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Love All the People: The Essential Bill Hicks Paperback – September 1, 2008
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'Savage, brilliant, funny, tremendously intelligent' John Cleese 'He was hilarious, brilliant, brave and right about everything.' Henry Rollins 'Being a genius is a heavy burden, and he's the only one I'm ever likely to meet' Sean Hughes 'He was what only a great comedian can be for any age: an enemy of boundaries, a disturber of the peace, a bringer of insight and of joy, a comic distillation of his own rampaging spirit'. - John Lahr, from the foreword. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Bill Hicks died on February 26th, 1994. This is the first collection of all his stand-up routines, diaries and notebooks, letters and final writings. Here we can trace the evolution of Hicks' work from brilliant conventional stand-up into something far more interesting and dangerous: an open invitation to a life lived without fear. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Overall the people who'll enjoy this the most are the ones who are fans of his comedy shows. The wisdom of the ages can be found in this book. Bill Hicks was not only funny as hell, he was very smart.
Having already heard nearly every recorded live performance, seen the documentary on his life, seen extra videos from his life, and heard Marble Head Johnson's album, I've already seen a lot of what this book offers. A lot of it is full live performances word for word, which is cool, but the material does start to repeat. Even still, there's some stuff you probably can't find anywhere else, and for me, just that is enough.
If you're a huge Bill Hicks fan like me, and want extra details of Bill and his life, then go ahead and get this book, you'll learn a bit more personal side of Bill.
The author suggests that there's something fascinating to be gleaned from the minute differences in transcripts from performances on different dates. No. There's not. It's the same material. I did develop a grudging admiration for a performer doing the same stuff night after night, and sometimes more than once per night; I know from experience how difficult it is to remember what you've said to a particular crowd.
I did force myself to finish the book, and indeed there were a few more worthwhile nuggets.
If you're a Bill Hicks fanatic, I have no advice for you, since you already have this book. If you're not, you can probably get as much out of a Wikipedia article and a couple YouTube videos, and save considerable time and money in the process.
One thing that surprised me in this book is its complete lack of any mention of George Carlin, the only other comedian I know of who effectively uses humor in a similar way - perhaps someone more savvy can explain?