Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin and Tony Hendra [Review]

Last Words

The darkest part of 2008 in my opinion was the passing of George Carlin. Few comedians from his era could make me laugh like Carlin could, and few knew how to deliver fantastically offensive and socially important bits like he did for decades. Luckily enough, Carlin along with the help of his friend Tony Hendra, was able to complete his autobiography shortly before his passing.

What I love about Last Words, is how Carlin cleverly articulates the details of his birth, childhood and career in such a way that you feel as if you are watching him on stage acting it out. Here is a quote from Carlin on his birth:

“Sliding headfirst down a vagina with no clothes on and landing in the freshly shaven crotch of a screaming woman did not seem to be part of God’s plan for me”

I don’t’ know about you, but that sure got my attention…but then again that’s what Carlin has always been good at. Last Words will teach you all about George Carlin’s dysfunctional upbringing in New York, his time in the military, and his slow rise to fame.

What surprised me the most about Last Words was how dark it got at times. Carlin had a rocky relationship with his mother, and an even worse one with his father – who he blames for his grandfather’s death. The book also has its lighter moments too. Carlin had a lot of fond feelings for his older brother, and I loved learning about how he married his wife after only knowing her for a short time.

One of the things I love the most about autobiographies is how they can appeal to not only people who are fans of the author’s work, but also people who are just plain nosy. If you fall into the second category, I think you’ll like Last Words because Carlin is so honest about all the details of his life. It’s a must read for any George Carlin fan and one of my favorite reads so far of 2010. I’ll miss you George!

Quotes from Last Words:

“There’s one other thing with snow. Even when you’re fifteen…or even for that matter if you’re never going to see sixty again – when it snows you’ve always got to make one snowball. Only one, but you gotta. Just to see if it’s good packing”

“Lying there in the New York Hospital, my first definitive act on this planet was to vomit”

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Free Press | Pages: 320 | Source:Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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