From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. There's no better way to enjoy one of Carlin's books than to hear him read it himself. With his gravelly voice, Carlin sounds like a foul-mouthed, grumpy grandfather as he riffs on everything from politics and the improper use of language to plane-boarding etiquette and the differences between the sexes. He's alternately crude ("Every evening at seven-thirty, citizens and consumers get a chance to sound off and air their complaints. Don't miss Blow It Out Your Ass!
...") and outrageously funny (such as when he compares people of faith to UFO believers), and he's always irreverent ("A children's museum sounds like a good idea, but I would imagine it's not very easy to breathe inside the little glass cases"). The one topic that gets under his skin is euphemisms and, related to that, political correctness: "I can remember when I was young that poor people lived in slums. Not anymore. These days, the economically disadvantaged occupy substandard housing in the inner cities. It's so much nicer for them." Needless to say, Carlin has his comic timing down pat. His energetic reading is punctuated by conversational bits ("Hah? Whaddya think? Maybe?") and enhanced by his deft vocal variation (such as when he's narrating the "Continuing Story of Mary & Joseph"), making listeners will feel as if they've got a front-row seat at one of his comedy shows.
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The latest book by longtime stand-up comic Carlin will undoubtedly join his previous "acts" in book form on the best-seller lists, so expect demand. Here are more of his irreverent, hilarious takes on contemporary social and political issues; as anyone who is familiar with his routines and books knows, Carlin doesn't let current notions of what is politically correct stand in the way of his taking a jab. So this series of short observations, one flung at the reader right after another, encompasses the Ten Commandments ("a padded list"), an anti-plastic surgery stance ("Ugliness should be a permanent condition"), body maintenance ("Every time you clip [a toenail], the little clipped part flies several feet away. You notice that?"), and euphemistic language (the first instance was being instructed to call his aunt's mole a "beauty mark"). The book is not meant to be read straight through but, rather, dipped into here and there. The language is explicit; therefore, this is not recommended for readers advocating propriety in speech on every occasion. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved