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A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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“There are a lot of nights I still wish I could sit next to George and talk; this is the next best thing. Wonderful read.” ―Jon Stewart
“Entertaining and enlightening!” ―The Washington Post
“Drop all your expectations when you open this book. It is written in the DNA of a Carlin, honest, biting, savage, funny, sad, dark, and profound. Kelly Carlin takes us on a journey from growing up in the shadow of one America's greatest comic icons into the light that it led her into. Hold on; like George Carlin, this book gives you a hell of a ride.” ―Lewis Black
“With A Carlin Home Companion, Kelly Carlin proves she can stay cool while standing next to the sun. As a Carlin-phile, I began reading hoping to peek behind the curtains of Earth's funniest man. I got more than a peek. Carlin opens the flood lights onto her childhood and the dysfunction in her house and in her mind. Her personal growth and awareness of self is inspiring. Kelly's stories are hilarious and so personal, at times felt like I was reading her diary. For anyone that's has ever not been sure who they are, this book is for you. There is a landing spot. Let Kelly Carlin be your beacon.” ―Jay Mohr
“As a fan, this book is essential. As a comic, this book is profound.” ―Margaret Cho
“A Carlin Home Companion is one hell of a ride. With her unique perspective, Kelly Carlin shines a light on George Carlin, and gives great insight into a man who was a hero to many, but a father to one.” ―Bill Maher
“Kelly tells a much-needed, revealing story about what it means to grow up in the shadow of fame and overcome dysfunctional, show-business-family patterns on the way to her own successful performing and writing career” ―Booklist
“George Carlin spent his life dissecting the American psyche. Now his daughter Kelly continues the family tradition, wielding a scalpel of her own as she lays bare her life as a child, and an adult child, in the Carlin household. A brave and, naturally, hilarious book.” ―Dana Gould
“In the hands of an accomplished writer, with a lifetime supply of research, this story would be a fascinating read. In Kelly's hands, we get SO much more. Ms. Carlin has shared her firsthand knowledge in a masterful, hilarious and heartbreaking memoir of, and dedication to, one of the greatest comedic minds and performers in American history. Filled with wit, charm, and genuine, if not extraordinary prose. Bravo, Kelly!” ―Kevin Pollak
“Kelly Carlin has humanized her father, in a way that doesn't hold back and through her brilliant writing, brings him to life in a whole new way. In this book she shows she has her father's talent for writing, his awesome humanity, and a good dose of his twisted comedic mind.” ―Lizz Winstead
“The daughter of the great comedian speaks: funny and moving.” ―Robert Klein
“A heartwarming, hysterical read! Carlin the younger evokes a version of Carlin the senior we never had the pleasure of knowing: George Carlin the Dad! A Carlin Home Companion may be Kelly Carlin's story specifically, but it's also the story of the American family in general.” ―Kevin Smith
“A Carlin Home Companion, which simultaneously documents Kelly's own attempts at self-discovery, is a must for fans who want to understand the legend behind the mic” ―Mother Jones
“Highly readable... Told with candor, humor, and good L.A. gossip..., the tale of Carlin's journey... is one of trauma well told and triumph well earned.” ―Playboy
“George Carlin's daughter offers and intimate look at her life growing up with a comedy legend... A funny, honest, and compassionate account of growing up with a master of comedy.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“George Carlin gave us all so much to be thankful for, not least of which is his daughter Kelly. Her affection and admiration for her father jump off the page. And like her dad, her writing is funny, courageous and wise; this book is a glowing testament to them both. An inspiring and beautiful read.” ―Paul Reiser
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
George Carlin fans will likely be disappointed since despite being categorized as a biography of George, this is really an autobiography of his daughter Kelly. We learn a bit about George's early background but the bulk of the book is about Kelly growing up as the privileged child of a famous celebrity. While she mentions the drug use she saw between her parents, this is mostly about her own adventures with sex (three pregnancies and subsequent abortions before the age of 16), drugs and alcohol while her parents were oblivious, absent or both.
Kelly goes on to detail her struggles through an abusive first marriage and how she finally overcomes her own addictions. And despite the book jacket comments, this is not a humorous book.
Anyone who has lost a parent will appreciate the heartache and poignancy she relates in dealing with the loss of her mother and 11 years later her father.
But if you are looking to learn more about the man behind the comic genius that was George Carlin, this is not the book for you.
It's not a bad book. It's just not what most readers are expecting.
A better subtitle for A Carlin Home Companion would be Growing Up Without George...
But MY chief complaint is that she should have gotten a ghostwriter. At intervals throughout reading this I had to exercise an inordinate amount of discipline, even determination, to finish this book. It is so poorly written. Her prose is, I think, meant to be sort of conversational, but it's so forced and elementary. Some of the more major things that almost made me put the book down:
1. She uses the word "daddy" an UNCOMFORTABLE amount throughout this book. I found myself just grimacing at her weird arrested development of character mixed with her self-involvement that led her to believe this was her "style."
2. She thinks she killed it! At one point in the book, she revels in her "gift of gab" she inherited from her father, and what a gosh darned great writer she turned out to be. I have to...wholeheartedly disagree.
3. Toward the end, she gets SO heady about everything, SO "woo-woo" as she pejoratively puts it in the book, you start to realize that this is a woman who has never really met the real world. The book just oozes privilege and surreality.
4. Oh my GOSH the name dropping. I understand it's important to glorify the folks who supported her father, but it feels more like boot-licking than simple acknowledgment. Throughout the book she struggles with living in her father's shadow (understandably), but this book feels like she's still at it, trying to grasp at what's left of her last name's meaning, squeeze a few bucks out of it.
5. The whole thing is rushed in a heartbreaking way.Read more ›
At an early age, she was "raised" by absentee, fall-down-drunk, and coke-devouring parents. By her teens she was placated with riding horses, daddy's extra joints, and a BMW - which she totaled, only to have replaced. To me, the most revelatory scene she recounted about the essence of her father, was when he was standing in his driveway in an elite suburb of Los Angeles, screaming obscenities at his rich neighbors, just because they were rich coc****kers. He truly hated them. There he was, living in the same neighborhood, just as rich as they were, spoiling his own child like they were theirs, just as self-indulgent as they were - but no doubt, ingesting way more drugs than they did - and he was enraged at them for . . . . ? For being like him, except with a coat and tie. And for that reason, George was eternally convinced that he was both morally and socially superior to anyone who had a 9 to 5 job, which, of course, is most people.
Another (understandable) blind spot in her description of her father, was her delusion, mirroring his own, that as he got older, he got better at comedy. That reminded me of hearing David Crosby say, not too long ago, that he's writing the best music of his life right now. What?!?! Not even close. George got exponentially darker, misanthropic, and way less funny as he got older. As a tribute to her dad, she peppered her remarks at his memorial service with the F-bomb, and other vulgarities. How dignified. Sadly, George would have thought that was funny.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've always found George Carlin to be one of the funniest comedians out there. Kelly Carlin gives great insight into growing up as a Carlin and what it was like in their lives. Read morePublished 7 hours ago by Andy G
I loved this book, because it Kelly wrote it with such insight into what the title states: growing up Carlin. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Rachel Thompson
Bought this book for my father for the holidays.
He is a huge George Carlin fan.
The book arrived quickly, it was hard cover which was nice. Read more
Excellent book, hilarious albeit a little heart breaking. Reading leaves one no doubt this family loved and laughed a lot!Published 22 days ago by Lorilea625
I bought the book like I presume most people did because of my love and respect for George Carlin. I thought her take on her family was really interesting since I had read... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Gregory A. Schultz
Loving memoir - Kelly Carlin captures the true essence of her father. You'll laugh and you'll cry as you readPublished 1 month ago by Donna
As a long time fan of George Carlin; this narrative composed by his insightful daughter Kelly, has added a much needed perspective into who the man truly was -- someone who was not... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pella Libertas
Thank you tremendously for allowing me a look inside your life. I thoroughly enjoy it. What an amazing story.Published 3 months ago by Doug P