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No Cure for Cancer

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  896 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
An uproarious and lacerating meditation on life and death by celebrated comedian and actor Denis Leary.
Based on the writer-performer s hit Off-Broadway show, this rapid-fire monologue sends up society and its ills disease, drugs, crime, junk culture, the recovery movement, pious political correctness, urban life, and above all, our fear of mortality with wicked satire an
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 16th 1992 by Anchor
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Brian Costin
Sep 10, 2012 Brian Costin rated it it was ok
I loved this in the nineties when it came out. I though Denis was irreverent, shocking, and very funny. Then, in my constant research and love of standup, I discovered Bill Hicks. Bill Hicks, who died right before this came out. Bill Hicks, whose jokes flood this book. Bill Hicks, who was smarter and funnier than Leary could ever dream of being- although Denis is definitely the better actor. There are often overlaps in comedians' thoughts and hearts, and I am sure that Bill and Denis may have sh ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Tommy rated it it was ok
Basically, Denis' routine in writing, so the use of BOLD LETTERS to express his moments of shouting don't convey the energy and faux, but fun, anger of Leary's early stand-up.

I prefer to hear or see Denis in action. I think he was aiming for 'performance artist' status here by publishing his material a'la transcription, but it loses something in translation. This material requires Leary's attitude, voice, and manic energy to sell it. Skip the book, find the CD or DVD instead.
Jul 29, 2008 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
I'm a big Denis Leary fan ("Rescue Me" = Best. TV. Show. Ever.) but reading him isn't quite the same as seeing him. The snark doesn't fully translate to the written page. To boot, a lot of the references -- to Kitty Dukakis's drinking and CD players as the height of technology -- are way outdated since this was published in the early '90s.

Still, it's Denis Leary. And he's brilliant. I'll read/watch/buy whatever he's offering.
Sep 24, 2013 Tracy rated it did not like it
just not that funny to me.
Oct 07, 2012 Molly rated it liked it
Made me laugh so hard I was shaking while reading it on the subway. So much so that people around me started asking me what I was reading.
Andy Theyers
Sep 06, 2008 Andy Theyers rated it it was amazing
Joe DeRouen
Dec 26, 2012 Joe DeRouen rated it really liked it
Hilarious book, Leary at his very best.
Jack Gattanella
Mar 12, 2014 Jack Gattanella rated it really liked it
Actually reading this book, which is basically the special of the same name Leary did in the early 90's, made me think he did NOT rip off Hicks as much as everyone says he does. There's extra material here of the same vein and, for me, Leary and Hicks were what I call apples and oranges growing on the same farm. They had misanthropic, fuck-you humor and insights on pop culture and life in general, but to me the big difference is in delivery - Hicks was a bit calmer, more contemplative, the moonc ...more
Apr 03, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
3.5 stars, really, but not enough to push it up to 4 stars. Much as I enjoy Denis Leary's aggressive insult comedy, it's very situationally specific (as all comedy is, to some extent, but his particularly so), and without some quite particular cultural reference points, a lot of his jokes would fall flat. So if you're feeling nihilistic, if ever life gets you down, then by all means get into this material. Otherwise, it's just exhausting.
Dec 02, 2014 RJ rated it liked it
This is not a traditional book, but rather a script/transcript of a one man play, written and performed by Denis Leary. It came out over 20 years ago. Some of the topics are dated. For me, as someone who creates original content every day, the best part was getting a glimpse at the author's development as a comedian and performer. Leary seems to have that unusual quality of not caring who he offends. The priority is authenticity and originality rather than popularity.
Dec 18, 2011 Jennie rated it liked it
The "script" version of his famous stand-up routine. I was in love with him when it came out and still kinda am. Angry Leary at his best with many jokes he has referred to over the years in other film and tv programs. Geared more toward the die hard fan or up and coming stand-up writer looking for performance pointers. Crazy cool.
I think this would have been better if I watched the performance not read it. It's funny in some separate parts but as a whole it lacked comedy.
I like Leary's sarcasm and sense of humor. I'm a big fan of Why We Suck but this one didn't do it for me.
May 04, 2011 Ian rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This is supposed to be genre-changing material, but reading it many years after it was written it feels a bit stale. Also there's only so much I can find funny about drug use as a non-user.

There are some good bits but I ended up skimming the last part of the book.

Govinda Parasrampuria
Dec 13, 2013 Govinda Parasrampuria rated it it was ok
Shelves: humour
I did not really enjoy it. Read it during a train journey to kill time, so no regrets.
It had a few funny moments but mostly a guy boring with his stand up gig.
Would not recommend this to anyone, better books still out there.
Feb 20, 2008 Kaplan rated it did not like it
to actually read this is retarded...He did an entire stand up comedy on it. Unfortunately, I've read it.
Vincent Eaton
Dec 05, 2010 Vincent Eaton rated it liked it
Amusing in parts, from 20 years ago; written down stand-up.
Elena Pochia
Feb 17, 2014 Elena Pochia rated it liked it
A nice book. Not what i was expecting definitely. Is not a sad book and either a book about cancer, is more a funny reading about all types of things in live, told by an american comedian.
Nov 04, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it
Denis, ahem...
May 04, 2009 Traci added it
laugh out loud funny!
Jamie Sigal
Jul 29, 2011 Jamie Sigal rated it liked it
It's just like reading the album of the video of the live show. Good fun for a long bath.
Jul 02, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I would find this so amusing now, or if I would be amused with whatever he's working on now, but at the time I thought he was brilliant.
Jul 06, 2016 Sailco26 rated it liked it
Basically a transcription of the show, taken from several shows. Entertaining, easy read, but nothing special.
Aug 05, 2011 Iuliana rated it it was ok
it's a few years since I read this, and i remember really looking forward to it. I thought it was dreadful, maybe i just didn't get it. I love a good rant, but this was definitely not one of them.
Karen DK
Nov 11, 2014 Karen DK rated it it was ok
I really like Denis Leary, but a transcription of his stand-up set as a book just doesn't work and lacks any comedy.
May 05, 2013 Rachna rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, humour
Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Funny in parts. But there's a reason it's called stand up comedy - you're not supposed to read it.
Oct 18, 2011 Rosie rated it liked it
typical Denis Leary stuff
Aug 30, 2012 Subu rated it liked it
Not really great...stand up comedy should never be read...lots of stuff on drugs which became a bit repetitive...this was however the first book I read on my iPad
Cheryl rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2014
rob rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2015
Shawn Fleming
Shawn Fleming rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2013
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Denis Leary is a five-time loser at the Emmy awards. And the Golden Globes. He has lost in both the drama and comedy categories. In leading and supporting roles. Not to mention writing. Leary hopes to one day be nominated for—and more than likely not win—an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Tony Award. His first literary foray Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid was a New Yor ...more
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