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A Life in Parts

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  14,433 ratings  ·  1,879 reviews
A poignant, intimate, funny, inspiring memoir—both a coming-of-age story and a meditation on creativity, devotion, and craft—from Bryan Cranston, beloved and acclaimed star of one of history’s most successful TV shows, Breaking Bad.

Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father cast him in a United Way commercial. Acting was clearly the boy’s destiny, until
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Scribner
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Jason Koivu I'm in the middle of listening to it and it's fantastic! I prefer to listen to memoirs if they're read by the author. No, not everyone's a good reader…moreI'm in the middle of listening to it and it's fantastic! I prefer to listen to memoirs if they're read by the author. No, not everyone's a good reader, but there's something about hearing their own words in their own voice. If it's an autobio by a comedian, I usually won't bother reading it unless I can find it in audio format with them as the narrator. (less)

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  14,433 ratings  ·  1,879 reviews

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Donna Ho Shing
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Take notes Tina Fey and the rest of you famous people writing memoirs. This is how it's done.
Scratch that.
Bow down people of earth. BOW DOWN! Heisenberg lives!
Bravo Bryan Cranston. BRAVO! Exceptional!
As far as celebrity memoirs go this book is a solid 5 stars.*

Can someone please take this iPad from me real quick because I'm about to go on and on about the genius that is Bryan Cranston and one of the greatest t.v. shows of all time- Breaking Bad- and when I start babbling about BB I don't shut
Andrew Smith
I was, I think, unaware of Cranston until my son encouraged me to watch the opening episode of Breaking Bad. I was instantly hooked and watched the whole thing - all 62 episodes - in the course of the next month or so. I was captivated by its strange but compelling storyline and I found the performance of Cranston completely spellbinding. The character he played, chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White, was a work of genius and the way the plot was set out gave full reign to his skills. ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Please visit to see this review and others.

A Life in Parts, by Bryan Cranston is a memoir about the author.

I really like Bryan Cranston and chose to read this so I could learn more about him, other than the parts he's played in movies and TV. I absolutely loved it. I love the way it's written because it kept my attention, stayed interesting, and went through parts of his childhood and early career.

There are many interesting things about him and experiences he had th
Karen R
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting that Bryan Cranston’s life would be interesting or there wouldn’t have been an autobiography. What I was not expecting was that this man who I loved as Walter White in Breaking Bad, is incredibly accomplished and totally committed to his family and profession. Laser focused, intelligent, creative, very funny, mischief making and at times downright crazy, Bryan has lived his life with gusto, facing its hard knocks and highs head on. There seems to be no obstacle too great if Bryan ...more
Jenny Bunting
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was hands down the best celebrity memoir I’ve listened to.

I highly recommend going the audiobook route for this. I assume it would be great in print but the audiobook is the only way to go, in my opinion.
Michael Finocchiaro
I watched Breaking Bad from when Season 2 aired and was absolutely addicted to it. In A Life in Parts, the actor Bryan Cranston who played Walter White gives us his autobiography as a series of parts - Son, Husband, etc. - that he played in both this personal and professional lives. I admit I was impatient for more goods on Breaking Bad and had to wait for almost 200 pages to get it, and perhaps I am being unfair with a 3 or 3.5 star rating. His writing is alright - it is certainly very honest - ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
That was really good. I mean really good! I knew I was going to enjoy it, because I'm a Brian Cranston/Breaking Bad fan, but this was exceptional.

Acclaimed actor Brian Cranston is a surprisingly good storyteller and the man has some stories to tell! I found this online in audiobook form with him doing the reading and that, imo, is the best way to read an autobiography. Who better to relate their life story than the person who lived it? Sure, some people absolutely suck at reading and shouldn't
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
3.5 stars

I should have taken more note of the title: a life in parts. These parts being, of course, the various roles Bryan Cranston throughout his long career and the means by which he frames his life story in this book. Life many, I hadn't even heard of him before becoming mesmerised by his portrayal of Walter White in Breaking Bad. The show and the transformation of character played so well by Cranston was unlike anything i'd seen before. It's what made me wonder about the man behind the mask
Katie B
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

As far as celebrity memoirs go this is a pretty decent read. It does feel like this was an honest attempt to reflect on his life even if it meant sharing memories that don't always paint him in the best light rather than just a fluffy, lighthearted attempt to make money off his fans. The first third of the book is devoted to his childhood growing up in California. His parents split up and for quite awhile he was estranged from his father. His mother turned to alcohol and ended up shippi
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
UPDATE after reread after watching Breaking Bad:

Listening to this book the first time definitely made me want to watch the series. I waited for a while to allow myself to forget anything in this book about the show, which is kind of a lot of stuff. When I felt ready, I started watching Breaking Bad and was immediately hooked. I can definitely understand all the hype surrounding it.

This time while listening to the audio book it was a lot more fun to listen to the Walt and Heisenberg chapters and
Judith E
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, audible
Unbeknownst to 10 year old Bryan Cranston, his unstable and chaotic upbringing afforded him the opportunity to use his keen intelligence to be creative, take risks, and learn to work very, very hard. Cranston’s autobiography leads the reader through his rough beginnings, to his indecisiveness about career paths, to family relationships, and to his creative development as an accomplished actor at the top of his game as Walter White in the huge hit tv series, Breaking Bad.

Mr. Cranston gives insigh
4.5 stars
Wow. This is easily the best celebrity memoir I've ever listened to. Bryan Cranston has been one of my favorite actors since I first watched Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is my all time favorite show and I've seen every episode at least 5 times, and it will always be my favorite show, and I absolutely love Bryan Cranston as Walter White. Ever since I fell in love with Breaking Bad I have followed Bryan Cranston's career, and he has become one of my favorite humans on the planet. I adore hi
Jack Chaucer
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read memoirs, but as a huge fan of Bryan Cranston as Walter White/Heisenberg in AMC's hit show, "Breaking Bad," how could I resist? Fascinating life story of an actor who cares so much about the work. His upbringing was not very pleasant, but he rose above it, learned from his parents' mistakes and, as he put it, let acting become his salvation. This is an interesting and inspiring read. Highly recommend, especially to "Breaking Bad" fans. It was fun to get his inside insights on ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this guy. A lot of people do but many of them only got to know him as Walter White aka Heisenberg. I loved him in that role also but he had me when he played Hal, the dad on Malcolm in the Middle. It was one of my favorite sitcoms and he had what seemed to be the most enjoyable role ever to act in.

I don’t usually care much for autobiographies but this was quite well done. He discusses his life growing up. How he got into acting. The roles he had. His relationships as an adult. He’s had a
Sonja Arlow
If you are a die-hard Bryan Cranston fan then I think you will be more than satisfied with this book, if you only have a passing interest because you liked him in Breaking Bad you may be left wanting more.

This was an easy listen and I was glad to see that some of the stories I heard him tell on the Graham Norton show made it into this book as they were quite funny.

You learn a lot about the process an actor goes through to prepare for a role, the politics of the industry and how to handle rejecti
Lance Carney
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My kids were hooked on Malcolm in the Middle when I discovered Bryan Cranston. I thought he was hilarious as Hal. Then my son got us to watch Breaking Bad. Wow! What range. When my daughter moved to Los Angeles and Bryan Cranston was scheduled to appear at the Los Angeles Library, she got us signed copies of his autobiography.

The book is just like watching Bryan Cranston on screen; one minute it is hilarious, the next heart-wrenching. He lays it all out in easy prose - his life told through the
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good memoir--it doesn't go very deep but it was still an enjoyable read. I was hoping for way more behind the scenes stories and anecdotes about Cranston's experience on Breaking Bad, but, all in all, I'd definitely recommend this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This is a well written, entertaining memoir, from Mr. Cranston who has quite a story to tell. I first became a fan from his “Breaking Bad” series which once I started watching just couldn’t stop. I watched compulsively in spite of the deterioration of the “good guy”, Mr. White, a high school math teacher, played by Cranston.

The actor, like so many others, was not an overnight success. He went through some troubled times with his family, his actor father who never made it big, and they were forev
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The thing that enchanted me so much about this book, and the reason I'm giving it the highest a four star rating can be before it becomes one of my rare and coveted fives, was the way Bryan Cranston told his stories—or, more accurately, the ways he didn't.

In theory, it isn't hard to write a memoir, but in practise it's got to be difficult. Not only do you have to tell your life's story clearly and honestly, but it has to be readable and preferably enjoyable. You can't be didactic, or else the re
Erin Dunn
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it

Thank you to Edelweiss for provding a free ebook copy of A Life in Parts By: Bryan Cranston in exchange for an honest review.

Short Review Summary:
I loved learning more about Cranston and his life.

Breaking Bad is one of my all time favorite shows. I love the show a lot and personally I think that Bryan Cranston did a magnificent job in his role as Walter White. Also, Walter White is one of my all time favorite characters. I've seen Cranston in a few othe
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read mostly through Overdrive app, last part via hardback copy (from page 208 till the end)

Love Bryan Cranston more as a human being :)

Funny how you see someone in a few things... trailer for a movie or TV show, interview where they mention past things perhaps and somehow your brain doesn't connect it all together the way it should... probly just distracted, or maybe your memory sucks ;-P.

Bryan Cranston was another one of those people I had heard of (who hasn't at least heard of Breaking Bad
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Celebrity memoirs aren't usually a genre I'm drawn to but this one has great reviews and the audio is read by the author. I'm a huge fan of Bryan Cranston's work, especially his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad. The thought of being read to by Walter (haha) on a recent car trip was appealing and I wasn't disappointed. The book is well-written, amusing, and occasionally heartbreaking.

Thankfully, this wasn't a celebrity tell-all, but a look back on an interesting and varied life and career. T
Until Breaking Bad, I hadn't watched Bryan Cranston in any TV show. But this performance, and subsequent elevated fame from Breaking Bad made me aware of who he was. Like millions of other fans, I loved this show.

This autobiography was at times entertaining, at times sad, and at times cringe-worthy. Particularly during his early years up until his mid-20's, Bryan's off-camera life was filled with drama. Sometimes I found myself wondering "could one person possibly have this much going on?" -- dy
Ashley V
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Important Note: This book does contain some pretty major Breaking Bad spoilers so if you haven't yet watched/finished the show and still intend to, hold off on reading this book.

As far as celebrity memoirs go, this has become one of my favourites. Bryan Cranston, most notably of Breaking Bad fame, details his life as a series of "parts" he's played both onscreen and off. Let me tell you, he could give the Dos Equis guy a run for his money as the most interesting man in the world. From playing on
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Funny enough, the only way I'm familiar with Bryan Cranston is through Breaking Bad. I didn't watch Malcolm in the Middle, although he makes me want to watch that and numerous TV shows. The only other thing I've watched with him in it was The Infiltrator, and that was only a few weeks ago that I watched that. So, this book was more like how I was with The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. Like the one thing they were in and here I am reading their memoir.

But, this was interesting.
Malcolm Everett
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir

I am floored by the vibrancy of this memoir.

The title A Life in Parts can be interpreted to mean “parts” as in “pieces,” vignettes of a life well-lived, but it more likely refers to the “roles” Cranston has played throughout his life that are used to divide the memoir into chapters—paperboy, security guard, minister, explorer, son, husband, father, and, of course, actor. He explores all the small and large moments that shaped him as a person and an artist, reflecting on his own philosophy about
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bios
After tearing through A Life in Parts in two days, I feel like I sat down and had a great conversation with a good friend.

Like most right-thinking people, I loved Cranston in both Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad; I also caught a great interview with him publicizing this book on NPR's "Fresh Air," and although I typically don't enjoy biographies, and especially don't enjoy autobiographies, I figured this would be pretty good and grabbed it when I saw it on the library shelf.

I was right! C
I liked this book because it's structured, focused, and it tells a story. It is a story of a boy from a soon-to-be-broken home who earns his family's rent by chopping chicken's heads. It is a story of a young man who wants to be able to do 100 push ups. It is a story of a would-be copper who was good at his job but who eventually decided that he would rather be telling stories, not catching criminals.

Even if you have no idea who Bryan Cranston is and never binge-watched Breaking Bad, you will st
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bryan Cranston is about as badass as they come and anyone who thinks otherwise can fight me.


Bravo...... Bravo. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bryan Cranston tells his story in a series of chronological 2-5 page episodes, he calls them parts. Cranston’s optimism and dedication to the things he loves is infectious. You feel good, just reading about his luck and pluck.

He had an eventful, if uncertain childhood. Each of the stories describes the changes, family members and/or his situation. With his older brother at his side, he learned chicken farming, attended school and took a motorcycle trip.

After 5 days of rain, boredom and thought
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Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, comedian, stage actor, voice actor, screenwriter, director and producer.

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