This isn't a book of collected "letters and artwork" of the late, great George Carlin. It's a mass of hundreds of Post-it notes and doodles he made for his second wife, Sally Wade. Included with these are overly precious anecdotes about his life
with Wade and their dog, Spot, and, to fill out the book, photos of the dog, reproductions of postcards, and blurry photographs
of Carlin. It's lovely that Mr. Carlin wrote these little love notes to his second wife in his later years, but seeing them
reprinted here makes for an uncomfortable experience. Were these notes meant to be shared with the public? Is that really what
Carlin intended? There's something exploitative about it, as if Wade had searched for some unpublished work of Carlin's to be
released posthumously, couldn't find any, so gathered up his intimate correspondence and published that instead.
The most touching part of the book? In the first few pages, Wade reveals that Carlin met her some eight months after his
first wife's death, and arranged a date with her four months in advance. The reason for this was that he felt it proper that
he complete a full year of mourning for his wife before beginning a new relationship. Knowing that makes up (almost) for the
endless display of private love memos that follow. It's nice to know that Carlin had someone with whom to share his final
years, especially since, according to several people who knew him well, he was devastated by the death of his first wife.
Maybe that's why these notes to his second wife, especially those in which he professes that she's the "love of his life," ect., come off as embarrassingly smug and self-congratulatory on her part.
The overall result is
a book that gives the reader the sensation of rummaging through someone's private effluvia--an unpleasantly voyeuristic feeling. Sorry, George.