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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: The Word according to George

Writing the book that caps your 50 years in the entertainment business, a book you know will probably serve as your valedictory address, can be a very liberating experience. You get to settle old scores, to set the record straight. You get to define the universe, or at least your universe, on your own terms. ...

George Carlin, a stand-up comedian with a refreshingly singular view of words and the modern world, was a relentless diarist, writing notes constantly in his years on the road. Over the years, he recorded conversations with Tony Hendra, author (Father Joe), satirist and early voice of the National Lampoon. Last Words, the now-published product of that 15-year oral history/literary conspiracy, is Carlin’s “sortabiography”, a spirited mashup of recollections, self-analysis and rant, both a parting gift and a parting shot. ...

Carlin’s previous books — Brain Droppings, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? and Napalm and Silly Putty — are celebrations of Carlin’s embrace of the language and his kaleidoscopic views of various aspects of the human condition.

Part raucous credo, part comic pilgrim’s progress, Last Words is Carlin’s celebration of his own human condition: its madcap cast of characters, its personal and professional resilience. It’s maybe the best evidence of how he transcended the stand-up comedy he revolutionized, ultimately becoming not so much a comedian as a conscience. ...

Read the full review at PopMatters

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