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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times Best Seller • Discover the life-changing memoir that has inspired millions of readers through the Academy Award®-winning actor’s unflinching honesty, unconventional wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Guardian

“McConaughey’s book invites us to grapple with the lessons of his life as he did - and to see that the point was never to win, but to understand.” (Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)

I’ve been in this life for 50 years, been trying to work out its riddle for 42, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last 35. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges - how to get relative with the inevitable - you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”

So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.

Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.

It’s a love letter. To life.

It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights - and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too.

Good luck.

©2020 Matthew McConaughey (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Matthew McConaughey’s book is exactly what we needed after the frenzy of Campaign 2020. . . . [A] much-needed breather . . . [and] a recuperative journey . . . it is both calming and laugh, laugh, laugh-out-loud funny.” Hugh Hewitt, The Washington Post

“A delightful surprise, full of stories that [haven’t] been shared on late night talk shows or made headlines over the years. It’s a wild ride to be sure, but if you enjoy McConaughey and all of the eccentricities and contradictions that come with him, it’s one you won’t want to miss.” Texas Monthly 

“A brilliant memoir . . . [Greenlights] is unmistakeably ‘a book that only Matthew McConaughey could have written.’ This is a good thing.” The Times Magazine (UK) 

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What listeners say about Greenlights

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this!

I am not necessarily fanatical about this actor, but I can say now with conviction I am fanatical about this author. I found Matthew so honest, witty, intelligent, articulate, compassionate, brave, loyal, etc. His impersonation skills are spot on. I listened to all 6+ hours in one day (from my not feeling well bed)...so entertaining! In my opinion, Matthew McConaughey is an incredible role model for a human being. Thank you Matthew!

787 people found this helpful

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ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT - I LOVE THIS BOOK!

MM is a talented actor, a dedicated family man & a heck of a good writer & narrator. I had no problem listening to that sexy voice of his for hours. He’s just so darn like-able & sincere. I felt like we were hanging out (sans bongos) & Matthew was personally telling me these great stories of his life, work & family. Matthew shared very private memories he recorded in journals he began as a young kid with sincerity & honesty. He is an unbelievably talented writer! I’ve seen all of his movies & have been a big fan for years. I always wondered what he was really life. Now I feel like I almost know him. His storytelling is that intimate. This is an enjoyable & surprisingly open & honest book. The fact that MM narrated it himself really brought his stories to life & was the icing on the cake. This is a fantastic break out book. True fans of Matthew are going to love this. I LOVED THIS. Well worth the credit & your time. I hope this is helpful.

571 people found this helpful

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First audible book so bad I "exchanged" it.

I honestly don't get the good ratings here. I like McConaughey well enough as an actor and assumed I would like this book. It was astonishingly over-acted by McConaughey. One moment, he would talk so fast you couldn't understand him, the next he would slow down so much as to suggest he was saying something of monumental importance, which he wasn't. His so-called brilliant observations weren't. His stories were often not remotely credible. Don't waste your time.

507 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 10-20-20

Love this man.

This book will be finished by lunch time.
Matthew M. is one of the most talented people in Hollywood. It’s one of those moments when you knew you loved the man, but now you love him even more. Thank you for sharing your stories.

413 people found this helpful

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Not as good as I had hoped.

I normally really like self narrated biography books. However, I didn't get that "real" feeling from him. It was a pretty dramatic, somewhat over performed experience for me. He is an interesting guy, with an interesting story, but it all came across to me as "look at me". I just didn't walk away being inspired or wanting to know more. Ironically, he talked a lot about being himself, but it seemed a bit acted as if he were playing himself. I know that sounds weird, but that's my best way of describing it. I'd love to have a beer or two with him sometime, but this was just okay for me.

266 people found this helpful

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Strong Start

*spoiler alert* I overall enjoyed this book. However, the beginning to middle was the best part. Arrogance snuck in from time to time, in various places. With that being said, I still admire his authenticity.

213 people found this helpful

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Enthralling

Couldn’t stop listening (it’s good that he’s got a melodic voice) This is a book I will listen to more than once. I just started a journal to see what my future self will be reminded of. Favorite part was hearing the story of how he got the roll in “A Time to Kill”

202 people found this helpful

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What an adventure!

I burned through this one today! So fast in fact, that it felt like I had my own...Greenlights! It was full of adventure, appreciation for life, truths and done in the art of a great storyteller. McConaughey's biggest and most constant role...a person becoming.

153 people found this helpful

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Fan-frickin-tastic!

Well told and solid gold. Stories that will make you giggle and ponder and rewind while saying, ‘hold up did he just say...?’. So chock full of wisdom and good bumper sticker sayings that I think I might like to buy the book to have it written down somewhere to better reference.

150 people found this helpful

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Smooth

Matthew McConaughey is a fabulous story teller. I could listen to his voice and his stories for days on end. He is a very talented, witty and intelligent man. I love his positive outlook and I enjoyed learning about his life.

133 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Amy Jean
  • Amy Jean
  • 01-21-21

Keep a notebook handy

You’ll love the one liners, two liners and the whole bloody book! Do it, you won’t regret it!