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Greenlights

Written by: Matthew McConaughey
Narrated by: Matthew McConaughey
Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the Academy Award-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

“Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew 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 50 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

What the critics say

“McConaughey is a talented actor and a fine writer, but a total genius at living. He attacks life with an exhilarating ferocity. This is a wildly unexpected and delightful book you can’t just read, you have to experience.” (Lawrence Wright, author of The End of October)

“It shouldn’t surprise you that this book is good, but it will surprise you just how good it is.... Wise and entertaining, this is an inspiring memoir and how-to from one of the great outlaw philosophers and artists of our time.” (Ryan Holiday, author of The Daily Stoic)

“A Renaissance man on the big screen, McConaughey shows he is the same on the page. Mystical and spiritual but mostly just wonderful, Greenlights is an inspired memoir that celebrates the idea that it’s the journey rather than the destination that will fulfill us.” (Michael Connelly, author of Fair Warning)

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What listeners say about Greenlights

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Alright Alright Alright

None can say that this gentleman isn’t just an inspiration, he’s a person who shows people that the goals they have are always reachable; when you try and try even when you keep failing. You’ll get there. Alright, alright, alright.

8 people found this helpful

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Best Biography and Audiobook Narrator

Didn't know what to expect from this but I loved it. I've always thought Matthew was an interesting person, but his book definitely solidifies that. His adventurous life and lessons he's learned along the way were exciting and enjoyable to listen to. His narration was probably the best I've ever heard audiobook wise and makes it that much more amazing given he was reading his own work. This book was a blast, glad I tried it out.

3 people found this helpful

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Gorgeous

I have been a fan of this man since I saw him in his very first roll in Dazed and Confused. To hear him share his journey in his own voice with his own reflections was pure magic. I will continue to enjoy this book for years to come. That sir for sharing your life with us.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ann
  • 2020-10-21

I can’t say enough good things about this book!

I’m so happy I decided to listen to this book rather than reading it. Listening to Matthew speak about his life was such a gift. I laughed, I was sad, I had chills even goosebumps at some points in the book. The world needs more men like Matthew. The way he spoke about his wife especially love love love!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Matthew McConaghey is the REAL DEAL

Well written, entertaining, insightful, thought provoking. If you thought Matthew McConaghey is just another pretty face, wake up and read the book. Life altering. Thank you Matthew.

1 person found this helpful

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Phenomenal

Well alrighty, alrighty, alrighty. This book is full on pedal to the metal, Greenlight go!

1 person found this helpful

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Truth

Sounds like a hell of a wisdom journey. I wish you the best and hope someday you get the chance to meet me.

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Loud

The yelling of “prescription” and “bumper-sticker” kinda grated on me but also brought my ADHD mind back in.

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MM is irresistible

MM is a true communicator. This book is as different and individual as MM is himself. Enjoy the ride. It's wild.

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More Than Just a Book

Listening to Matthew McConaughey's stories, perspectives, observations, and introspections went deeper than offering just a glimpse into the man we see on the screen. I learned more about Matthew, the person, than from any interview he could have done while promoting a movie. The funny thing is, I wasn't convinced that he would be someone whose life I wanted to learn about. Listening to this author, this storyteller, share his experiences felt more personal than if I had read the book instead. And yes, he definitely knows how to tell a story. I'm surprised by how much I loved “Greenlights” and grateful that I gave it a chance. I expect to revisit this audiobook again and again.

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  • 2020-10-20

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.

60 people found this helpful

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  • McSusie
  • 2020-10-20

ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT!

Not only is he one of the best actors of his generation but he is an outstanding storyteller. It’s not surprising that he is also an excellent narrator. I’m so glad he chose to narrate his book himself. It’s so easy to listen to that sexy voice of his! Matthew shared his experiences of JUST LIVING HIS LIFE in a very casual, candid & personal way. It’s kind of like just hanging out with him listening to these stories. He is an unbelievably talented writer! Is there anything creative that this man can’t do? I don’t think so. From his unconventional (crazy) parents to his siblings I just fell in love with them all. I’ve been in love with Matthew for years. Thank God he started journaling at a young age & kept up with it to the present day. It’s an enjoyable & interesting listen. Better than I even expected. After all, he’s an actor, not a writer UNTIL NOW! Fantastic break out book with amazing insight. I hope he’ll write another book. Yes, he’s that good. I give this book a huge GREENLIGHT!

49 people found this helpful

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  • Nancy
  • 2020-10-21

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!

42 people found this helpful

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  • Kolton
  • 2020-10-21

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”

22 people found this helpful

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  • A. T.
  • 2020-10-21

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.

18 people found this helpful

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  • JCM
  • 2020-10-21

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.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Brittny Huffman
  • 2020-10-21

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Doller
  • 2020-10-20

Alright alright alright

The book was everything better then alright. It was great, and great look into his life. He was completely honest through the whole book.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Becky Gelderloos
  • 2020-10-21

I couldn't stop listening!

First of all, his voice is dreamy. Second of all, this book was entertaining AF! He is very inspirational, even though he clearly tells you that this is not meant to be an inspirational book. MM a real person, with real life experiences.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 2020-10-24

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.

11 people found this helpful