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Download Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Seven Dirty Words: The Life and Crimes of George Carlin, by James Sullivan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (331 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Sullivan Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The definitive biography of the life and work of the legendary comedian, provocateur, and social critic George Carlin

In Seven Dirty Words, journalist and cultural critic James Sullivan tells the story of Alternative America from the 1950s to the present from the singular vantage point of George Carlin, the Catholic boy for whom nothing was sacred. A critical biography, Seven Dirty Words is an insightful (and, of course, hilarious) examination of Carlin’s body of work as it pertained to its cultural times and the man who created it, from his early days as a more-or-less conventional comedian to his stunning transformation into the subversive comedic voice of the emerging counterculture. Sullivan also chronicles Carlin’s struggles with censorship and drugs, as well as the full-blown renaissance he experienced in the 1990s, both personally and professionally, when he became an elder statesman to a younger generation of comics who revered him.

Seven Dirty Words is nothing less than the definitive biography of an American master who changed the world and also a work of cultural commentary that frames George Carlin’s extraordinary legacy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sullivan convincingly makes the case that for fifty years Carlin ‘may well have produced more laughs than any other human being.’”

    New York Times

  • “Sullivan has done an outstanding job…positioning the late comedian George Carlin as a counterculture icon whose loathing of hypocrisy and love of language changed comedy forever.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Sullivan dissects the comedian’s classic iconoclastic routines, probes his working methods and successfully captures his rocketlike ascent to fame.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An excellent account of the life and work of an important and greatly missed artist.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Steve Johnson | 2/16/2014

    " I thought from the title that this book might be similar to the dry but fascinating (at least for First Amendment nerds) The Trials of Lenny Bruce, focusing on Carlin's court battles, and in particular the 7 Dirty Words Supreme Court case. Turns out, it's pretty much a straight biography covering Carlin's entire career. A lot of of the material here will be familiar to anyone who's read Last Words (Carlin's autobiography), but Sullivan provides a lot of context that's missing in Carlin's memoir, along with accounts from the other people involved in various incidents. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Byron Lee | 2/13/2014

    " Audio version read by George's brother George, who sounds oddly very much like him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ann | 2/3/2014

    " Carlin was a genius. This book details the myriad of reasons why. No one can come close to the wise old man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Celia | 1/18/2014

    " The part about George Carlin's early life is interesting. The later part of the book is just a listing of his performances. It does not deeply go into his work. It is not a funny book. "

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About the Author
Author James Sullivan

James Sullivan is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. He previously served as the pop music and culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, and he has also written for Rolling Stone and many other publications.