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Publisher's Summary

During the course of a career that began in the 1940s, Lenny Bruce challenged the sanctity of organized religion and other societal and political conventions and widened the boundaries of free speech. Critic Ralph Gleason said, "So many taboos have been lifted, and so many comics have rushed through the doors Lenny opened. He utterly changed the world of comedy." He died in 1966 at the age of 40, his influence on the worlds of comedy, jazz, and satire incalculable, and How to Talk Dirty and Influence People - now republished to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Lenny Bruce's death - remains a brilliant existential account of his life and the forces that made him the most important and controversial entertainer in history.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Lenny Bruce (P)2016 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about How to Talk Dirty and Influence People

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Appreciating the use of a four letter word

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Talk Dirty and Influence People to be better than the print version?

I enjoyed the honesty and humor that Lenny Bruce portrayed. He went through a lot of trials and somehow through his interpretation, he did it with clarify, humor, and a bit of leveled hope.

What did you like best about this story?

This was one book that was on the wishful bookshelf for a long time. I understood Mr. Bruce to be pioneer of comedy. However, I now know him as someone who fought very hard for freedom of speech and ideals. In many ways, He reminds the reader to be very aware of the message he is sending but also delivers to be honest about one's shortcomings and mistakes.

Which character – as performed by Ronnie Marmo – was your favorite?

I found that Mr Bruce had a way of describing the events in his life like catching up with old friend. Better yet, his delivery sometimes came more off as a confession in someone he could trust. Although I know the history of this book to be originally publicized through Playboy, I will still what secrets he has confided in me to myself. :D

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I think it would be a stretch to find something wrong about the performance but if there must something: I guess I say that he read Lenny Bruce's song All Alone rather than sing it.

Any additional comments?

I first saw this when I first saw 'Pump up the Volume'. I wish I had a chance to get to it earlier.

3 people found this helpful

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Not a book that teaches you how to talk dirty

Leaning how to talk dirty is on the rise. People are discovering that it adds oomph to their love life. You can find books that teach you how to go it well. This is not one of those books. This is a biography.

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Not so shocking today, b/c he shocked back then

Lenny Bruce died broke of a drug overdose. Before his passing, he changed comedy forever, using it to make trenchant social commentary and defending moral turpitude in the name of "what exactly is wrong with *that* word?" This book is part biography, part social commentary (Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev is treated better than black American citizens upon his visit to the US), and wraps up with details from Bruce's brushes with the law. The audio book version of this book is extremely well done, with a narrator that brings a tone of snide irreverence that sounds enough like Bruce to fool my ears. If you consider yourself liberal, as I do, and yet are mystified with what modern liberalism has become, with an emphasis on the self and the kind of moral uplift that would view Bruce as the spitting image of 4Chan founder Christopher Poole (aka, "Moot") then this book is both timely and timeless. Bruce talked about adult things because he wanted us to be adults. Keep this book out of the reach of children (or better yet, give it to your teenager so you can hear how tame it is by modern standards) and enjoy how deftly Lenny Bruce makes you think about things that most people don't want to consider, simply because the very thought of them is offensive.

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Where is the Lenny Bruce of this era?

Before reading his Autobiography, I thought Lenny Bruce was just a stand up comic who got in trouble for using dirty words in his performance. I had no idea how adept he was as a serious social commentator. He was spot on in his comedy as he revealed the hypocrisy of ‘the establishment.’ As well, he fought like a tiger for the 1st Amendment, which, our current generation of leaders, from both sides, want to trample into Soviet-Like silence.

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About 50% of this book is interesting.

The other half is rambling and bizarre, hard-to-follow stories. I found it a decent read but don't quite buy all the hype. If you are a fan or just interested in post-war history definitely read it. If you are neither then I'd assume you'd be like me and find it just ok.

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horrible narrator

shame for a book by a renowned stand up comedy,the last half of every sentence is breathless。

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fascinating story, annoying narration

A really compelling story. Overall I really enjoyed it but after a while Reich's attempt at impersonation becomes annoying. He sounds nothing like Bruce and more like Larry from the Three Stooges.

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important piece of American history

Lenny Bruce was such an astounding person. I don't believe that without him we would have Richard Pryor Rodney Dangerfield Bill Burr or any other great comic. he has made such an impact on freedom of speech laws. the material and this book is still so relevant today it's shocking. a great listen

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Court reports

If you like reading court records. Then this is a book for you. Help me my brain dropped today from this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthony Christie
  • 08-09-20

Brilliant performance by the narrator

Works really well as an audio book. Gives a great insight into the man and his life.

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  • Scott
  • 12-27-17

Just great.

Not only a legend of the craft of stand up, but the trailblazer. An honest & insightful listen into the great mans' life.

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  • Jason Starling
  • 10-11-19

fantastic audio

captured the essence of Bruce, worthwhile listen excellent stuff gonna listen again it was excellent