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Brain Droppings

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  15,332 ratings  ·  491 reviews
George Carlin's been working the crowd since "the counterculture" became "the over-the-counter culture" around 1967 or so; his new book, Brain Droppings, surfs on three decades of touring-in-support. It's the purest version of book-as-candy that one could imagine, serving up humor in convenient, bite-sized packages. Snack on chewy one-liners like "A meltdown sounds like ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 22nd 1998 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  15,332 ratings  ·  491 reviews


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Mousetrap
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy
I was in my high school English class, when our instructor wanted us to choose a book to read, and afterwards, write the author with questions that came up during the reading. I chose "Brain Droppings" as I enjoyed George Carlin's stand-up routine and had seen him live before. The book was hilarious, as expected.

After reading, I wrote Mr. Carlin with a series of questions that came up during the reading. I did not hear back from him during the school year, which was fine, according to our
...more
Mina Soare
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, social, dark, political
"My motto? "F**k hope". P.S. In case you're wondering, I'm a joyful individual [...] I'm a personal optimist, but a skeptic about all else"

Carlin efficiently kicks away all the crutches we use to justify the stupid things we live with.
dara
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009

A PLACE FOR YOUR STUFF:
Hi! How are ya? You got your stuff with you? I'll bet you do. Guys have stuff in their pockets; women have stuff in their purses. Of course, some women have pockets, and some guys have purses. That's okay. There's all different ways of carryin' your stuff.

Then there's all the stuff you have in your car. You got stuff in the trunk. Lotta different stuff: spare tire, jack, tools, old blanket, extra pair of sneakers. Just in case you wind up barefoot on the highway some
...more
Debbie Zapata
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019sundaze
I liked this book much better than Napalm & Silly Putty. George was not nearly so irritated and crass here. Of course irritated crassness is part of George's personality, but this book did not make me as uncomfortable as the other one did.

There were a few poetic gems hidden in these pages, such as this:
"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music."

And some giggle inducers, such as this:
"You can lead a gift horse to water in the middle of the stream, but you can't
...more
Jim
Feb 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm listened to the audio book edition, read by Carlin himself. Since so much of his humor relies on the delivery, I think this was the best way to appreciate it. I am going to try to read his book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? & I'll see how that goes.

The book is really just a bunch of his regular comedic material. His lists of things that piss him off, him tearing apart various sayings or making fun of people. It was good to listen to at the end of a frustrating day.

He had me
...more
britt_brooke
Oct 17, 2008 rated it liked it
“No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.”

Reread this via audio while doing mountains of laundry earlier. I read it in print a few years ago, but UNsurprisingly, the audio is better. I miss George
...more
Girish
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
George Carlin is one of my favorite comedians who made grumpy cynical 60 year olds cool. So when i took this book, i was looking forward to a lot of laughs that makes me think. I had quite not taken into account how much his delivery played a role! So, the book in effect looked like George Carlin's twitter account with brainy one liners that were more a 'yeah-funny' than laugh out loud.

The book has 3 types of themes - one based on language and word play which is joke book material. The other is
...more
thewestchestarian
Jul 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Recycled gold. In 2008 George Carlin faced something he rarely faced in his stand-up comedy career – dying. Put simply Carlin was, to borrow Muhammad Ali’s phrase, the greatest of all time. No other stand-up comic was able to elicit laughs from audience across six decades or was as much a master of the full range of stand-up comedy types. Carlin did observational humor better than Seinfeld, shock humor better than the equally deceased Sam Kinison, ranting topical humor better than the now ...more
Kelly
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
This is fun to dip in and out of but I just feel like George Carlin is funnier when you actually listen to him/watch him. This doesn't capture his wit very well.
Stinky Girl
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the funnyest books I have ever read. It is written by my favorite. George Carlon Rest In Peace.
Nicholas Armstrong
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Okay, I think I should write more because honestly, when am I going to write about Carlin again? I don't think that many colleges accept dissertations on comedians but hey, if they do, I have a kick ass one in the works.

So I don't really remember the first time I heard George Carlin's stand-up, some time looooong ago, but the earliest I recall is when my dad got a double-cd collection of his stand-up and put it on when we went to the drive-in theater (who still does that?). I was in the back of
...more
Carrie
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely hilarious!! I was a big fan of George Carlin and his somewhat sarcastic humor for years so when I saw this book I couldn't resist picking it up. Definitely the George I remember and made me miss him all the more. I just couldn't stop laughing for a lot of this. My favorite part was probably the rant about "stuff", so so true. I have too much stuff, I continue to collect stuff, I've wished I had a bigger house for my stuff, I've gone on vacation bringing too much stuff and then buying ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
I think that the late George Carlin was probably one of the funniest men who ever graced the entertainment industry. This book is typical Carlin.......irreverant, sometimes profane, clever as hell, and an inducer of belly laughs. It is made up of little vignettes and one liners which will make you pass milk through your nose if your are unlucky enough to be drinking it at the time you are reading. He could take a common situation and turn it into a psychedelic experience. We lost a great talent ...more
Michelle
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hardy-har-har
This book induced absolutely hysterical laughing fits, so much that the other people in my house would come to check on me and make sure I was alright, only to have my hilarity spread to them without even hearing more than one or two words, which was all I could get out before cracking up again.

My husband and I saw Carlin do stand-up about 5 years ago, and he was great, but this book is AWESOME!!! If you like Carlin, read it.
Montzalee Wittmann
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rtc
Matt
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not my idea of funny. If you like sarcastic, mean and irreverent humor you might enjoy this. I didn't. The first 25 pages or so I would snicker at and hope it would get better. The next 125 I tried to "get" his humor. Lots of word play and puns. Still not my style and I wasn't snickering to myself anymore. I was waiting to find something to laugh at. From page 150 or so until the end of the book I was skimming though long stretches. Probably the most interesting part was Carlin poking fun at his ...more
Lukasz Pruski
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"They say if you outlaw guns, only outlaws and criminals will have guns. Well, shit, those are precisely the people who need them."

Note to myself: Never again read a collection of George Carlin's musing on the trolley, when commuting to work! The trolley was quite crowded, only one available seat which I took, my co-passengers cramped and then I started exploding with laughter. I did everything to contain myself: to no avail! Poor people around me were stiff with fear of this giggling maniac in
...more
Rachel
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
My roomates had this book back in 2001. I read a few pages in the middle, including the part about the very strange phoneomenon known as sleeping, and ever since then, I always wanted to get it from the library and read the whole thing.

Well, finally, I DID! I liked it ... I got a kick out of George Carlin's in your face, irreverent style of humor. I laughed out loud in lots of parts and was bored but dutifully reading on in other parts ... pretty much what I expected from a 258-page version of a
...more
Evan
This book proves, to me anyway, that there is something to be said for editorial selection. When Carlin (a hero of mine, btw) was on stage, he -- like all comics -- had to pare it down the essentials: the tried-and-true tested stuff that he knew would get the laughs. His routines were honed gemlike and glittering with gems. No filler, no fat, no "brain droppings," as it were.

There are a million laughs and "ah ha! touche'" moments in this book, almost literally, but there are a lot of groaners
...more
Loyd
Dec 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Carlin was a master of words, which is his blessing and curse. It's impossible to imagine comedians such as Mitch Hedberg and Steven Wright existing without Carlin's example. Brain Droppings is a "greatest hits" of classic observations, such as "The Difference Between Baseball and and Football" and "A Place for My Stuff." But it also is an endless list of oxymorons, tricky wordplay and quirks of language that are hilarious in small doses, but can get tedious when confronted by dozens in one ...more
David
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
Huge fan of George Carlin's stand-up comedy; in fact, he's in my top three. But Brain Droppings was a letdown, of sorts. The ideas and witticisms presented by Carlin were too inconsistent, meaning there were far more "sighs" than laugh-out-loud moments. Having read the book more than a decade after its release may have played into this as well, considering many of the references are quite dated (pagers, fax machines, Dukakis, etc.)

If you're a die-hard Carlin fan and must consume everything he
...more
Christian
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only die-hard Carlin fans
Shelves: own, disappointed
I like Carlin, I really do. But this book was a big disappointment. There are some small essays that are really good, despite often being not originally new material, things you've heard him say before. They're still fun. But most of the rest is comprised of one-liners, lists of words, list of fictional book-titles, sometimes an eyebrow is raised, sometimes a smile is just around the corner, but the book isn't as good as it is made to be. Maybe I had entirely wrong ideas what the book would be, ...more
Tuyet
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sir George Cardin gets an incredible ability of observating things. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this book, but some parts were quite hard to grasp his jokes, tho. These jokes might be a little rough, dark for some and yet despite his bitterly violent humor, bet that one still found some interesting points of view which worth to think.
So, why dont you do yourself a favor and read this funny nonsense one
...more
Menglong Youk
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brain Droppings is a collection of materials that George Carlin used for his stand-up comedy. Filled with hilarious, thought-provoking, and sometimes silly ideas and stories, this book is perfect to read after a long day at work or school. My favorite part was the story of a tribe leader first introduced Ritual Human Sacrifice; it was a totally new and hilarious piece of writing.

I highly recommend the audiobook version read by the author himself if you want a full Carlin Impact.
Romina
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Someone finally agrees with me. Moths are creepy. Don't like their unnerving unpredictable flying patterns. Not that all that hanging about light bulbs helps.
Michael Kress
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1990s
I listened to this on audio book during a long road trip, and it was perfect for that because there's no plot to follow and not a lot of intricate details that you must understand while you're concentrating on the road. It was read by the author, which is always a plus. Even though he claims at the start of the book to really be an optimist, I can't help but think it would have been hard to come up with most of his material without being a little bitter. In typical Carlin fashion, he ridicules ...more
Katherine
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I miss George Carlin. I wonder what he would have made of the world we live in now, especially considering how much he disliked the America of his own time. I imagine he would be just as pissed off as he is in this book.

At times reflective, at times sociopathic, and always pretty random, this is a collection of Carlin's random thoughts, from global warming to Baby boomers, to oxymoronic words. It's almost better read out loud, to share the laughs with someone else.
Donna Davis
Mar 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
To say I read this book is deceptive. Please note that it is on my list of books I abandoned, and I made the unusual move of abandoning it after the preface. I didn't want to walk away without leaving a footprint, though. I wasn't bored, and I didn't fail to be engaged. I was pissed.

Here is a guy that I had begun to believe was sort of a latter-day Lenny Bruce, a First Amendment hero, a champion of free speech. But he wasn't. He was just a rotten guy with a dirty mouth.

Bruce was edgy for a
...more
Christ
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed this book. George Carlin was one of my favorite comedians, and I was so disappointed and upset when he died in 2008. There aren’t too many books that I really take a lot of time into reading. This is a book that you can read in small increments, and put down and be satisfied, and pick it right back up 20 minutes later. This is just a notebook of all of George Carlins best observations on life. Each one just as funny, if not funnier, than the last. George Carlin really makes ...more
Jeanette
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it
As with all of Carlin's stuff, some of this is hilarious, and some of it is just so-so. I happen to really like him because he says exactly what he thinks, and he ponders things most of us never consider. And he's not afraid of offending anyone. I myself have been on occasion offended by some of his stuff, but I still like him anyway.
My favorite sections in all of his books are the Short Takes. That's where I get the best laffs!
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George Denis Patrick Carlin was a Grammy-winning American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and philosopher.

Carlin was especially noted for his political and black humor and his observations on language, psychology, and religion along with many taboo subjects. Carlin and his "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which
...more
“People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.'

If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen.

They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.'

So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.”
1908 likes
“I've begun worshipping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, and a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to 'God' are all answered at about the same 50% rate.” 573 likes
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