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Last words
George Carlin and Tony Hendra
Adult Nonfiction PN2287.C2685 A3 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

For more than a decade before his 2008 death, groundbreaking stand-up comedian Carlin had been working on his autobiography with writer Hendra (Father Joe), who finished it by distilling hours of conversations with the irascible social commentator. Armed with an eye for detail and a seemingly photographic memory, Carlin retraces his life in full, chronicling petty crimes and stolen kisses, escalating drug problems and the death of his wife with unflinching honesty. He applies that same precision to the mechanics of comedy, giving would-be comics a veteran's insight into the dynamics of crowds, the structure of a performance and the importance (or unimportance) of the social and political landscape. Tracing his evolution as a comedian from the first time he made his mother laugh to performing for an empty room in Baltimore to the series of HBO specials he made over the course of his career, Carlin peppers his narrative with the routines that have made him famous (though this is no gagfest, a la Brain Droppings, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?, etc.). Throughout, Carlin comes off as a smart, humble everyman with a strong distaste for hypocrisy in all its forms; fans may be surprised at his discipline and drive, and anyone interested in comedy should find this autobio as illuminating as it is funny. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

For nearly 15 years, the late Carlin, one of the most influential standup comedians of the 20th century, talked to comedian Hendra (Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul) about his life and career with the aim of completing an autobiography. Carlin died in June 2008 before it came to fruition, and here Hendra offers what he assembled from their conversations. Carlin describes his Roman Catholic upbringing in New York City and how his mother's love of words influenced his later career. Detailing the history of his more famous pieces, his struggle for self-expression, and his considerable health and drug problems, this is an uplifting memoir of a true American original whose wit and charm changed comedy forever. Verdict This fast-paced and witty read will appeal to fans of Carlin's previous works (e.g., When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?). Highly recommended also for readers of memoirs and behind-the-scenes commentary on the performing arts and comedy world.-Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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