This is Matthew McConaughey’s autobiography and it’s interesting for me to be writing this review since I’m not exactly a fan. I mean, I have nothing against him nor have I actively avoided his movies. It’s just that the types of movies he’s mostly been in (romantic comedies) are not where I spend my time. I only found out while reading his book that I have seen him in a movie when I watched Contact with Jodie Foster many years ago.

I’m an open-minded person and the book was recommended so I decided to take the plunge, especially since I know close to zero about McConaughey and given such a popular figure that he has been in popular culture.

Well, the stories that he tells had me immediately laughing out loud or exclaiming to myself: “what the….?!”. The first of which has to be what his household was like and his parents’ antics, including the early story of what happens in the kitchen between them. Yeah, I’m not into revealing stuff, but trust me that there are some crazy stories in this book and his family is more than colorful. The picture above this review is of the Amazon River and that is the source of one of the recurring themes in his life that he recounts in the book.

McConaughey details his entire upbringing in the South to a variety of pivotal experiences that shaped him as a man, gave him his start as an actor (which was the furthest thing he was set out to pursue as an occupation), his initial fame, and further rise in stardom. He also styles himself as an “outlaw philosopher” and has many things to say about how he views life and the world. That’s where the title comes from; Greenlights, a motto of his experiences.

He is not shy of sharing the most intimate details about his life via sometimes awkward transparency and to what often sounds like his bravado.

(you can click the image below to purchase the book from Amazon)

green lights book cover

Between the Lines

Ultimately, I found the book entertaining and it kept my attention virtually through the whole journey. I understand that he has an Audible version that he reads himself. I normally prefer that type of format because you would figure that the author is going to give you the best sense of how to hear the story.

That said, if you’re interested in this book and you are a fan of his, consider getting the hardcover like I almost always do with book purchases. The reason in this case is that he has reproduced a lot of his combination of art & philosophical writings throughout the chapters. These are things that he’s been writing all of his life and they are scattered strategically throughout the book. They’re also often done in a specific artistic way that, obviously, won’t come across with the same impact in an audio book.

McConaughey has led an interesting life and shares unique insights into Hollywood and other famous figures that I found interesting. His stories are often funny, poignant, ridiculous, and left me either laughing or shaking my head. Especially for a non-fan, I had a good time with this book and recommend it.