46. Last Words by George Carlin (w Tony Hendra)

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46. Last Words by George Carlin (w Tony Hendra)

Post  twunny on Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:31 pm

This labels itself as a "sortabiography." Carlin met with Hendra many times over the course of 15 years, developing this as a book about his life. Sometimes they would have a specific theme or time period in mind, and sometimes they would just have a conversation with the tape recorder going. And although they never had the time to put it together while Mr. Carlin was alive, Hendra took it upon himself to assemble all the bits and pieces.

And the result is amazing. I have always been a Carlin fan, from since way before I should have been allowed to watch his stand-up. But my parents knew that he was saying important things that I needed to hear. Eventually, I read his three books as well. They are more about language and funny business than ideas, but Carlin was a man of depth. From abortion to war to religion to snot to dogs to drugs to words to prison to leftovers in the fridge to sports to...stuff. I absorbed it all.

And this book told me things I never would have thought to ask about. I had heard some of the stories before, but much of it was new to me. And it was great to have the scope of the man's whole life, chronologically. Sometimes chrono-illogically. I got to see how changes in the world caused changes in the man, and how those changes caused changes in his work. Which caused changes in comedy. Which caused some changes in the world. It was pretty amazing.

And Tony Hendra must be some kind of genius. Carlin died a year and a half ago. This book came out last week. Yet somehow I felt as if there were no middle man. It was so intimate, conversational, and well put-together...for a while, I forgot he was dead. And that was a nice feeling. The world needs more George Carlins. And this book adds to a body of genius that might well help create some more.

Highly recommended.

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