George Carlin need only be heard to be appreciated. You remember him pacing and gesturing as he crouched on the stage, delivering rapid-fire, surgical observations on the follies of humankind. Maybe it's his early days in radio, but the voice is among the most expressive anywhere. He leaps from rage to rant to sotto voce, from lecturing to confiding, as he plays a whole range of the characters who populate his wildly imaginative essays. You could listen to him for hours--and you will. Along the way you'll remember that Carlin was never just a comic. He was an articulate, informed, educated, and always opinionated eyewitness to the human condition. Hilarious and off-color, of course, but he covers an awful lot of ground in this collection, and really makes you think.
Presented as an introductory guide to a vanished human race for the benefit of visiting aliens, "Earth" is a perceptive, tightly written, awfully clever survey of mankind's whole history. It's especially good at leaving unsaid the best punchlines, which immediately form in the listener's mind. With help from others, it is nonetheless mostly the voice of Jon Stewart who--freed from the rather more frantic persona of his TV show--is a skilled and expressive narrator. It's a joy to hear.
The thing about a David Sedaris reading, even at Carnegie Hall, is that he stands behind a podium and reads. It's not a physical performance, per se, so listening to the recording is about as good as the experience of being there. And that is very good indeed. Sedaris delivers a largely deadpan reading of hilarious and insightful material, from true family stories to wild fantasies. Audiences are in stitches from start to finish, and you will be, too. Although it's difficult to choose, this is some of his very best work.
Yes. Gaffigan edits a lot of the passages to be unique to the audio book, and his voices are a big part of his standup routine. I would have been reading in his voice anyway, so why not cut out the middleman?
I haven't listened to a book, but I've listened to his stand-up. This sounds a lot like his stand-up, but at times, it's pretty obvious that he's trying to read word-for-word.
His voices and his audiobook-only quips.
No. It's almost 6 hours long. I've got things to do.
The book is really great, but I feel like there are a couple of things Gaffigan fans should know before they start listening/reading:
1 - This is a book about being a dad. I know that seems obvious, but if you aren't a dad, or aren't thinking of becoming a dad, then you might not really like this book. If you're a college kid that likes jokes about Hot Pockets, you might be able to skip this one. There are a few chuckles in here, but you won't identify with them.
2 - There's a rhythm to this book that is a little jarring in an audiobook format. Each chapter ends with a joke, which is usually a callback from earlier in the chapter - and then the next chapter just starts. The chapters are very short, and the result is a very jarring transition between chapters. There were times when I would look up to read a street sign, and all of a sudden, Jim Gaffigan was talking about something completely different, and I barely had time to digest what he just started talking about 3 minutes ago. The book took a lot more focus than a normal book.
3 - This isn't 6 hours of standup. It's Jim Gaffigan reading a book by Jim Gaffigan. A lot of the joke delivery might seem off, especially when he recycles a joke from one of his shows (that happens a few times).
4 - If you DON'T have kids, expect to be a little baby-crazy by the end of this book. Speaking from personal experience, I had to be talked down from the baby-ledge by my girlfriend after reading this. Luckily, I recovered, and I'm still happily babyless.