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The Facts of Life: and Other Dirty Jokes Paperback – April 8, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beginning with a request to preteens to "please only read every third word," Willie Nelson proceeds to reveal his thoughtful, hilarious, raunchy inner world in his memoir The Facts of Life: And Other Dirty Jokes. As the title promises, the book is full of jokes, often preceded by no more introduction than, "Rinky wanted me to tell you this joke...." And, yes, some of them are fairly dirty. Other topics Nelson ruminates on include the stock market, the relative amounts of money Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan make from endorsements, the origins of the term "Outlaw Music," the virtues of dairy products and his favorite Biblical lines (e.g., "`Physician, heal thyself'"). Non sequitur follows kooky non sequitur in this delightfully irreverent glimpse into the mind of an American classic. Fans and readers with ADD will love it. Photos not seen by PW. ( on sale Jan. 8)

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Shotgun Willie sits around in his underwear," one of country songster Nelson's ditties begins, and the line evokes the feel of this loose little book to a T. Nelson wrote the prose in it while his bus carted him and his band and crew from coast to coast on a performance tour. Said prose consists of minuscule memoirs; cracker-barrel philosophizing; a bit of stem-winding for small farmers (Nelson is a stalwart of the Farm Aid concerts); and lots of jokes, usually dirty, as promised, and also stunningly politically incorrect, which means they are often pretty funny. But if the book consisted solely of Nelson's journaling, it would be, oh, 200 pages shorter, maybe more. Photos depicting Nelson's long passage from Texas toddler to the long-haired, pot-puffing, jogging old Nashville outlaw he is today and lots of lyrics from his 50-year stash of songs fill out the volume. For anyone who loves Nelson's act, there's nothing not to love about this hayseed-speckled gossamer of a book. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375758607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375758607
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Would recommend for all Willy Nelson fans.
Robert A. Costanzo
I cannot remember when I enjoyed reading a book more than this one and I read at least a book week.
B. J. Drwenski
The jokes told throughout add a great touch and character to the book.
Jeffrey L. Ridings

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bill Mack on January 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of Willie Nelson ... as most folks are ... you'll want this book.
It's spoken in town-to-town musician-bus language and it's simply what Willie intended for the book to be --- a no-holds-barred bit of chit-chat placed into print by utilizing the casual talking style of the author.
Like his many musical compositions that have been released on records, CDs and cassettes during the past 40 years or so, this is a work of art by an artist who has lived the life and is, therefore, qualified to talk about it.
Willie sent me the beginning pages of the manuscript as he was creating it on his bus while riding from city to city for various appearances. After reading what was submitted to me, I knew it would be a "winner". Reading the completed book was a genuine delight.
Some of the jokes told by Willie are not the type you would tell to your mother (who made have already heard them if she knows Willie), but are not offensive unless your head has been buried in the sand during the past couple of decades. Like a good movie, the hilarious attachments just add to the atmosphere.
While you are reading this book, you get the feeling you're sitting on Willie's smoky bus, listening to the genius as he laughs and relays numerous stories of the road, discusses some personal friends and speaks with a tongue in cheek manner about the somewhat complex music/entertainment scene. There are also some bits that are to be taken as serious statements from time to time.
Although he needs no introduction to his talents as a singer, actor, extraordinary guitar picker and songwriter, it's the "common" connection that makes this an authentic piece of literary art.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Guild TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you pick up this book and thumb through it quickly,you may pass it up.If so, you'll make a big mistake.

I've read Willie with Bud Shrake and Willie-Behind the Music,by Clint Richmond;both excellent books;butthis is a great update and different book by and about Willie.This book is a real fun read,especially if you've been a fan of Willie for a long time like I have.;for nearly 40 years.

Reading this book is like sitting around with Willie chewing the fat. He talks directly to the reader as if you were his friend;and who wouldn't want to be one? On second thought, it is a lot easier to read and listen to Willie than trying to travel with him.Most couldn't last a week,and I must admit,me included.

The style of this book would be a good pattern for others to follow.He breaks it up with experiences and jokes.After all,really Willie just enjoys life and wishes the same for everyone else;except maybe for the IRS.The abundant photos are excellent and appreciated.

I particularly enjoyed Willie's comments about Ray Price,another legend,when he said:

"Ray Price is the greatest country singer ever,period." That's an real tribute coming from someone of the stature of Willie.It says a lot for Ray,and even more for Willie.

This book also contains a lot of Texas common sense,such as:

"There must be a better way to start the day than getting up."

"Hell,what's wrong with being lazy sometimes?"

"It's almost April 15,don't forget o file your toenails by midnight"

"Remember the early bird gets the worm,but the second mouse gets the cheese."

"No good deed goes undone."

Great compasses to guide you.

Willie has shown he can be a great writer.If you've ever doubted how talented Willie really is,try to think of a writer who can write songs and play them like Willie does.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TundraVision on March 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The inimitable and irreplaceable Willie Nelson has written a quirky, rambling, rambunctious, stream-of-consciousness, on-the-road-again celebration interspersed with autobiographical information, his song lyrics, and dirty jokes.
Along the way, he reiterates his beliefs in the backbone of America. This is especially important in the post 9/11/01 world. We have to protect our food supply. Willie, co-founder and activist with Farm-Aid, says: " should ...look at how the family farmers are treated. How are we treating the first rung on our ladder? Because when the backbone of our country is broken and the first rung on the ladder is weakened, everything collapses. We all come crashing down. You can cut taxes all you want. You can do everything in this world for every other rung on the ladder. But when the family farmer goes under, it's just a matter of time before everyone else follows. We had well over eight million small family farmers, and now we're down to two million, losing three hundred to five hundred A WEEK [emphasis added.] If we don't get a farm bill, a good one, there will be no more small family farmers left. Farm Aid will help all we can, because someone has to repair that bottom rung of the ladder, and time is of the essence. The reason every civilization has gone under in the past was because of an inability to feed its people. We are running out of time. ... The factory farms are the worst possible things we can do to the people, the environment, and the general health of everyone. We have already seen the dangers of disease in our livestock. Mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease - there are all kinds of diseases which, according to government reports, "may or may not be harmful to humans.
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