Love All the People: The Essential Bill Hicks Paperback – Illustrated, September 1, 2008
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About the Author
- Publisher : Soft Skull; Revised edition (September 1, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1593762011
- ISBN-13 : 978-1593762018
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.15 x 0.9 x 7.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #88,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
Top reviews from other countries
John Lahr's 20-page foreword, half written before Hick's death, half after, is superb, a wonderful introduction to the work and world of Hicks to anyone unfamiliar with the great man's work (Hicks loved the half he read too, as shown in a long letter to Lahr which crops up near the end of the book). The book divides Hicks career into four sections: 1980-91, 1992, Early to Mid 1993, and Late 1993-94. Each section has routines printed verbatim, articles, interviews and the like. It's an effective way of showing how Hicks' career - and act - built and built.
The one problem with the book is that printing a number of routines means printing the same gags a number of times, and that does get repetitive sometimes. However, this is a very minor quibble. Overall, the book is exceptionally powerful. Primarily, it's a very sad book. For all his success in the U.K., Hicks often struggled in the U.S. He appeared on David Letterman's show a number of times, but each time with a toned down act. When he finally performed his normal routine in 1993, the network decided to censor it in the most brutal way possible by not showing any of it. The fight with CBS, and Hicks' fight with cancer - he went on tour despite knowing he was dying - make up the last section of the book, and it's heartbreaking stuff.
Finally, let me point out that Hicks' words seem as relevant today as they did when he performed. Anything he said about George Bush Senior could be said about Dubya, likewise any of the subjects he tackled. His work hasn't aged at all. It's timeless. This book is a great introduction to his work.
I found his point of view enlightening, well thought out and at times hilarious. I wouldn't say I agreed one hundred percent with all of his talking points (you were high on mushrooms not abducted by aliens, sorry Bill).
The only downside to this book was related to how a comedian works a bit, whereby he/she retells it and shapes it until they have it down before retiring it to replace it with another bit. As this book contains transcripts from a number of shows and interviews in a small timeframe that means a lot of repetition.