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Greenlights. A book review.

I have finally read Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. I grew up watching Matthew McConaughey in movies; mostly romantic comedies because that was his thing back then. In interviews, he was always well-versed and laid back, so I wanted to see what he could have written about himself, have a look behind the curtain. I have to say, I was not disappointed.

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Greenlights book cover, Matthew McConaughey clos up in black in white, pondering expression.
Greenlights Book Cover

Greenlights had promising reviews and was on my TBR pile for quite some time, and as I read the last page, I realised that I had no clue how to review it. I really enjoyed the book, though. So, I put it down and took a day to think about it.

Here is my honest review.

Greenlights is an honest account of growing up in what could be classed as an abusive household, the struggle to stay true to oneself and one's morals, figuring out who one wants to become, and whether one is determined enough to go through with what needs to be done to reach a certain goal.

The whole book is narrated really well; from recounting contemplation and past experiences to dialogue, everything is down-to-earth, which makes it such an easy and enjoyable read.

In fact the time at the Dooley's was torturous. A living mental hell. A true red light at the time. [...] We have to be thrown off balance to find our footing. It's better to jump than fall. And here I am. p.82

Greenlights is a chronological account of the experiences, good and bad, that made Matthew the man he is today. There were times when he felt completely lost and times when nothing could bring him down. And then there were the trips he embarked on to reconnect with himself. These trips made it difficult to put the book down, as Matthew's story is just wild. There are so many experiences in this book that I could have never pictured. From a crazy getting-of-age ritual to backpacking the Amazon to that time when he refused to put his clothes on when he got arrested.

"And this is the bed where he lost his virginity to Melissa, I think her name was, anyways, doesn't matter, she didn't last... And this is his bathroom, just a shower, no bathtub, and you know what I caught him doing in there!" p.151

Apart from being a brutally honest account of his life, Greenlights is also very funny. For example, the part where Matthew and Pat (Matthew's brother) pretend Pat is blind so Pat's dog could stay in the hotel room with them is absolutely ridiculous. I can't believe they got away with something so silly.

But above all, Greenlights is an inspiring read. Matthew mentions many accounts, you could call them crossroads, where, if he had made a different choice, if he had abandoned hope instead of persevering, his life could have taken a completely different turn. Reading these accounts, you can't help but think about your own choices: past, present, and future.

You ever chocked? [...] We become voyeurs of our moment because we let it become bigger than us, and in doing so, we just became less involved in it and more impressed with it. p.143

I recommend Greenlights to anyone who is interested in inspiring tales without the boring bits. Reading this book may give you the kick in the butt you need to succeed at that thing you've been dreaming about for ages!

four stars
Loved it!

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