...the book is a collage of memories, photographs, poems, notes to self, and bumper stickers that make up the past 50 years of his life ... reading Greenlights was a delightful surprise, full of stories that hadn’t been shared on late night talk shows or made headlines over the years. It’s a wild ride to be sure, but if you enjoy McConaughey and all of the eccentricities and contradictions that come with him, it’s one you won’t want to miss ... Greenlights doesn’t necessarily set out to destroy the mythology of McConaughey or his 'McConaissance,' but it does challenge these preconceptions. For starters, the memoir gets unexpectedly dark at several points ... In between these nuggets of information and deep dives into the thought process behind his career moves, there are also the stories that make the book unpredictable. Greenlights is full of tall tales, ones you might not believe if someone other than McConaughey was telling them ... a love letter to life.
There are journal entries, poems written in junior high, and bumper sticker slogans throughout, but this is primarily a memoir full of engaging stories ... The reader gets the sense throughout that this is a man who has truly opened up about what he has learned in his time on this planet ... there is undoubtedly a 'feel good' quality to the entire book. In the world we are living in today, this is just the right book to sit down with, and exhale.
McConaughey’s self-effacing slacker-cool attitude, which lets him casually drop a few thousand on the hapless Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl, has made him an ideal masculine movie hero for our anxious moment. The world is on fire, but he has got you; he’s our mindful-breathing Brando ... A great thing about Greenlights is that the persona never sounds like a put-on. The bad thing, though, is that he obviously wrote it himself and seems certain that in addition to being a memoirist he’s also a certified motivational speaker and, worse, a poet ... Be it through memoir or Instapoetry, McConaughey pushes an ethos of learning to take your hands off the wheel. The 'Greenlights' of the title refers to moments when the universe gives us permission to do new things; reds and yellows are the things that stand in our way. McConaughey has obviously navigated this successfully, but his wisdom isn’t exactly transferrable ... So, on a scale of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days to True Detective I figure Greenlights is a solid Magic Mike — simply structured, a little flashy, but not as insightful as it wants you to think it is.