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Not Taco Bell Material Hardcover – June 12, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 605 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ADAM CAROLLA is a radio and TV host, comedian, actor, and host of the Adam Carolla Podcast. Carolla is well known as the co-host of the radio and MTV show Loveline, the co-creator and co-host of The Man Show, and as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307888878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307888877
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (605 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Adam Carolla's "Not Taco Bell Material" is a laugh-out-loud memoir about growing up poor and awkward in the San Fernando Valley. The series of stories each centers around a particular abode, and comes complete with each home's purchase price, square footage, and a summary statement of the home and his life at the time (such as "Zero hope"). As a kid, Carolla moved around quite a bit, and he recounts many hilarious family events with an eye for detail and the absurd.

I laughed many times during my quick read of this book, and loved how he presented the little facts about his family that made them unique and lovable, in their own way. He describes how his grandmother's house had only one bathroom, yet two front doors. These two doors were right next to each other. At 90 degrees. His mother was so honest that when little Adam found a $50 bill, she made him return it to the `Lost and Found.' The owner of the $50 bill collected it and gave Adam a $10 reward, which he had to split with his sister (Boo! Hiss!). Some of these quirky but funny family details were somewhat David Sedaris-like, which I consider a great compliment.

Adam's self-deprecating humor is on display. Every so often he offers a small funny anecdote, labeled a "Tan Gent," most of which are little stories which display the biting wit that permeates his podcast and Lovelines shows.
Overall, I really enjoyed "Not Taco Bell Material." It's a perfect beach read, funny and quick. I give it my highest recommendation.

I'm a big fan of funny male memoirs. If you enjoyed Adam's book, then you may consider trying the following:
Artie Lange's Too Fat to Fish is another great book by the famous comic. Artie doesn't hold back when describing some of the crazy things he used to do for fame, drugs, and women. Highly recommended and a quick, hilarious read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Aceman does not disappoint with his new book. When I read "In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks," I was pretty new to Adam's podcast but was familiar with him from the Man Show. That book catapulted me into Ace-like obsession! And now, with "Not Taco Bell Material," the hilarity continues and we learn even more about the obscene circumstances that bought Carolla into our ears and hearts every weekday. In this latest book, an autobiography to a certain degree, he shares his stories dating all the way back to his unfortunate youth.
If you're not an Adam Carolla fan, read this book. You'll love it because it will probably make you hate him more, and people like you who don't like Ace have no feelings and revel in any semblance of humanity (in this case, the aforementioned hatred.)
If you love Ace, this will cause your love to spiral out of control and probably cascade you into an Carolla-induced obsession like I went through.
If you have no idea who Adam Carolla is, this book is the best introduction, and congratulations on the wonderful wellspring of complaints and observations you have yet to hear! SNIFF

I can speak for the 20 year old white female demographic (although I'm probably not the best representative of such.) Ladies, buy the book. Good day!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Warning inslutument alert: I'm white, over 60, raised upper middle class. I have a great gig, (going on thirty years) a couple of houses, grown kids and I still had to get my cough meds out because I was laughing so hard at these sophomoric fart jokes my chest was hurting.(so not a good beach read unless you want to come off looking like a howling moron) Thanks Adam, you helped me fondly remember a simpler time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Adam does it again with another hit of a book. I couldn't put it down the entire day and loved the structure of the book being split in to chapters of his life at each house.

In the end, buy this book because you will not be disappointed.

Get it on!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not Taco Bell Material is a hilarious recounting of Adam Carolla's formative years up through his discovery by Jimmy Kimmel and subsequent success, but the humor covers up a deeper message about a poor, traumatized kid growing up and persevering in the face of adversity. Adam grew up in the 1970s and faced adulthood in the early 1980s -- a time, he notes, when unemployment in the United States was actually worse than in 2012. Each chapter centers around the "dump" he lived in during that phase of life, from the ovens he slept in in the attic to the ovens he slept in in the garage, to the oven he moved into with his friend "The Weez."

Adam recounts in vivid detail the effects on his psyche of living in these various locales, which, combined with the non-parenting provided by his divorced mother and father, sent him on a trajectory of working digging ditches, cleaning carpets, and painting commercial buildings through his late teens and early twenties. While print is not Adam's medium of choice, Not Taco Bell Material's prose is polished and highly readable. Likely due to the talents of his co-author Mike Lynch, Adam's signature sense of comedic timing, sarcasm, and penchant for hilarious and poignant metaphors are clearly recognizable in each sentence.

Ultimately, the story is about someone who dug himself literally and figuratively out of a rut in life. That rut could just as easily have trapped him in an unending cycle of living in dumps, hooking up with other damaged people and cranking out another generation of do-nothing Carollas. Instead, he applied a little discipline and kept it together long enough to get his big break.
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