In a word, it’s excellent ... It turns out that Cranston regularly draws upon his own demons and rich array life experiences to bring his characters to life. Throughout the book, Cranston fuses his personal and professional life in a way that’s nothing short of riveting ... Cranston doesn’t superfluously dish dirt about petty behind-the-scenes skirmishes. At the same time, though, he’s not afraid to detail a conflict about a small but critical acting-related disagreement ... It’s an engrossing first-person account by one of our finest actors and I couldn’t put it down.
Cranston, in his charming matter-of-fact introspection, indirectly makes a case for the total cumulative experience of the actor, the history, as the real persona of a character as it is portrayed ... He has a knack for describing the ordinary in a way that makes it fascinating, without excessive verbiage ... The character dissection [of Walter White] is intense, and Cranston is as intellectually perceptive as he was emotionally complex in the role.
Genial, occasionally funny and largely devoid of gossip, A Life in Parts is a book about ambition and persistence. Though Cranston tells some interesting stories about his best-known performances his liveliest writing focuses on his days as an 'always hustling' young actor ... [some] anodyne hat-tips can get tedious ... Unlike some of his early, easily summarized roles, A Life in Parts does not lend itself to pithy postcard blurbs. But take Cranston’s book for what it is — the controversy-free reflections of a hard-working and apparently well-grounded actor — and there is plenty to admire.