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Publisher's Summary

As one of America's preeminent comedic voices, George Carlin saw it all throughout his extraordinary 50-year career and made fun of most of it. Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acerbic humor with never-before-told stories from his own life.

In 1993 George Carlin asked his friend and best-selling author Tony Hendra to help him write his autobiography. For almost 15 years, in scores of conversations, many of them recorded, the two discussed Carlin's life, times, and evolution as a major artist. When Carlin died at age 71 in June 2008 with the book still unpublished, Hendra set out to assemble it as his friend would have wanted. Last Words is the result, the rollicking, wrenching story of Carlin's life from birth - literally - to his final years, as well as a parting gift of laughter to the world of comedy he helped create.

George Carlin's journey to stardom began in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of New York's Upper West Side in the 1940s, where class and culture wars planted the seeds for some of his best-known material, including the notorious "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television".

His early conflicts, his long struggle with substance abuse, his turbulent relationships with his family, and his triumphs over catastrophic setbacks all fueled the unique comedic worldview he brought to the stage. From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, Last Words is told with the same razor-sharp honesty that made Carlin one of the best loved comedians in American history.

©2009 George's Stuff; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very good stuff.

What did you love best about Last Words?

It was interesting and informative, although not as funny as I was expecting. It really gave a clear picture about where George Carlin came from and what his life was all about, mostly in his own words.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding insight... Well read

George Carlin was a national treasure and this book does a great job of putting his life in perspective. Even if you thought you knew everything there was to know about George Carlin, your understanding expands when you get to know the inner thoughts behind his public and private life.

His brother Patrick does an outstanding job with the narration largely because he shares a lot of George's phrasing and inflection.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Still the best!

Carlin might be gone but his work will be live on forever. A comic genius, an incredible writer and one of the greatest thinkers this world has ever known. Some people believe in God, I believe in George!!! As for this work, his last, it is truly touching and having his brother as the narrator gives the listener almost a surreal feel that George himself, came back to life, to be the narrator. A great piece of work and a real fun listen. Even in death, Carlin once again proves that he's still the best.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Different from other George's books

Any additional comments?

This is narrated by Patrick Carlin, who is a good performer, but not as good as George. Since I wanted to hear more from George and not really about George, I was disappointed. So the book is great and performance is amazing, but this may not be for you if you came to listen more of George's humor and wisdom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Appearing in a Graveyard Soon...

Tony Hendra is a magical author.. look for his other books especially "Father Joe"..
So Carlin devoted to the art up to and after death leaves us this material. I still feel sad when I think that this genius is gone , Zappa too. Leaving us to survive without a sidebar or a punchline or a riff. If you don't know the genius of G. Carlin you should read his other books first, putting each book in as complete a historical venue as you can. His work was contemporary but you have to know what the time was he worked in.. Really this could be a college course in literature, "Time dependent humor". If he was joking about Nixon and you don't know who Nixon was historically then you won't understand the humor/comentary. This book is after he died.. Sorry I gave away the plot but you have to see this book as the snow on top of the mountain. A mountain of work left by Carlin, a sidebar to our history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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George Is Not Gone!

With his brother performing, listening to this book is as close to listening to George Carlin himself read it as it could be. Enjoy learning what made George click as he builds his career and life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful to get the whole story

What did you love best about Last Words?

Right from the horses mouth, all about his life. His brother did a respectable job as a reader, and the book takes you through the life of Carlin that we knew, as well as what we didn't really know (his personal struggles). All in all, well worth the money.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Guess who...George Carlin

What about Tony Hendra and Patrick Carlin ’s performance did you like?

Patrick sounds just enough like his brother that every now and again you forgot you weren't actually listening to George.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end, realizing there was more work to be done from a life that was cut short.

Any additional comments?

I miss George, we was the first comedian I discovered when I was about 13 years old, and shaped my life. A true original.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fun to remember his funnies

Would you try another book from George Carlin and/or Tony Hendra and Patrick Carlin ?

Not likely since he's dead

What did you like best about this story?

Interesting to find out more about the comedy of the funnyman.

What does Tony Hendra and Patrick Carlin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Having his brother reading with that voice sounding so much like his brother it really made it seem like he was telling the stories.

Was Last Words worth the listening time?

Enjoyed, but a little disturbing hearing the oddities of a man's life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting, but not full of laughs

Takes a while to get used to the narrator, and I was looking for a Carlin monologue. A good story and listen, but know what you're getting.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great back story!

Carlin's brother narrates! Uncanny similarity in the voice! A great listen! Highly recommend to fans!