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Last WordsA Memoir

Tony Hendra, George Carlin

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Summary

Last Words

By: Tony Hendra, George Carlin

Narrarated by: Patrick Carlin

As one of America's most pre-eminent comedians, with 50 years worth of material and appearances on the international comedy circuit, George Carlin saw it all and made fun of most of it. Blending his signature acerbic humor with never before told stories from his own life, Last Words is part comedy routine, part reflection, and all original. Written with bestselling author Tony Hendra, Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy and commentary of the last century.

Carlin's journey to stardom began in the rough and tumble neighborhoods of New York in the 1940s and '50s, where class and culture wars planted the seeds for some of his earliest material. Carlin describes his major influences as an up and coming comic, talking about the origins of some of his most famous stand up routines including the notorious Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television. Sparing no detail, Carlin describes his life and career, discussing his own battle with substance abuse, his turbulent relationships with his family, and the unique worldview that informed so much of his stand up. From the high points on stage to the low points few knew about, read by his brother Patrick Carlin, Last Words is George Carlin's life told with the same unblinking honesty that defined his comedy and made him one of the best loved comedians in American history.

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EDITOR'S PICK // New York Times Best Seller

Total File Size: 175 MB (5 files) Total Length: 6 Hours, 23 Minutes

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11.10.09
George Carlin, Last Words
2009 | Label: Audioworks

A lively and thoughtful autobiography from one of the 20th century’s sharpest minds
Given the extent to which George Carlin’s comedy fed off the way language is used and misused, it’s no surprise that he turns out to be a fine writer. But the voice in Last Words, posthumously compiled by friend Tony Hendra from the manuscript Carlin spent 15 years working on, is dramatically different from the voice in his stage act, which is another way of saying that Last Words is a real book and not jut a collection of material, a descriptor that applies to the bulk of stand-up books, including Carlin’s others. The account of Carlin’s life — his childhood on the outskirts of Harlem, his brief and checkered career in the Air Force, his early days performing safe material to crowds in tony nightclub crowds and his transformation from unquestioning political conservative to long-haired cultural critic — is studded with lively anecdotes, but he never warps the narrative to make room for a tossed-off joke.

Last Words goes all the way back to the beginning, opening with Carlin passing through his mother’s freshly shaved nether regions and cataloguing his first intimations of the power of making others laugh. Like any autobiography, the book has its puzzling lacunae, like a stray reference to a fiancée who preceded his 36-year marriage to Brenda Hosbrook. But he doesn’t shy away from the difficulties in their marriage, exacerbated early on by his heavy marijuana use and her heavy drinking (although Carlin cops to overdoing it, he is still enthusiastically pro-drug). It’s a shame he isn’t around to expand on some of the more surprising passages, like the notion that he didn’t find his “true voice” as a performer until the 1990s, or that the lifelong iconoclast dreamed of mounting his own Broadway show.

Engaging as Carlin’s account of his own life is, the book’s real thrill is the added insight into the workings of his mind — easily one of the sharpest the 20th century produced. Later chapters include expressively punctuated excerpts from his best-known routines, surrounded by accounts of how, say, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” came to be. Nothing can replace the mind-boggling greatness of Carlin’s best albums (the uninitiated should proceed immediately with Class Clown or Occupation: Foole), but Last Words is a thoroughly satisfying companion to them.

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George Carlin -Last Words

EMUSIC-02C32AEA

George is priceless. He said what needed to be said... the end!

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George Carlin -Last Words

EMUSIC-02C32AEA

George is priceless, sorry to see him go. He said what needed to be said... the end!

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George Carlin

Telenjia

George helped us (the ignorant masses) to understand and look hard at our wonderful society and realize just how bent it is. I miss you Mr. Carlin, sleep well. I was blind but now I see. Thank you. S.

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This man is a national treasure!

h1ggs

His worldview is priceless. Truly a gem!

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Yuck

NevadaSmith

This guys humor is sick. Someone should wash his mouth out with soap.

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