Justin's Reviews > Last Words

Last Words by George Carlin
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's review
Jan 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 10-best-books-read-in-2010
Read from January 18 to 21, 2010

I'm a big fan of Carlin's comedy acts of the 80s - 00s, but given my age I knew very little about his earlier career or personal life. In Last Words, Carlin recalls his childhood in NYC, his stint in the Air Force, his early comedy success, his transformation from a "clean" comedian in the 60s to a counter-culture force in the 70s, and truly finding his voice in the late 80s through his the latter years of his life.

Along the way he battled drug addiction, his wife's alcoholism, and, what I found most interesting, the internal struggle that despite the success of his early career, he was not being true to himself.

Last Words was at times quite funny, but nothing like his comedy books. There were bits and pieces of his acts, but they were balanced with the raw emotions of his life's peaks and valleys. One thing that struck me quite odd was how he glossed over the death of his wife Brenda. Having spent so much of the book on their relationship and mutual substance abuse, it was weird to have her death only get a couple paragraphs.

Overall, I enjoyed the very easy-to-read book. It made me feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to see him before he passed. After reading Last Words, I have an even greater appreciation for Carlin and will definitely be revisiting his comedy specials and albums.

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Reading Progress

01/18/2010 page 80

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