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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.

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 realising that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too.

Good luck.

The audiobook now includes an exclusive interview with Matthew McConaughey which was recorded during his book tour in 2021. 

©2020 Matthew McConaughey (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Greenlights

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Don't delay just get it.

Thoughtful, vulnerable, honest, one of the best that you'll listen to.

Greenlights all the way.

1 person found this helpful

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Stunningly Good Listen

Great listen with the best Narration I have heard on a audible book . A must listen if only for the sheer energy of the narrative.

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Green light!

Quite simply the BEST audio book we have listened too. Enjoyed enormously. Humble, humorous, inspiring! Green light!

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  • gabe_nz
  • 24-01-21

First Book of 2021

I loved the the small and insightful messages behind each story and action, throughout his life. The one that stuck with me most was this quote “take the challenge, or you will forever end up knowing” is something I will take away forever

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ms. L. Ulrich
  • 21-06-22

Superb!!

The real sense of character comes through MM's amusing and mesmerising voice. Lots of golden nuggets to assist in life. Thoroughly enjoyed!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-05-22

All class

Candid, funny, entertaining and insightful this book has it all. For young and old. Brill bro

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  • MissEvie
  • 14-04-22

Good listening - felt like a fireside yarn with an interesting character

I imagine I would not have enjoyed this book as much had I read it from the physical book - Matthew McConaughey narrating lends a texture and tone to the text that is engaging, amusing, enthralling, and entertaining. Parts that seem heavy and even traumatic are lightened by his tone; other parts are given brevity or levity depending on his reading. I really enjoyed his accent (I am Australian so it was novel for me!) and his values - he seems like a man who has a lot of courage and old-fashioned values uniquely combined with a sort of progressive world view that I think makes him an interesting and not easily pigeon-holed ‘character.’ I also enjoyed the lessons he imparted - I read some other reviewers comment that these lessons were unnecessary or a bit naff but if one doesn’t look back on one’s life and reflect, what’s the point? I appreciated what he shared and the insight he has gleaned over an interesting life. Overall it’s a great way to spend a few hours listening and I would highly recommend Greenlights. Lost one star as I suspect the format of the physical book didn’t translate 100% to this format - I understand there are notes and photographs that are obviously missing from the Audible format but are referred to in the text. That was a bit confusing and I had to do some Googling to see what Mr McConaughey was referring to.

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  • FrankstMal
  • 29-10-21

A fascinating life

I enjoyed this. Memoir but found it a bit preachey for my taste. It’s still worth a listen.

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  • Sarah A
  • 03-07-21

McConaughey is remarkable!

What an entertaining autobiography! Loved it from the minute I heard Matthew’s signature soothing drawl and enthusiasm, until the very last word.

Well written / narrated with such transparency and naked truths about his upbringing and what has made him the person he is right now.

His life story isn’t remarkable, but his character and life lessons are. Well done Matthew and thank you for sharing your Greenlights, notes to self and prescriptions. What a ride!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-21

Alright alright alright

Best book I have ever listened to on Audible. Glad you found your mermaid McConaughey. Looking forward to see what God is still going to do with your life. Just keep livin 🤙🏼

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  • Genson Glier
  • 21-04-21

f#cking great book!

Worth the listen/read! Definitely get this one! looking for a rebellious approach to living your legacy!

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  • Bradley W.
  • 12-02-21

Interesting story

I didn’t know much about the author before reading other than he was an actor and I had seen quite a few of his movies. His perspective is refreshing and enlightening. It wasn’t too in depth but still provides his interesting outlook on life within the stories he tells.

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  • Tim
  • 26-01-21

Sheer enjoyment!

Outstanding. If only every audiobook was narrated this enthusiastically and competently, with pure excitement and humour.