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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought Adam's first book and it was literally among the two funniest books I had ever read at the time. This one does not disappoint and is funnier than his first book (and that is not easy).

When I saw this on pre-order a few months ago, I was super excited because I enjoyed his first book so much.

I received this in the mail and haven't put it down since. What a treat this book is!

I've been laughing so hard I'm in tears. I love the part about him working at McDonald's and taking the filet o fish to the dumpster. I had to keep setting the book down and it took me forever to finish the paragraph about the filet o fish story because I was laughing so hard I couldn't even read any more.

I can't believe Kimmel has a show and Adam doesn't. What the heck is wrong with all the people out there? No offense to Kimmel, he's great, but Adam is just hilarious and his writing is top notch.

Thanks Adam for some good laughs in hard times. Please keep the books coming!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is less a book than a rambling meathead bildungsroman. It's frequently hilarious: Carolla takes shots at everyone, but his main target is always himself. Vulgarity and fart jokes (and worse) abound, but then this is a book by, for, and about men. Particularly, blue-collar white men, a demographic that doesn't get much attention from the media these days. The book sometimes reads like one long drunken bacchanal, but hey, that describes life for many guys between the ages of 18 and 30: crappy jobs, bad girlfriends, booze, and jackass friends.

What makes this book stand out is not the comedic booze-and-drug hijinks, but Carolla's obvious dedication to rising above his circumstances and making something better of himself. He's the first to admit that many of his problems were self-inflicted, and that the first step in overcoming his poverty and lack of options was to change his way of thinking. All that stuff that struck you as fun and hilarious at 18 -- living in dumps, getting drunk every night -- seems pretty pathetic when you hit 30. Carolla seems to be saying, "Hey, if a meathead like me can do it, anyone can do it!" (Hence the title: he was actually turned down for a job at Taco Bell.)

If you've listened to Carolla's podcasts, you'll know that he's on something of a crusade against the "participation trophy culture" that permeates the lives of young people. I think he intends this book as a contrarian view to the philosophy of "you're just fine the way you are!". His answer is that you're *not* fine the way you are, especially if you're doing crappy low-wage work and living a life devoid of roots or goals. Part of the book is a love-letter to Pop Warner football, and the sense of achievement and inclusion Carolla felt while playing the sport.

His vulgar, hilarious stories will speak most profoundly to men, I think. Women may find them simply gross and unfunny anecdotes...and so they are (gross, that is; but often hilarious) up to a point. But they are also true stories that most guys can relate to: Carolla is just saying, "This is how guys act around each other." Carolla extols the vulgar joys of male friendship, and in this feminized age, that's refreshing. He sees nothing wrong with hanging out with friends on a weekend, drinking beer and farting and watching football games. He can be a "lowland ape", as can most men, but he's also an intelligent professional and a dedicated family man.

Carolla's obvious fondness for his friends (particularly in light of what they've done to him, and he to them) may mystify many readers, particularly women. As Carolla describes his friends, they are barbarians, barely-civilized brutes. And so they probably were, once upon a time, as was Carolla himself. But it's hard to read this book and not come away thinking of your own friends and all their flaws: we often love people not just in spite of their flaws, but because of them. Sometimes our jackass friends grow up, sometimes they don't...and sometimes we liked them better before they "grew up".

You can read this book as straight comedy (and properly, because there were times I was almost crying with laughter), but there's some deeper stuff there if you go looking for it. Having said that, I suspect that Carolla dictated the book rather than wrote it himself, because it has a fairly disjointed, discursive style. It's not necessarily a knock against the book because Carolla never claimed to be much of a writer, but the book does tend to meander a bit. (But then again: it's about Carolla's life, which itself meandered a bit.)
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
He may have written more books than he's read, but the funniest man alive has written another enjoyable yarn. Even left-leaning hippie scum like myself enjoy his rantings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have always been a fan of Corolla ever since I first heard of him on The Man Show. Also, I enjoy reading autobiographical books about people from all aspects of life, especially funny ones. As I was reading through the antics of Corolla and his buddies from his youth, I kept thinking to myself how humanity has gone to hell; stoner slackers whose sole purposes in life are getting wasted and finding pussycats. The book was bringing me down more than it was cheering me up. But when I got to the end I realized that there was more to this book than simply recapping his life story for himself or making people laugh. The book was written to inspire. The message, as I took it, was that you don't have to be rich or famous, but you can't give up on yourself. You have to have the drive to go get what you want and get things done. Corolla for example, even when living in dumps, and going from one dead end job after the other, he would exert himself and go out to the comedy clubs, get to know people, and make the effort to go interview at those jobs where he could finally make use of his talents, his quick wit and affable character. This book inspired me personally also because I also find myself unhappy with my career and often feeling like Adam did when he chased down that purse thief; even if he got shot, maybe that guy would be doing him a favor. But after reflection, I realize that I am the only one holding me back. If I don't like my job, I can quit. If I know I have a talent, the only thing keeping me from taking advantage of it is my own procrastination. This book to me is like a wake up call. If you are unhappy, do something about it. Have the drive to go out and change things. Adam Corolla was dirt poor most of his life, his parents were divorced, his parents were not interested in his development, his relatives thought he was a loser, and his friends were from the very bottom of the gene pool, but he made it despite all this. A great book from a man who has integrity and obviously a good heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed Adam's first book, "In Fifty Years, We'll All Be Chicks". In fact, I rated it five stars. But his second book is, incredibly, even funnier... by a lot. The only weakness of the first book was that Adam would spend a bit too much time whining about things he didn't like or didn't think were fair, making him sound like a pouty baby. While it was still amusing for the most part, at times I just wanted whatever rant he was on to come to a merciful end, so he could move onto something else. The strong point of "In Fifty Years, We'll All Be Chicks" was Adam simply telling stories about things that had happened in his life, from childhood through his adult years. He has led a hilarious life, and he has a true gift for storytelling that makes these recollections come to life. The great thing about "Not Taco Bell Material" is that it focuses strictly on what made the first book so great- Adam's crazy stories! No more rants, just hilarious anecdotes!

I listened to "Not Taco Bell Material" on audio while on a road trip, and it definitely made the excursion an enjoyable one. MANY times, I was almost brought to tears, as I laughed aloud. People driving in the lanes beside me must have wondered what the hell was going on in my car!

The advantage of the audio book over the printed edition is that listening to Adam recount his tales feels a lot like just hanging out with him while he tells funny stories. It doesn't sound like he's reading a book; it's more like he's just shooting the breeze with you. Occasionally, the tales will get a bit too gross for my liking, descending into the truly juvenile, but these are rare happenings. For the most part, it's just good, laugh-out-loud fun. You get a few extra nuggets of wisdom with the audio version as well, when Adam digresses, although there are a couple of chapters that he either skips or skims (he tells you when he does this). While this would ordinarily annoy me in an audio book, this is such a weird, unconventional recording (complete with guest appearances by Ray and Dr. Drew), I can't complain.

If you're a man, this book will make you laugh- it's just that simple. If you're a woman... probably not so much.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Want to know why Adam Carolla's drivers license lists his middle name as "Lakers"?

Adam Carolla's second book, NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL, is a memoir of sorts: this book is a collection of autobiographical stories from Carolla's life sprinkled with the angry rants and commentary that his fans love. NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL however proves to be more cogent and consistent than Carolla's first book, IN FIFTY YEARS WE'LL ALL BE CHICKS: by focusing on a direct narrative, this book feels more complete than the previous release. For customers who can't read, this book has pictures!

The book begins with Carolla's childhood in his mom's terrible house in North Hollywood. NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL is divided by all of the locations that Adam has lived, from the cracked foundation of his mom's house to his current residence in California. This conceit proves to be a really fun and engaging way to cruise through Adam's life. NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL, above all else, is hilarious. No matter how depressing or bleak Carolla's childhood seems, the material remains consistently funny. The book is rounded out with many pictures from Carolla's childhood which proves to be both endearing and self-deprecating, but always humorous. In a way, this look at Carolla's life has proven to be inspiring. There's lots of talk about working as a team, doing the best you can, perservering, etc..., but it never feels preachy.

Fans of Adam Carolla's terrific podcast (or yes, The Man Show), will love this book. Even some of these stories have found their way into on-air rants; they are presented here in such a way that is never boring, repetitive, or dull. For readers who are less familiar with Carolla, IN FIFTY YEARS WE'LL ALL BE CHICKS might be a better place to start, but NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL still proves to be accessible, hilarious, and fun even to those who are uninitiated. This book would make great casual read and is perfect for all people of all ages (even though your kids will probably shout "It's just a waste of my time!") assuming that your kids are fine with the liberal use of profanity. ;)
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm a daily Adam listener and a huge fan. The book is good, but after 100 pages of descriptions of loserdom, it gets kind of depressing. Disfunction, drug abuse, deadbeat friends, hopelessness. Mind you, it's written with Adam-like flair, but some subjects just can't be elevated into high comedy. As other people have mentioned, if you're a regular listener you've likely heard 90 percent of the material. On the other hand, the family photos were great and really captured the grotesqueness that was the 1970s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It's excellent, but not funny.

I've been a big fan of Carolla for a while: I follow most of what he does. Nevertheless I have not heard most of the stories in this book.

This book was pretty depressing. It's a collection of stories from his life, mostly from the time before he became famous.

Most of the stories just make me sad and angry.

You can see here and there that Carolla was trying to spice things up with his irreverent humor, but little of that works. That's the only reason I give it four stars instead of five: I wish he would just have let the depressing nature of his stories rise to the fore unadulterated, rather than trying to leaven everything by name-calling.

I found the book hypnotic and saddening, but superb. I didn't find it a book of comedy even though that's how it's being marketed.

One other thing: I'm sorry I bought this on the Kindle. Carolla throughout includes many interesting pictures and refers to them in great detail, prompting you to peruse them myopically. Unfortunately, the Kindle doesn't display them well, so you usually fail to catch his points when he refers to a picture.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The Ace Man's follow-up to "In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks" is a solid memoir. For what it is, it's a good read, however those looking for more of the brilliant musings Adam's first book offered will be disappointed. If you want to know the life story of the man behind the jokes, "Not Taco Bell Material" is a must read. If you'd rather keep Adam's personal life at bay and just laugh at his rants, stick with the podcast -- he'll fill in all of the autobiographical gaps eventually.

I have been a fan of Adam for about twelve years now. When I was in high school, it was Adam's genius and Dr. Drew's passionate passion that lulled me to sleep at night (Loveline runs from 10p.m. to midnight where I live. It may have the same time slot everywhere, I don't know). I can remember being about to slip into slumber when suddenly Adam would say something utterly hilarious and suddenly my own laughter would awaken and alert me for another ten minutes or so (this happened on more than one occasion). That said, I'm pretty sure I've heard him tell most of these stories before at one point or another. Like "In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks," "Not Taco Bell Material" is a compilation of his greatest hits, but in the form of life events rather than musings/rants. As much as I love the guy, he's kind of got that "Dad on a long car ride" thing going for him. He's got a limited number of points and stories he deems worthy of mention, and after a while you've heard them all twice.

The comedy in "Not Taco Bell Material" comes in the form of metaphor, analogy, turn of phrase, and hyperbole laced throughout Adam's retelling of the stories that made him the man he is today. His "Tan Gent"s are brilliant in their own right, but leave a little to be desired in the humor department. The overall point of the book is inspiration, as you will find in the conclusion. Adam is a comedian with an inspirational message. Fortunately, he comes off as more of a tough-but-fair football coach that sees potential in you than a soft, lumpy, goatee'd motivational speaker who swears his way is the only way.

My biggest critique of the book is structural. Before I get into this, I want it to be known that I am not usually a grammar cop, but this is so blatant it is worth mentioning. The book has countless run-on sentences and page-long paragraphs that force the reader (me, anyway) to have to reread several passages. Ace cannot be blamed for this because, as with "In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks," he did not pen the book himself. Thankfully, "Not Taco Bell Material" is such an easy read that this mechanical flaw is not a major nuisance. I'm not one to finish books quickly, but I tore through this one in 3 days -- partially because of the ease of reading but mainly because it was so damn good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Adam Carolla is hilarious. He's also crazy. I can't believe he is still alive after all the things he 'd done. Reading his autobiography makes me extremely thankful I lived such a sheltered life, because I couldn't have handled being around him and his friends and some of the stuff they did. NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL is Carolla's life story. He tells his life story, with each chapter represented by a house he lived in at the time. While his first book, IN FIFTY YEARS WE'LL ALL BE CHICKS, is full of commentary on various issues, this is filled with one crazy story after another.

Carolla is a true success story. He came from nothing, and made himself into a success. He knows what its like to live the American dream. I never got into LOVELINE or THE MAN SHOW, but I missed out. I'm a fan of Carolla. I'm amazed he's lived this long with some of the stuff he's done. He tells story after story about him and his friends. This book is a lot of fun, and highly recommended for his fans.
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