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Last Words Paperback – November 2, 2010
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."..what "Last Words" ultimately reveals is how Carlin became a political protester, slam poet, cynic, polemicist and performance artist whose messages were delivered under the veneer of humor."
""Last Words", a posthumous autobiography from George Carlin, is a jazzy, inward-looking piece of work...as a chronicler of the working of his own mind, Carlin is terrific."
-- "The New York Times"
"["Last Words"] sounds as if he is still with us, rested and ready to ridicule the latest cultural hypocrisies."
--"The Washington Times
"For comedy fans, this book is vital. It's easily worth its weight in gold for the biting observations on showbiz and its personalities."
--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Seven particular words are associated with the late comedian George Carlin, and sentimental is not one of them. But that's the surprising portrait that emerges from "Last Words"."
"The book is at turns biting and touching, and often both, which is what you would expect from a man for whom the sacred was profane and the profane, sacred."
"This is not a collection of setups and punch lines, but a candid, fearless accounting of his life and art..."Last Words" shows a comic master at the height of his storytelling powers and with no limit to what he had left to say."
About the Author
Tony Hendra was recently described by The Independent of London as “one of the most brilliant comic talents of the post-war period” He began his comedic career with Graham Chapman of Monty Python, appeared six times on the Ed Sullivan Show, was one of the original editors of National Lampoon, edited the classic parody Not The New York Times, starred in This Is Spinal Tap, and co-created and co-produced the long-running British satirical series Spitting Image for which he was nominated for a British Academy Award. He has written or edited dozens of books, most of them satirical, with the exception of two New York Times bestsellers: Brotherhood (2001) and Father Joe (2004). He is a senior member of the Board of the nation-wide story-telling community, The Moth.
- Publisher : Free Press; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1439191107
- ISBN-13 : 978-1439191101
- Item Weight : 9.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.44 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #51,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One thing I LOVED in this book was his writing out some of the best and memorable pieces from the albums and explaining how he came up with them and how they made such an impact on this career. He bares ALL in this book and by reading it, you'll get the idea of why George Carlin was one of the most revolutionary comedians of our generation.
Hendra completed the book after Carlin's death, and his deft hand finished things up wonderfully. George Carlin blazed a trail with a few other rare talents (Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and Bill Hicks are among the only to come to mind). We were fortunate to have had Carlin walking among us as long as he did. We are also fortunate to have this amazing posthumous work. Kudos to George Carlin, and to Tony Hendra, and to George's daughter Kelly for all she does.
It is nice to read this book, written in a style that assures you that George wrote it. It is also a pleasant surprise to read that many of the life experiences George related about his past in various sketches were true. Such as growing up in a place called "Morningside Heights" and hanging around in a neighborhood called by it's slang name "White Harlem">
It is also shocking to know how many bad experiences George had throughout his life, including ones during his most successful years in comedy, that he kept hidden from his fans. He, of course, relates all these in the George Carlin no-nonsense way he has related everything else in his life.
With the wisdom George spout forth in his many comedy routines, it is a shame that 1) he died so early and 2) more people have not woken up and realized how smart he really was. Anyone who has followed George during their life will find this book extremely entertaining, insightful, shocking and funny (as George always was.)
My only regret is, that he is no longer, and his prose will be no more. Sigh!
My friend was thrilled, being such a fan.
A site with integrity, not always the case. Highly recommended.
Top reviews from other countries
As George Carlin used to describe himself: at the beginning he was a performer, who was writing his own material, through development he became writer, who performed his own material. I think he became more than that - an audience shaping performer, able if not to change people's minds, then - al least - make people start to question things.
Good to get to know him a little bit better.
"But when you're in front of an audience and you make them laugh at a new idea, you're guiding the whole being for the moment. No one is ever more him/herself than when they really laugh. Their defenses are down. It's very Zen-like, that moment. They are completely open, completely themselves when that message hits the brain and the laugh begins. That's when new ideas can be implanted. If a new idea slips in at that moment, it has a chance to grow."
Of course his carreer is put under the microscope and explained by him in great detail. Talking about his first job, his first attempts at comedy, his appearances on television and how his comedy shapes over time. We see how his first show came to be about (and many after that).
Mr. Carlin is very open about how he lived his life (including the addictions and violent outbursts) and the life with his family.
A very inspirational and entertaining read!