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A Carlin Home Companion

Growing Up with George
Narrated by: Kelly Carlin
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (206 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Truly the voice of a generation, George Carlin gave the world some of the most hysterical and iconic comedy routines of the last 50 years. From the "Seven Dirty Words" to "A Place for My Stuff" to "Religion Is Bullshit", he perfected the art of making audiences double over with laughter while simultaneously making people wake up to the realities (and insanities) of life in the 20th century. Few people glimpsed the inner life of this beloved comedian, but his only child, Kelly, was there to see it all.

Born at the very beginning of his decades-long career in comedy, she slid around the "old Dodge Dart" as he and wife Brenda drove around the country to "hell gigs". She witnessed his transformation in the '70s, as he fought back against - and talked back to - the establishment; she even talked him down from a really bad acid trip a time or two. ("Kelly, the sun has exploded and we have eight, no, seven-and-a-half minutes to live!") Kelly not only watched her father constantly reinvent himself and his comedy, but also had a front-row seat to the roller-coaster turmoil of her family's inner life - alcoholism, cocaine addiction, life-threatening health scares, and a crushing debt to the IRS. But having been the only "adult" in her family prepared her little for the task of her own adulthood. All the while, Kelly sought to define her own voice as she separated from the shadow of her father's genius.

With rich humor and deep insight, Kelly Carlin pulls back the curtain on what it was like to grow up as the daughter of one of the most recognizable comedians of our time and become a woman in her own right. This vivid, hilarious, heartbreaking story is at once singular and universal - it is a contemplation of what it takes to move beyond the legacy of childhood and forge a life of your own.

The audiobook includes bonus audio recordings of George Carlin and a conversation between Kelly Carlin and Garry Shandling.

©2015 Polymind Enterprises, LLC (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful journey

I learned so much from this, I have always been a George Carlin, tell it like is fan. I always wondered what it would be like growing up Carlin.
Kelly wrote a tell it like it is kind of autobiography that not only showed the strength of a loving family, but also drew me in to the pains and loneliness of being a child of a celebrity. It was well told, as well as moving as she told of her and her family's personal struggles and triumphs. I would strongly recommend this book to keep in you library.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, United States
  • 09-29-15

I couldn't stop listening!

Kelly is an amazing storyteller. Her insight into our family conditioning is suburb. A story of codependency, addiction, and insecurity that was triumphed by finding her truth, living her dreams, and becoming an independent force of nature. Funny, sentimental, truthful and insightful. I loved this book!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Such a wonderful and powerful story.

It took me a bit to realize that this is Kelly's story and not George's per se. That turned out to be more than fine! She tells it all so well and there are many laugh out loud moments but also many misty eye throat choker. Grade A! I hope she continues writing and performing.

~one dedicated Carlin fan.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This book might surprise you!

Pros –
• Narration: Good narrator (the author herself).
• Overall Story: Quite different from what I expected but still very good.
• Content: If you’re expecting to learn all the ins-and-outs of George Carlin and his life on the road as a comedian, you may be disappointed. Certainly, he is a big part of this, but it’s more about his little girl’s life, George’s career impacts on her life, and growing up being raised by a roller coaster Mom and a mostly missing dad. Kelly, George’s daughter, doesn’t tell this as a stand-up comic. She tells her story from her point of view at that stage in her life. The story is told from young eyes all the way to mid-aged eyes, with horror and humor. She is very intelligent and you might be surprised at how George’s daughter turned out.
• Chapter Construction / Travel ability: Very easy-to-consume chapters. Most chapters average 30 mins or less in length. This is great for commuters listening on the go.
• Bonus: Scattered throughout (a few times) are a few audio clips of George’s standup as it relates to the context of Kelly’s narrative. And, at the end of the book, is a 40+ minute clip of an interview Kelly gave Gary Shandling about her dad.

Cons –
• More time: I wish Kelly had given more time to 2 things: 1) her husband Bob who was instrumental in Kelly pulling through some difficult times of her life and 2) the path her life look years following her Dad’s death.

Overall –
• High level: This book was eye opening, funny, sentimental, frustrating, and uplifting. This book, oddly enough, gave me insight on how to be a better person and how to be a better father. Quite a journey, and I learned things about myself.
• Re-read Factor: This may be a book I will re-visit. Good life lessons with some laughs along the way.
• Misc: George Carlin was the first stand-up comedian I had ever watched. He was an intellectual comedian and raw and silly at times. But he set the comic bar so high for me that most others who reach for his level fall short. For a long time, I knew he had a daughter and I wondered what any child of George Carlin would be like. Read this book, and you’ll find out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great insight into parent child relationship

This is a great illustration of the dynamics of parents and children. Very little had to do with this being about a celebrity. That aspect just helped me understand the huge personality parts. I really could relate to the underlying theme of family dynamic. I also came away with a small reading list of relationship books. I love when a book inspired me to read other books do I'm not left hanging.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Daughter of the Man who Spoke Truth to Power –

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Neither grandiose nor self-pitying. Balancing joy and grief, humor and fear while consistently and disarmingly frank. Speaking Truth to Self and graciously inviting the reader along for the journey. From my psychiatric point of view, a deceptively calm and entertaining lesson in the path from severe dysfunction to maturity and accountability – despite and because of the privilege, deprivation and fate.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The trouble with a famous Dad.

Kelly starts out being the parent to famous Dad & Mom. With drugs, alcohol, fame & fortune, George & Brenda's life becomes a train wreck. The kid does everything to keep their universe from exploding. Dad has a few heart attacks and mom finally stops drinking and discovers AA. Then as the parents get their sh** together, teenager Kelly switches rolls with her parents and becomes her own "train wreck". Well written, illustrating why it is so difficult for children of famous people to fine their way in this world. Rich famous busy parents, instead of guiding & parenting, substitute money, gifts indulgence and being 'pals' with their kids. I've always liked George Carlin, Kelly I am afraid is still a train wreck, but I'm not entirely sure it is her fault.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent !!

There is no doubt in my mind that Ms.Carlin loved her dad! I really like this book,and its honesty and truths are nice to listen to.

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Exceptional

The life of George Carlin (and of course Kelly) couldn't be told better. Kelly couldn't told it better with both her writing and telling.

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The Man, The Icon, The Love

If you've ever enjoyed Carlin's work, you'll love learning about the man. This is an incredible story of love.