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A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Truly the voice of a generation, George Carlin gave the world some of the most hysterical and iconic comedy routines of the last fifty years. From the "Seven Dirty Words" to "A Place for My Stuff," to "Religion is Bullshit," he perfected the art of making audiences double over with laughter while simultaneously making people wake up to the realities (and insanities) of ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by St. Martin's Press
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Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sometimes, Things are Better Left Unsaid …

This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free copy of the book.

Yeah, I was a George Carlin fan. I became a hit in my dorm as a freshman when I brought a cassette recording of “Carlin at Carnegie” and peppering “Carlinisms” into conversations became a staple that entire school year. In addition to owning his books, I consider seeing him live in 1996 as an entertainment milestone in my life (along with seeing Stevie Ray
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Having seen George Carlin perform at a theatre in the round back in the 70s, I was always a big fan. I remember leaving the show with extremely sore muscles in my cheeks from smiling and laughing so much. My brother was along; and I'm sure that when I commented that my face hurt, his reply in true brotherly fashion was that it was killing him too.

George's only child, daughter Kelly, has written a lovely tribute to George here. Narrated personally by her, she shares the fun as well as the dark
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
I listened to the audiobook version. I did really like the book. However, I was not crazy about how Kelly Carlin read for the audiobook. I do really enjoy how she writes. I could see how some people might not like her since she does seem very entitled. But that surprisingly didn't bother me. I thought she was also very self aware of how she came across and just owned it.

It was a roller coaster ride and sometimes I felt myself screaming at her in my head "Why?!?!? Why would you do that?!?!?!"
Becky Carleton
Nov 01, 2015 rated it did not like it

Full disclosure: I returned this book to the library without finishing it. I just couldn't take any more pathetic celebrity name-dropping. When Carlin bragged about bedding Leif Garrett--"Nothing could possibly top having sex with Leif Garrett in Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett's bed"--even the Tiger Beat teen inside me felt embarrassed for her. I had wanted to read her biography after seeing Kelly Carlin shine on the irreverently funny YouTube talk show, Getting Doug with High, especially since
Retha Cameron
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot. If you were looking for a "feel good" story about George Carlin this is not the book for you.
This is an honest, sometimes painful, sometimes humorous, story of Kelly Carlin's life not a biography of the comic America loved.
Kelly's style of writing sucked me in and kept me wanting to read all day until I finished.

*** I received this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway ****
Dec 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
A book by Kelly Carlin . . . about Kelly Carlin. Do not mistake this for a perspective on her father George. He wrote his own autobiography shortly before he passed (rip.) He was indeed everything the blurb says but that's not what this book is about.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
George Carlin is my all-time favorite comedian, so I was very interested in finding out what he was like as a father. I have to say I was a little disappointed. I would think he would be the most fun dad ever. A laugh a minute. Not so. He was largely an absent parent and when he was home he wasnt always present due to drug and alcohol use by him and his wife. His wife was the bigger drug and alcohol user and her mental issues kept her from being the best parent. But his love for his wife and ...more
Lee Anne
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
If you pick up this book expecting the life of George Carlin, put it back down. What it is, instead, is an unintentionally revealing look at "difficult" life of the child of a celebrity.

Having heard Kelly Carlin on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast, where she was funny and sharp, I was expecting this book to be more of the same. Instead, it's an overly long, soul-searching memoir that would be a 5th rate Eat, Pray, Love type story if not for her famous father, which is of course the only reason anyone
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Having watched George barking at his own shadows for decades, nothing in this memoir came as any surprise as it relates to his behavior. I did, however, enjoy the account of his supposed startled reaction upon his death - I like to believe he barreled into a sudden realization totally contradictory to what he perceived all his troubled, angry, insecure life.
His daughter sadly disappoints. She tells us how she worshipped him, allowing that worship to color and distort her own life, yet, knowing
Chris Brimmer
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Quite the book, a family biography. Kelly Carlin is by turns a child/adult in a dysfunctional home, a spoiled teen unaware of her opportunities, victim, perpetrator, adult/child dependent on her father, but most of all member of a battered but unbowed family. The book by turns is funny, horrifying, sad and genuine. Three stories of a search for identity are woven together and the tapestry is rich. If you grew up with a parent with a substance abuse problem you see yourself and your struggle ...more
Bookish Jen
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’ll never forget the first time I heard of the late comedian George Carlin. I was at the tail end of my sixth grade year. Mr. S, my teacher, was driving a bunch of us silly twelve-year-old girls to a camping site where our entire class would stay for several days. Other kids in our class rode along with some of the parents who chose to chaperone this outing. Alas, my mother, too bougie for camping, decided to stay home.

Being a nosy bunch, my fellow sixth grade sisters began to snoop around Mr.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I will blame myself for not really understanding that this book was a memoir about Kelly Carlin, with George in a supporting role. Perhaps if I had done my own homework I would have enjoyed it more or not read it at all.

I vaguely knew that George had a daughter and wife, I certainly had no idea that Kelly was doing anything in showbiz, so I read most of the book with a very judgmental eye, even though I kept telling myself to stop judging her.

She had a crap childhood. Both parents were addicts,
Leah K
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up With George by Kelly Carlin
336 pages

I’m a big George Carlin fan. And something about him reminds me about my dad – maybe it’s the humor, maybe it’s the look, not sure. But every time I watch one of his specials, a small twinge of missing my dad springs up. So if you’re a big fan, should you read this? Only a soft maybe.

It is a good book! But it’s not a book about George Carlin, it’s a book about his daughter and as is expected, it focuses heavily on her. She
Tracy Goode
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because I'm such a huge George Carlin fan. I had the pleasure of seeing him why in 1998 Anderson Indiana of all places. I think he was prepping for one of his HBO specials and I've never laughed so hard in my life. Kelly Carline has written a profound memoir of her journey of not so much living in the shadow of her famous father but riding through a storm of her childhood and how that shapes her life.
This book is real raw funny painful and beautiful all at once. Her
John Bunyan
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I read this book as a fan of George Carlin because I wanted to know more about him, and the book gave me that. But, obviously, it's not a biography of George, it's a memoir of Kelly. It's pretty good as a memoir but if she wasn't George's daughter I wouldn't read it. I didn't relate to her. Anything negative about my experience reading the book is purely my fault as it was my choice to read it. Kelly did a fine job of writing - I'm just saying I wouldn't recommend it unless you really are ...more
Dennis McCrea
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm a huge fan of George Carlin and it pains me to rate this so low but I almost didn't finish this book. Kelly's large swaths of whiny, self-entitled navel-gazing seems like something that George would have railed against. Perhaps I was expecting something else, but it was too much Kelly stuff and not enough about George. I powered through the last third of the audiobook on 2x speed and will be watching clips of George on Youtube as a palate cleanser.
Bonnye Reed
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Very interesting book, in a poor little rich girl sort of way. Kelly does graciously and with humility grow up, however, and become a productive member of society. And the insights into the transformation are life lessions we all need to obtain. I must say that dispite the fact that I have always adored George, this look into his life somewhat dimmed the glow for me. Kelly truely was the only adult in her life at the age of 5 or 6.
Kathleen Gray
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This is much more a reflection of Kelly's life than of George's. While well written, it is more descriptive than insightful. It read somewhat clinicly as though it was read by an attorney before release. told me nothing new about george (one of my favorite comedians) or his life. thanks, though, for the ARC.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
More than celebrity tell-all, Carlin's debut is a memoir of a childhood steeped in chaos and the long road to healing the wounds of the past. For anyone who's lost a parent or loved one, "A Carlin Home Companion" is a must read.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
George Carlin was a very funny man. Why that made me think I would enjoy this book I don't know. His daughter's life was just not interesting, at all.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I laughed I cried. Great read!
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
reads like a diary, the writing needs WORK. ack.
Cindy Fisher
Nov 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
I didn't enjoy reading about spoiled, bratty rich kids from Beverly Hills.
John Morrison
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book through the giveaways. A little depressing but very interesting. Had to keep reading it.
Peggy Lacorazza
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Pretty good read. Last two chapters were kind of annoying and unnecessary.
Garrison Kelly
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Growing up as the daughter of legendary comedian George Carlin presented itself with some unique challenges as well as heartfelt moments for Kelly. Whether she helped her parents through drug addictions, they helped her through toxic romances, or she forced herself to confront her parents’ deaths and become her own creative beacon, Kelly Carlin’s life story was never short on exciting and sorrowful milestones. Her love of comedy, creativity, music, and life in general was shaped and influenced ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The subtitle reads, "Growing up with George." Who grew up with George? Kelly! Many of these reviewers thought the book was about her father. It's by and about the daughter and I have no problem with that.

The first half is a detailed account of her early years and goes into great detail about the whole family's drug and alcohol abuse. I wanted to give up, but then I couldn't close the book without knowing how her adult life would turn out.

The second half was much more interesting and moved much
Robert Federline
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up, thinking it was a biography on George Carlin. It is, instead, an autobiography of his daughter, Kelly Carlin. But it does not disappoint.
You will find yourself caring about Kelly and the many events in her life which she relates. You may be jealous because she is George Carlin's daughter, but you will also find yourself sympathizing with her because of the challenges of being George Carlin's daughter.
This book is funny, entertaining and sweet and touching.
Growing up with George
Jennifer Daugherty
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is fine. As a fan of the elder Carlin, it's fun to hear stories about the man not just the performer. The narrative rambles at times. Plus, for someone who talks at length about their writing skills, she uses the same phrases over and over. I actually screamed out loud in my car at the 37th use of "every cell in my body wanted..." There are also some unnecessary digs at celebrities.
It was a fine book for a road trip. I give it a solid meh.
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KELLY CARLIN was born in Ohio in 1963. She received her Master's Degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She presently tours her critically acclaimed solo show, "A Carlin Home Companion," hosts two radio shows--The Kelly Carlin Show on SiriusXM and Waking from the American Dream on SModcast Network, and blogs for the Huffington Post. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bob McCall and their ...more