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Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  2,029 ratings  ·  123 reviews
In 1993, network executives abruptly cut the final appearance of comedian Bill Hicks - a scathing tirade of digs on the Pope and the pro-life movement - from an episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. His banning from the show, along with a profile in The New Yorker by veteran writer John Lahr, catapulted Hicks to national prominence. Just months later, at age 32, h ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published January 30th 2004 by Constable & Robinson (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anita Dalton
So it was disappointing as hell not to love this book. In fact, it was disgusting to realize that during large sections, I was bored. The problem is not Bill. The problem is the editing. The idea behind the book was to show Bill’s comedy routines as he performed them throughout his career so that the reader can see how Bill’s routines evolved over time. The problem with this approach is two-fold:

First, Bill Hicks had the same message throughout his career. Bill Hicks’ message stayed on point mor
...more
Mags
I love a good autobiography and I have mostly been disappointed by biographies. I purchased this because it was billed as autobiography.
The forward by John Lahr was mostly full of the worst kinds of biography - "Bill hated ### as his cousin told me he had heard his mother say that Bill had said to her" You know the sort of thing, nothing that wasn't conjecture or extrapolation from public record. It did then start to give more interesting information - most particularly about his diagnosis with
...more
Adam Reid
"Love All The People."

Love All The People is a great book, if you're a fan of Bill Hicks of course. There isn't another comedian like him, he was unique in his day and still is to this day today.

The main problem with this book, which seems to be a common problem for most, is that a lot of his material is repeated in the chapters which are basically a script of his stand up routines. They have their slight differences, different audience participation, but the punch line is always the same. Being
...more
James
Depending on your point of view, Bill Hicks was a comic genius or a crass boor. To his admirers, Hicks was a stand-up comedian in the tradition of Lenny Bruce - smart, direct, uncompromising, using humour to sugar his bitter invectives against hypocrisy, injustice and wilful ignorance. His detractors saw only a shock-comic who used free speech as an excuse for bad language and bad behaviour. It's unlikely that this book will bring the twain closer together, but it may help those who loved or loa ...more
Priyan
Whether or not your are a fan of Bill Hicks is unlikely to change the fact this book swiftly becomes a chore to read. The idea is sound: provide excerpts from Hicks' routines over the years to show their evolution, and the book is open about the fact this will necessitate some level of repetition.

However the minimal editing, with huge routines quoted verbatim, offers no real sense of evolution at all. The result is that there is little point to re-reading the same jokes and the whole affair beco
...more
Ellie
Always brilliant, mordantly funny. Of course, it's better to read Hicks having seen his work (check out YouTube if you haven't seen him). His voice is special and much missed, at least by me. As one of my books says, and I often wonder, "What would Bill Hicks say?"
Steve
Like almost all anti-establishment figures who died before their time, Bill's premature death served to seal his reputation as an almost godlike figure. Easy to be cynical about that of course, but also worth remembering that to be timeless you need a special something in the first place. Bill was no saint, no genius, and his arguments were not always as watertight as they might at first have appeared. But reading his material 16 years on - and reflecting on everything that's happened since - he ...more
Jordan Lewis
Possibly the most thought provoking, contriving & controversial stand-up genius of my time, funnier than Eddie Murphy, cursed way more than Richard Pryor, smoked more than a chimney & drank more than Amy Winehouse but he made MORE sense than any politician in any cabinet that I've ever heard;...

His only rival was his own inspiration, Lenny Bruce;....
Susan
Love Bill Hicks. Love... This book, not so much...
Ryk
Jun 29, 2009 Ryk rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with a shred of intelligence and spirit.
This man is God. I am in love with his brain.
Kariss Ainsworth
i was disappointed, its way too repetitive
Esa Ruoho
Ya know all those famous Bill Hicks standup routines that we've all listened to endlessly? The ones on Relentless, Sane Man, Revelations, Dangerous, Arizona Bay, Rant in E-Minor, Flying Saucer Tour Vol.1, Shock and Awe, etc..?

Well, what if you could have all of them in a book, complete with transcripts of interviews done of Bill Hicks around 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994?

If you know the materials as well as I do, you know that there is a lot of overlap and similarities over the years. And onc
...more
Stephen Clynes
This book is absolute rubbish and I will vote it the minimum of one star on Goodreads . The content does not work as a book and it is the worst book I have ever read. Love All the People never moves on because it is so shallow in content. Bill's stand up routines are repeated time and time again as an account of each venue is replayed. His routines revolve around the war on drugs, how musicians have used drugs to become creative, magic mushrooms, smoking, the Kennedy asassination, the Waco seige ...more
Josh
"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit."
-Bill Hicks 1994 (Within a month of his death)

While one may dismiss Bill as a cynic who had a wretched disposition toward humanity, this sentence dispells such perception and accurately reveals Hicks' true character. He was a funny and loving individual who left this world far too soon. With heightened intellect, he sought truth and through the art of comedy, he boldly delivered his find
...more
Patrick
I had had no idea who Bill Hicks was until some years ago when I picked up Tool's "Aenima" CD. Buried in the liner notes is the dedication to the genius of Bill Hicks. So I started Googling and discovered that I, who loves stand-up comedy and who grew up on Carlin and Martin, had somehow missed out on the subversive, abrasive and relentless Hicks.

One reason for this is that he died in early 1994 of pancreatic cancer, just as he was gaining critical mass in America's "comedy scene". Another was
...more
Steven
Nietzsche once said of Dostoevsky that "he is the only psychologist from whom I have anything to learn". I repeat these words here to say that Bill Hicks is the only comedian from whom I have anything to learn.

Billy is probably the only person who, without ever having met, I love with all of my heart.

This book was mostly composed of transcripts from his shows. I liked the footnotes, which clarified some of the popular references with which I wasn't always familiar. I also enjoyed, generally, se
...more
Tony Hightower
Bill Hicks needs a compendium of his words, writings and thoughts, similar to Kafka's "Parables and Paradoxes," or the collections of the great rock critics of the 1970's (specifically Lester Bangs, Richard Meltzer & Nick Tosches). This is not that collection. Sure, it has the texts of all his commercially available recordings, as well as numerous interview transcripts, noteboook entries and correspondence from various parts of his life, and his jarring insight and furious zeal for enlighten ...more
Olli Booms
There' s no doubt that Bill Hicks was a groundbreaking comedian who's still relevant today - maybe even more so than he was 20 years ago.

That said, the book presents some problems to a more casual reader. During the five or so years when he was *really* cooking, Bill tended to adjust and develop his program gradually while still keeping the main thrust and a lot of the individual pieces intact. Anyone who has listened to more than one album or watched a couple if DVDs will have found some - wel
...more
Niklas Pivic
Jun 15, 2011 Niklas Pivic rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
What's there to say?

Bill Hicks is a fallen, dark poet. Maybe the dark poet, who didn't like labels on anything. And he certainly didn't like governments sticking their fingers in things, as well as christians, non-smokers, homophobes, rednecks... Endless list.

And he did love the search for truth and the debunking of lies, which - as he states in the book - was once Noam Chomsky's definition of what lays the base for being an intellectual. I think Bill hit the nail straight on its head when he de
...more
TrumanCoyote
Frequently hilarious--but quite repetitious (duplication of monologues). Bigger problem (than the relentlessly commie tone as well)--is the contradictions: we learn that Bill is a misanthrope who thinks people are basically good; and his Message of Love is a bit out of phase with all the people he wants to kill. And this Voice of Reason stuff was pretty Tom Paine-ish--jeez, maybe you should act as if the intervening two hundred years had occurred. And the thing about the Letterman censorship was ...more
Johan
Jul 21, 2008 Johan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Drug users, Hicks fans
Shelves: biographic
As it says on the front page, this book is a collection of routines, letters and lyrics by the great philosopher and stand up comic Bill Hicks. There’s transcriptions of a number of his shows all through his career. I’ve listened to the shows so many times that it wasn’t really necessary to read through them on paper, although there’s some nice explanations in foot notes to some of the people and events Bill refers to in his acts.

This one really gave me a greater insight into the personal philo
...more
Richard
In 1993, network executives abruptly cut the final appearance of comedian Bill Hicks — a scathing tirade of digs on the Pope and the pro-life movement — from an episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. His banning from the show, along with a profile in The New Yorker by veteran writer John Lahr, catapulted Hicks to national prominence. Just months later, at age 32, he died of pancreatic cancer.


Now available for the first time are Hick's most critical and comic observations, gathered from h
...more
Aaron
I would certainly recommend that you listen to his albums or watch his videos before you read this. So much of his humor is in the delivery of his jokes, that you really can't do him justice on the printed page. With that being said, this contains pretty much everything done by Bill Hicks that you'll ever need or want. It contains transcriptions of several of his acts, getting just about everything I've heard him do at one time or another. Also included are his open letter to John Laher in respo ...more
Michael
I loved Bill Hicks's stand-up routines when I saw them on TV (never got to see him live), so I was looking forward to reading this book. It was good initially, but as it provided a transcript of what seemed like every gig he ever did, it quickly got repetitive and stale.

So much of the power of Hicks's performance was in his delivery that the words on their own don't convey his message that well, even when you can picture him in your head. What's missing from this recitation of Hicks's routines i
...more
Jonathan
I'm thrilled that this book exists, but it's a lot like one of those jazz box sets that incorporate the complete recording sessions for an album - it's interesting to follow the evolution of a song in the studio, but all of them? In a row? It takes some serious OCD to listen to that, and it does here as well. In addition, this has the issue that trying to transcribe a spoken word performance to paper is like reading sheet music. Lots of subtleties are lost. That said, if one reads the non-transc ...more
Brian
Watch him on DVD, listen to him on CD but also read this book. It is about truth more than anything else. Bill Hicks may be regarded as a genius of comedy by some but really he was much more than that; he was a truth seeker whose comedy routines were designed with the sole aim of making people think about the modern world and their place in it.
Mark
This book was a fascinating read, as although I'd heard of Bill Hicks from his reputation as an outspoken, but popular US comedian here in the UK (or England has he kept referring to it, we have three other countries you know?!) I knew nothing about his views or material.

I found his point of view enlightening, well thought out and at times hilarious. I wouldn't say I agreed one hundred percent with all of his talking points (you were high on mushrooms not abducted by aliens, sorry Bill).

The only
...more
Will
There's only so much new content here that can be added: if you own all the CDs, then the book is half transcriptions of his routines. The other half is letters from Hicks, a lengthy and touching foreword, and interviews (which can be facepalming in their inanity).

But goddamn, the man was a prophet.
Mark Nunn
Bill Hicks was a fantastic comedian with a very important message and reading this you realise how little has changed and how relevant that message still is.

Reading his letters and interviews gives a great insight in to the man behind the routines and for an Hicks fans the book is worth reading for those alone.

The only problem with the book is that the rest of it, which is the bulk, is transcripts of his routines over the years. These do not vary a lot and it does become very repetitive which is
...more
Justin Clarke
Despite knowing the routines pretty well this book contained a lot of other fascinating reference material such as letters and newspaper interviews that added depth to Bill Hicks, his mode of thinking, and his work.

A must read for anyone who likes his comedy but wants some more context.
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hicks 7 27 Dec 24, 2013 09:07AM  
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144990
William Melvin Hicks was an American stand-up comedian.

Finding moderate mainstream success in the late 1980s and early '90s, Hicks tended to balance heady discussion of religion, politics and personal issues with more ribald material; he characterized his own performances as "Chomsky with dick jokes."
More about Bill Hicks...
The Wit and Wisdom of Bill Hicks: Bill Hicks Inspirational Quotes

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“Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them.

"Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years."
"Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?"
"That's right."
"OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?"
"Uh huh."
"Dinosaurs."

You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point:

And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!"
"I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said.
"Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said.
But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"

Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes:

"God put those here to test our faith."
"I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out."

Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter:

"Did you believe in dinosaurs?"
"Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!"
"You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!"
"It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!"
"Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!"

They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it.

Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet.

"Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.”
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“...I just want to be free of the fears and anxieties and the superstitions of religion. An 'avenging GOD'? One who created Hell for those who don't believe? I thought we were the perfect and holy children of GOD? How could any limits possibly be put upon us? Hell.. really? I'm sorry, but... no. Wrong. You're wrong. That's an insane GOD and therefore not mine. Because, see, GOD would be very sane, don't you get it?” 61 likes
More quotes…