Book Review: A Life in Parts

The problem with this book is that there’s so much great material to work with. Cranston could have written 280 pages on his experiences as Walter White alone. That part is clearly the one that he’s most proud of, and fans of his work would be eager for more details, especially after the stirring scene with which he introduces the book.
But, alas, we are left to take a deep breath and slide along with Cranston down the definitely interesting water-park ride of his life and career. The net effect is that one feels he’s gotten some insight into who Cranston is, some sense of his challenging relationships with his family, in particular, but it’s via a very superficial recounting of the major events in the subject’s life. it’s a quick read, and that’s only a partial compliment. I think Cranston could have produced a deeper work by focusing on just one aspect – say, his experiences on Breaking Bad, and weaving the events of his personal life into that story.
As it is, this is a very serviceable autobiography. Just not an especially remarkable one. Big star has some tough experiences growing up, falls in love with a woman in acting class, gets some good breaks, works really hard and ends up pretty happy. A nice story. I just think there’s a whole lot more to it – and to Cranston – than we find here.

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