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Brain Droppings Hardcover – May 12, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

George Carlin's been working the crowd since "the counterculture" became "the over-the-counter culture" around 1967 or so; his new book, Brain Droppings, surfs on three decades of touring-in-support. It's the purest version of book-as-candy that one could imagine, serving up humor in convenient, bite-sized packages. Snack on chewy one-liners like "A meltdown sounds like fun. Like some kind of cheese sandwich." Or: "If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten." Brain Droppings also contains highlights from Carlin's concert repertoire, and that more than makes up for the occasional spray of pointless nihilism. Tell us, George, what exactly were you going for with "Kill your pet" and "Satan is cool"? Quick--hide the paper before Daddy sees it! Still, if you're a fan of this sarcastic semanticist who's given Bad Attitude not necessarily a good name, but at least a comfy bank account, by all means rush out and snag Brain Droppings. Carlin's book melts in your mind, not in your hand.

From Publishers Weekly

When a stand-up comedian writes a book, the audio version enjoys a clear advantage over the printed word. Timing, delivery and vocal expression are as important to humor as the actual joke itself. So it is with this very funny collection of essays, monologues, observations and jokes by 30-year comic veteran Carlin. A one-liner like "I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed," moderately amusing in print, is hilarious in Carlin's bewildered tone. This audio contains "unabridged excerpts," which means that though it does not include everything from the book, the pieces that appear are performed in their entirety. The audio is paced nicely, alternating between long pieces (Carlin as a bureaucratic caveman calling a "staff meeting" to announce a new policy on human sacrifices), short observations and one-liners. Some of Carlin's older routines are included, such as his classic comparison of warlike football and friendly baseball. One note: this audio, like most of Carlin's humor, includes plenty of profanity, so parents may want to be cautious around the kiddies. Based on the 1997 Hyperion hardcover.(May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (May 12, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786863137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786863136
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jason N. Mical on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Regardless of which Carlin camp you happen to fall into - the love it, hate it, or ambivalent to it camps - there's a little something for everyone in his first book of comedy, Brain Droppings. Those familiar with George's stand-up material probably won't be surprised by what lies between these pages, but for the rest of the world, a little explanation might be necessary.
Carlin is, first and foremost, a linguist, like many comedians (Steve Martin being another notable example). Delightful comedy springs from mastering language, and Carlin wields his Promethean tongue like a nuclear bomb, sparing absolutely nothing. Is he coarse, hateful, and full of venom? Yes. By using words not like swords but an executioner's axe, Carlin dismembers ideas and meanings about politics, religion, history, pop culture, sports, and English itself. His reasoning, it seems, is to throw the reader or listener so far from common meaning that the person is forced to invent - or at least reconsider - beliefs.
Brain Droppings contains many such aphoristic nukes. Some are a few words long, others continue for a few pages. There are some classics from his stand-up in here, notably "Football and Baseball" and "A Place for my Stuff." Unfortunately, this book really does seem like a collection of brain droppings - things that just kind of fell out of Carlin's mind. Good or bad, there they are. If this book has a weak point, it's that it wasn't edited very well, and some of the things in here are just plain silly and dumb. From a man who is so obviously intelligent and humorous, I expected more at times.
Overall, though, does it work? The nuke-'em-silly technique is certainly open to debate. Will people get it? Sometimes.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Joe on April 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I started reading it at a bookstore I was laughing so much a woman came up to me and asked what was I reading. Great way to break the ice. After I finished the last page I wondered if George ever read "Fragments" by sociologist/philosopher Jean Baudrillard who also offers a caustic but thought provoking observations about the human race. The only difference is George gives it a funny twist while Baudrillard takes more of a stoical point of view in pointing out our own stupidity. But both are equally keen observers that I sometimes wonder if George and Jean influenced each other as crazy as that might sound. The best books I love are the ones that change the way I see myself and the world and for anyone who enjoyed this book I recommend "Fragments" by Jean Baudrillard as a wonderful supplement to Brain Droppings. However, "Fragments" will take a little longer to absorb than the instant slapstick punchlines in Brain Droppings but its worth it! Read these two books and you'll see everything in the world as a divine comedy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marceau Ratard on August 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book, like Naplam and Silly Putty, is a collection of some of the funniest stuff I've ever read. I've read both books and I prefer this one. There was less of his stand-up and more original material (at least it was new to me). You just can't say enough about Carlin, this is probabally the funniest book I've ever read. If your going to read it in public, be prepared to be asked to leave the room or told to stop laughing. Something in the book will make you mad, but it you will laugh at the same time. Buy the book, in fact buy 10 copies and maybe Carlin will write another one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
the only way to read this is to leave behind all expectations and just let it hit you in the gut! as with any comic, you'll find things that aren't so funny and then you'll find things that drop you to your knees. I didn't start laughing until the first chapter! G.C.'s guide to Dining Out and the advice to "Have Fun. Be Difficult." has changed my perspective on how to behave in a restaurant! Then there's the "Handwashing" monologue after which you'll never be able to see a man walk out of a restroom without wondering. I've always loved Carlin's ability to play with words, and make me wonder about why we take ourselves so seriously! So please, don't open this book unless you're prepared to be surprised, offended, disgusted, and ready to laugh and learn from the humor and bitterness of a really great comedian! I rate this an 8 only because Carlin uses too many one-liners (at which he is not very good) and not enough monologue (at which he excels). Enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am surprised when I speak of George Carlin's humor and logic people always say "He has a dirty mouth". FOLKS! LISTEN TO ME AND ESPECIALLY TO GEORGE! He is trying to get a point across with his humor, which is exactly what comedian Lenny Bruce was doing many years ago. If all you see is the cussing, then you miss on an opportunity to think. It's like the old saying "What you see is what you get" ...Braindroppings is hiliarious! I really love his take on religion, politics, and fallacies that many of us seem to believe in. One line he says is "I don't want something that's good for headahces. I want something that's bad for headaches and good for me. As well, I don't want the doctor prescribing me pain pills, I need relief pills"
HE also makes fun of euphisms that many of the liberals like to use. They like conservatives, don't think about what they are doing and as well he thinks the euphisms are a form of lying. He's absolutely right! Calling someone cripple versus "differently abled" is crap, as well it is a vague term.
But, I don't want to spoil it for you. Go ahead and buy this book! It will put a smile on your face and will get you to start thinking.
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