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Last Words (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 10. November 2009

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: Free Press (10. November 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1439172951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439172957
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,9 x 15,2 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 63.665 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"Last Words, a posthumous autobiography from George Carlin, is a jazzy, inward-looking piece of a chronicler of the working of his own mind, Carlin is terrific."

-- The New York Times

"...what "Last Words" ultimately reveals is how Carlin became a political protester, slam poet, cynic, polemicist and performance artist whose messages were delivered under the veneer of humor."

--Washington Post

"The book is at turns biting and touching, and often both, which is what you would expect from a man for whom the sacred was profane and the profane, sacred."

--Entertainment Weekly

"...frank and insightful..."

--Time magazine

"This is not a collection of setups and punch lines, but a candid, fearless accounting of his life and art...Last Words shows a comic master at the height of his storytelling powers and with no limit to what he had left to say."

--L.A. Times

"For comedy fans, this book is vital. It's easily worth its weight in gold for the biting observations on showbiz and its personalities."

--San Francisco Chronicle

"[Last Words] sounds as if he is still with us, rested and ready to ridicule the latest cultural hypocrisies."

--The Washington Times

"Seven particular words are associated with the late comedian George Carlin, and sentimental is not one of them. But that's the surprising portrait that emerges from Last Words."

--Houston Chronicle

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende


Born in New York City in 1937, George Dennis Patrick Carlin was one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time.  He appeared on “The Tonight Show” more than 130 times, starred in  an unprecedented 14 HBO Specials, hosted the first “Saturday Night Live” and penned three New York Times bestselling books.  Of the 23 solo albums recorded by Mr. Carlin, 11 were Grammy nominated and he took home the coveted statue five times including a 2001 Grammy win for Best Spoken Comedy Album for his reading of his best seller Brain Droppings.   In 2002, Carlin was awarded the “Freedom of Speech Award” by the First Amendment Center in cooperation with the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and he  was the named 11th recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in June of 2008.  George Carlin passed away at age 71 on June 22, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.


Tony Hendra was recently described by The Independent of London as “one of the most brilliant comic talents of the post-war period” He began his comedic career with Graham Chapman of Monty Python, appeared six times on the Ed Sullivan Show, was one of the original editors of National Lampoon, edited the classic parody Not The New York Times, starred in This Is Spinal Tap, and co-created and co-produced the long-running British satirical series Spitting Image for which he was nominated for a British Academy Award. He has written or edited dozens of books, most of them satirical, with the exception of two New York Times bestsellers: Brotherhood (2001) and Father Joe (2004). He is a senior member of the Board of the nation-wide story-telling community, The Moth.    


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Von Dr. Frank am 22. August 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This posthumous (assisted) autobiography reveals the life of a famous artist whose works only hint at his personal reality. As Mark Twain said, "Like the moon, every man has a dark side, which no one sees." We are shown his harsh childhood, difficulties with relationships, life-destroying addiction to drugs, destitution, and survival. Although he grew beyond them, their influences endured and became part of his art. Thoroughly believeable, we begin to understand the man behind the microphone. Heartily recommended.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 232 Rezensionen
607 von 618 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
What can I say? 10. November 2009
Von K. Carlin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Okay, so I AM biased. BUT! I even learned things about my dad that I didn't know. So imagine, if you are a fan, how fun it will be for you. My dad kept his inner life pretty close to his chest, and in this book he shows his hand fully.

137 von 144 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Rick Shaq Goldstein - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This long overdue posthumously released biography of comic genius George Carlin provides fans detailed personal information in a no holds barred format. Though there are bits and pieces of his famed skits... that is not the reason you should buy this book. There are innumerable videos... DVD's and albums available that contain unlimited sketches. What the reader learns within these pages... is what George eventually... with a lot of self-searching... learned about himself over a lifetime. Carlin had to eventually come to grips with what he felt and believed as a person... through an introspective journey... that encompassed painful truths of his parental heritage... childhood environs... religious culture and beliefs... along with alcohol and drug abuse.

The fact that George was developing this book for almost fifteen years is explained in an enlightening introduction by his friend Tony Hendra. A summary of why this book took so long to be born... could probably be best described by a John Lennon lyric: "LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHILE YOU'RE BUSY MAKING OTHER PLANS." Though George may have been a "Clown-Prince" on stage... his family's foundation was less than regal. His Father was an alcoholic bully... who beat George's beloved older brother... and self-proclaimed "best pal" Patrick from the time he was small... thus leading to the family's separation. In one chilling scene Carlin's Mother is sitting in a Doctor's office... mere minutes away from aborting George. "MY MOTHER'S PRIMARY MOTIVE IN LEAVING MY FATHER WAS TO PROTECT ME FROM THE BEATINGS HE GAVE LITTLE PATRICK." Patrick was a role model for George... and not always in the best of lights. As an example when George followed Patrick into the Air Force the Carlin boys accrued five court- martial's between them. But even from this experience the author... with the added benefit of time and space states: "WEIRD HOW THE MILITARY TOUCHES SO MANY ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE. IT'S LIKE THE CHURCH IN THAT WAY. YOU HATE IT BUT IT FORMS YOU. IT'S A PARENT. MOTHER CHURCH AND FATHER MILITARY." As an Honorably Discharged Viet Nam era veteran... now benefiting from the same time and space... I couldn't agree with him more.

As Carlin painstakingly describes his own metamorphosis... he makes it clear how much he idolized ground-breaking comedian Lenny Bruce. So much of what Carlin became... and what he dreamed of becoming... was influenced by Lenny Bruce. Not only what Bruce did on stage... but what he did in the courtroom. It's easy for the reader to appreciate how cathartic these writings must have been for George... since on one hand he is reaching for fame and fortune on TV... and in the very next breath he is sharing all the things he couldn't stand about TV. He was a talk show "darling"... yet he hated the chit-chat minutiae. He reminisces as much about the performances where there was one person in attendance as he does about sellouts.

To truly know oneself is a unique gift. When you think of the type of comedy George Carlin created he once gave a pretty good self-definition of what he thought his "outer-talent" was. "I COULD ALWAYS THINK ON MY FEET, BUT I NEVER WAS QUICK AROUND THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO DOMINATE A TABLE. I WAS A PRODUCT OF IDEAS, NOT AD-LIBS."

The beauty of the story telling in this book is that the author openly shares his personal agony and pathos... while at his personal highs... and while at his personal lows... as it is painfully obvious... that he himself... was trying to fully understand what made Carlin... Carlin.
84 von 87 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The long-awaited memoir from the greatest comedian of the 20th and 21st centuries 10. November 2009
Von J. Ward - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I picked up this book yesterday and finished it this morning. It is a revelatory read, as George's previous three books are along the lines of his standup material, whereas this book is a narrative. We finally get a full three-hundred page book worth of the "real George" that we saw glimpses of throughout the years in his interviews and less guarded moments.

As a lifelong fan of Carlin, I could never understand why there weren't a ton of biographies written about him. There are lots of revelatory moments in the book; the amount of catastrophe that followed Mr. Carlin around in the 70s and 80s is truly staggering. However, George never displays a victim mentality; he never blames others for his problems, and his attitude as the narrator is charitable towards the individuals he knew.

It is made clear how easy it would have been for George to take the path of least resistance at his turning point in the early 1980s, struggling with a cocaine problem and owing massive amounts of back taxes. It is also made clear just how much of a lifesaver his 1980s business manager, Jerry Hamza, was for George.

Carlin details his business problems as well as all of his heart problems and heart surgeries, and he dives headlong into the mess of the 1970s and talks about his years of drug abuse very candidly, as well as his marriage to Brenda Carlin (née Hosbrook) and his wonderful daughter Kelly. He talks candidly about both his and his wife's near-death experiences in the 1970s and 1980s, and her death in 1998 from liver cancer.

It is clear from their History together and from Hendra's introduction (not the typical fawning introduction; clearly written about a close friend with whom he had worked for many years, with the caveat that Hendra was required to write in Carlin's voice a bit, a candid admission that is fitting with the subject of the book) - and that's what works so well. The voice in the book is clearly Carlin's. The voice of a friend for many of us who we never knew personally. The insight provided into his creative process is fascinating as well, woven consistently throughout the book.

One more aspect of Carlin's life that is shown in the book is just how much his daughter Kelly helped George and Brenda to clean up in the 1970s, when Kelly was only ten years old. She remained an important voice in George's life until the end, helping him shape his material in some ways (she advised him that 2005's brilliant "Life is Worth Losing" was just a bit too dark, with its material on suicide and graveyard set, resulting in the more homey "home office-style" stage-set for his last special, 2008's "It's Bad For Ya."

A fitting sendoff if ever there was one. I imagine he's screaming up at us right now.
24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great book, shoddy production. 23. November 2009
Von Raymond - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
I have just finished reading the Kindle edition of "Last Words" and it's brilliant and funny and well worth reading. However, I was struck by how awful the copy editing and production is. The book is so full of typos it's like reading a blog or something. Words are run together, and many proper names are uncapitalized. The title of chapter 18 is written as "BWING, DOING, GETTING", for instance (it's correctly written as "BEING", not "BWING", in the TOC). The photo at the head of Chapter 15, identified as "George and Patrick Carlin", is in fact a photo of Carlin performing, repeated from the previous chapter. And so on. Really, this is shockingly bad. I hope the print edition is better.

Still, great book!
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
(Soon To Be Famous) Last Words. 12. November 2009
Von Michelle R - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Most comedians have a short shelf life. They blaze onto the scene at the right time, and for a while they're molten, seeming to capture the zeitgeist. They say what people want to hear, perhaps validate some prejudices, and then they fade from the scene. Carlin continues to burn bright, even now, because he captured something lasting and true while still managing to be a rebel - a nearly impossible task. He was an intelligent man, perhaps a genius, and spoke to other thinking people. He pointed out hypocrisy, he punctured some sacred cows, and he made us give thought to the words we take for granted and the words we assign too much power.

Here now is his life in his words. The mother who taught him the power of language, the father who wasn't present but from whom he inherited an ability to see through the bull, his upbringing in New York, his time in the military, his family, his early career, and how he transitioned into the iconic performer we think of when we hear his name.

Last Words is an engrossing read for Carlin fans, people who are interested in one of the major voices of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Some events, some people, are unimaginable to imagine never having existed, and some of Carlin's thoughts are deeply rooted in our iconography. The book carries on in the tradition of making us think, even if there's not always agreement. We are reminded, reading this, that he will be a tough act to follow, but we desperately need people to keep trying.

This is a thoughtful book, but Carlin's wit is still very much on display. In the midst of a poignant anecdote he would land a great line, and I would find myself laughing when a moment before I was in complete solidarity with him over whatever sadness he was sharing. After being tortured a few months back by David Cross'sI Drink for a Reason, I was glad to see a book done right, and hoping other comedians are taking note.

It's a cliche to say when someone is gone, "his best work was just ahead of him," but Carlin got even better as time went on. He believed that too. That time gave him complexity of thought an understanding -- a way to better tie the world together. It reminds me of Elton John's song about John Lennon:

And through their tears
Some say he farmed his best in younger years
But he'd have said that roots grow stronger, if only he could hear.

The book ends with Carlin discussing his desire to do a Broadway show about his life, and it's as if he's caught off in mid-thought, and as if that storyline is left dangling, and perhaps that's the perfect ending for the story of a man who lived a full life but was still taken from us too soon.

My one criticism is that the book deserved to be better edited. There were a number of times I was jarred by an error, and there seemed to be a particular problem with proper names. (This refers to the Kindle edition.)
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