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Extended Audio Sample Last Words: A Memoir Audiobook, by George Carlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.85 out of 53.85 out of 53.85 out of 53.85 out of 53.85 out of 5 3.85 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George Carlin Narrator: Patrick Carlin Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781442303195
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As one of America's most pre-eminent comedians, with 50 years worth of material and appearances on the international comedy circuit, George Carlin saw it all and made fun of most of it. Blending his signature acerbic humor with never before told stories from his own life, Last Words is part comedy routine, part reflection, and all original. Written with bestselling author Tony Hendra, Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy and commentary of the last century.

Carlin's journey to stardom began in the rough and tumble neighborhoods of New York in the 1940s and '50s, where class and culture wars planted the seeds for some of his earliest material. Carlin describes his major influences as an up and coming comic, talking about the origins of some of his most famous stand up routines including the notorious Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television. Sparing no detail, Carlin describes his life and career, discussing his own battle with substance abuse, his turbulent relationships with his family, and the unique worldview that informed so much of his stand up. From the high points on stage to the low points few knew about, read by his brother Patrick Carlin, Last Words is George Carlin's life told with the same unblinking honesty that defined his comedy and made him one of the best loved comedians in American history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Frank and insightful.”

    Time

  • “The book is at turns biting and touching, and often both, which is what you would expect from a man for whom the sacred was profane and the profane, sacred.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “This is not a collection of setups and punch lines, but a candid, fearless accounting of his life and art...Last Words shows a comic master at the height of his storytelling powers and with no limit to what he had left to say.”

    LA Times

  • “For comedy fans, this book is vital. It's easily worth its weight in gold for the biting observations on showbiz and its personalities.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Seven particular words are associated with the late comedian George Carlin, and sentimental is not one of them. But that's the surprising portrait that emerges from Last Words.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 2/13/2014

    " Lovely last chapter about the wisdom of managing to rise above the "must take sides" political climate of the day. Some of the pieces were just hilarious. Others were heartbreaking. RIP a true comedic genius. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Jennings | 1/30/2014

    " Carlin is an under rated comic genius who pushed the boundaries of mainstream society. As much as I love everything that he stood for and admire him as a comic, this book should have been better. As far as a biography goes, it haphazardly jumps in somewhat of a chronological order, but I felt like major chunks were missing. The book is at its best when he gets into the intricate workings of his mind when developing certain bits and his on and off relationship with drugs. If you're a big Carlin fan you should check it out. If you're only a semi-fan, just stick to some of his memorable stand-up albums and you'll be good to go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosie Beck | 1/21/2014

    " If you like George's quirky sense of humor you will like this biography. We're gonna miss this old hippie! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff Cameron | 1/20/2014

    " Pretty well written but I lost interest during a lot of thie book. All addicts seem compelled to write about their problem but their stories are all the same. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deni Aria | 1/3/2014

    " A superb memoir of comedian ! Reading thoroughly his life gave me a sense of how words are intellectually affected people's lives! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scarlett | 1/2/2014

    " I've always been a fan of George Carlin's but toward the end of his career there was a change in his humor. What was once biting navigated into bitterness. Still witty, but not my favorite of his. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Manny | 12/31/2013

    " I'm not done with this book, but I don't care. I risked my freedom for this book.. So no matter what it's going to be amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 12/24/2013

    " Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE fan of George Carlin's, have been since I was about 20 years old, if not earlier. I was extremely saddened by his death and it seems that this is a fitting book to be my last in 2009. Last words, indeed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronna Nussbaum-langley | 11/29/2013

    " The last 2 chapters give you a real insight into Carlin's mind. I gave it another star. Worth reading just to get to the last 2 chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 11/3/2013

    " Forgot how much I missed this voice. There's a chapter toward the end of the book, in which he details his writing and editing process in his later years; I read it twice. The book is by turns funny, touching, and thought-provoking, just like much of Carlin's comedy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bernadette Miller | 10/24/2013

    " Enjoyed this book very much. Always a big Carlin fan, and it was great reading about his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ralph | 9/19/2013

    " Gotta love his "sortabiography." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chad | 8/27/2013

    " An engaging look at a 40+ year career of a unique American voice in comedy. Struggles within himself, his family, and in his career, Carlin was paints himself as dedicated to his craft above all else. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 5/24/2013

    " I love Carlin's way of explaining things in such a "skewed but right on the money" kind of way. Growing up Catholic, I totally relate to much of his perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Garner | 2/6/2013

    " If you're a Carlin fan, it's really interesting. Brutally honest with himself about lapses in judgment, control, artistic integrity, but interesting in how his creative process worked (and didn't) through the years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerardo | 6/25/2012

    " This is what George liked to call a "Sortabiography", the life of one of the greatest stand up comedians of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronnie Moore | 6/7/2012

    " If you are a fan of Carlin you will enjoy this autobiography. Carlin details how his material changed from the typical comedian to the political observational comedy of his later years. Carlin was lucky to have lived so long given the drugs and heart attacks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pepper | 4/30/2012

    " Made me laugh, made me cry. One of the best ever. George will always have a special place in my heart. He reminds me what it is like to be human on an every day basis. The book is very well written & a beautiful way to say goodbye. Permanent spot on my bookshelf! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 5/10/2011

    " not what I expected but a good read. probably the best thing to read by Carlin, about Carlin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yosep | 5/6/2011

    " Gave me a whole new appreciation for Georgie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 4/25/2011

    " A look into George's head. Very good read and I loved the NYC trivia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/27/2011

    " This was OK, I was a big Carlin fan, not sure what I was expecting. A good story, good insight on his career. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 3/10/2011

    " Liked the beginning and found the last 75 pages too political and uninteresting. Finished a month or so ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanne | 3/6/2011

    " Honest autobiography by an amazingly creative man, warts and all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 2/8/2011

    " George's brother Patrick reads this audiobook, and his voice is so uncannily similar to George's that is it nearly impossible not to feel that George is reading this!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trinity | 2/4/2011

    " Funny, depressing, all around great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 1/30/2011

    " I would give it seven stars if I could. "

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About the Author
Author George Carlin

George Carlin (1937–2008) was a highly influential, award-winning stand-up comedian, author and performer. Receiving both critical acclaim and popular support throughout his career, his professional accomplishments include twenty-three comedy albums, three bestselling books, fourteen HBO specials and five Grammy wins. He has also been awarded the Freedom of Speech Award and The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.