actors had it worse (what with being under suspicion for murder and all).

I loved this book.  It’s just the right mixture of funny, sad and heartfelt.  If I’d known Bryan could tell stories this well, I would have had him writing episodes of Breaking Bad."--Vince Gilligan

“This splendid, moving, heartbreaking memoir is doubly triumphant. It regales and entertains while at the same time providing inspiration and practical wisdom. A truly gifted storyteller, Cranston captures the reader's imagination and emotions from beginning to end.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin


“Bryan Cranston has created a cinematic record of how an actor shapes a career and an identity and a legacy all at the same time.” –Tom Hanks

"The highs here—and there are many—are meth-less but addictive."--Kirkus Reviews

"[A] substantial memoir from one of Hollywood’s most introspective stars...anyone interested in acting will devour Cranston’s savvy advice about honing one’s craft and building one’s career."--Booklist

"By turns gritty,funny, and sad, this fiercely intelligent book from the Breaking Bad star defies celebrity memoir tropes."--Entertainment Weekly

"Cranston fuses his personal and professional life in a way that’s nothing short of engrossing first-person account by one of our finest actors."--Huffington Post

"[A] must-read memoir."--Philadelphia Inquirer

"A literary cup that runneth over: A candid portrait of a great actor."--Newsday

"Deeply personal...the way in which Cranston's simple, staccato prose invites readers to empathize with every 'character' he's played elevates this autobiography to more than just a look behind the scenes--it's a look behind a life."--Publishers Weekly

"Genial...funny...a book about ambition and persistence."--The Washington Post

"[Cranston] traces his on- and off-screen life with witty, absorbing candor."--Denver Post

"Superb."--Chicago Tribune

"Brilliant...[Cranston] has a knack for describing the ordinary in a way that makes it fascinating."--The Buffalo News

"Cranston delivers crisp stories about his onscreen performances in everything from daytime soaps to “Malcolm in the Middle” to his 2014 Tony-winning portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way.” But he also offers many chapters in which the “part” is his real-life experience as a farmhand, hypnotist, dating consultant or even a murder suspect."--Kansas City Star


“Cranston’s memoir is an illuminating window into the actor’s psyche, as he opens up about his time as Walter White on the show and the fine line he walked playing that character—while looking into himself.”—People

Fascinating...The candor and self-introspection of this book are reminiscent of another unflinchingly honest memoir, the late Katharine Graham’s magnificent 'Personal History.'"--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

About the Author

Bryan Cranston won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Walter White in AMC’s 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 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 FOX’s Malcolm in the Middle. He is the author of A Life in Parts.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Scribner; Reprint edition (August 8, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1476793875
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1476793870
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.38 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,557 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,557 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honed His Craft , Earned his Acting Chops
By Ronbro C. on August 5, 2021
I'd call myself a casual Bryan Cranston Fan. Only knowing his work through Seinfeld ( Dr. Whatley), and as LBJ in All The Way, Sneaky Pete on Amazon, Plus most recently as Your Honor On Showtime.
( Truly Must See and Binge Worthy)

I did not watch Breaking Bad or Malcom In the Middle, yet after reading this Memoir/Journal , Life Skills book, They are in my que to watch.

From the go, I must tell you he is on my bucket list to meet, yes the book was that raw, true and insightful.

Mr. Cranston took , zero shortcuts, was not born with a silver spoon, was handed nothing, the man you've watched and seen for decades, Earned everything.

Not wanting to spoil anything, but read how he, hired, practiced , learned some tricks of the trade to land that one commercial.

His brilliance in whistling...and the dividends that paid .

He also is not a glory seeker nor does he break his arm, patting himself on the back , he credits , writers , agents, electricians, grips and staff for any and all ideas they shared to help/assist him nail a scene.

There also is zero sugar coating, he calls out people that were less than kind.

Even his 12-15 hour days on soap operas , he shares such details, things you may not catch as a casual viewer to make our watching experience perfect ( LIGHTSWITCH ) will take on a whole new meaning.

So How did I decide to buy it.

One I did not know it existed until I saw it on the Desk of one of the producers of the Rich Eisen Show.
( Picture Above)

Then once seeing it I glanced at Amazon to read the reviews, when your Ex-Wife writes you a 5 star review, its got to be worth a read,

This was one of those, I cannot put it down books , read it in 6 days, and Mr. Cranston expanded my mind with at least one to two new words , per chapter to increase my knowledge and vocabulary

And when your done reading this gem, watch him in Your Honor and Sneaky Pete
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2017
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16 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars He speaks the truth
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2016
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15 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Life in Parts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Mr. Othniel Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Genial but serious
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Kirra Day
5.0 out of 5 stars For everyone who loves acting and everyone who doesn’t
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2017
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3 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant stories
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2018
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