Truly the voice of a generation, George Carlin gave the world some of the most hysterical and iconic comedy routines of the last 50 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 life in the 20th century. Few people glimpsed the inner life of this beloved comedian, but his only child, Kelly, was there to see it all.
Born at the very beginning of his decades-long career in comedy, she slid around the "old Dodge Dart" as he and wife Brenda drove around the country to "hell gigs". She witnessed his transformation in the '70s, as he fought back against - and talked back to - the establishment; she even talked him down from a really bad acid trip a time or two. ("Kelly, the sun has exploded and we have eight, no, seven-and-a-half minutes to live!") Kelly not only watched her father constantly reinvent himself and his comedy, but also had a front-row seat to the roller-coaster turmoil of her family's inner life - alcoholism, cocaine addiction, life-threatening health scares, and a crushing debt to the IRS. But having been the only "adult" in her family prepared her little for the task of her own adulthood. All the while, Kelly sought to define her own voice as she separated from the shadow of her father's genius.
With rich humor and deep insight, Kelly Carlin pulls back the curtain on what it was like to grow up as the daughter of one of the most recognizable comedians of our time and become a woman in her own right. This vivid, hilarious, heartbreaking story is at once singular and universal - it is a contemplation of what it takes to move beyond the legacy of childhood and forge a life of your own.
The audiobook includes bonus audio recordings of George Carlin and a conversation between Kelly Carlin and Garry Shandling.
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This is not a book about George Carlin
If you are interested in the story of a child of privilege and her first world problems, this book is for you. Kelly had struggles in life and deep psychological rifts that needed mending, but she had the virtually unlimited money and resources of her successful father to tackle them. This is that story. There is little in this book for fans of George Carlin looking to learn about him as a man rather than the performer we know.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Kelly's performance is very flat, she reads her book the way a parent would read a children's book to their child. This is fine in a private setting, but it's clear Kelly never developed her father's gift of gab and performance.
As a memoir of Kelly Carlin, I believe this is properly edited. However, I was expecting the book described in the blurb, the first paragraph of which doesn't even mention Kelly. With that in mind, a vast majority of this book could be cut, as it's deep insights to Kelly's life, a person I had no interest in from the outset, and whom did not live an interesting enough life worth writing such a tome about. She delivers this story without creative or inspiring language as well, making it not even something very well written, but otherwise uninteresting.
George Carlin fans, like myself, can pass on this book. While there are a few good gems in this book about his personal life, it's not worth the slog through Kelly's memoir to find them.
The stories of George's early days were compelling. The rest of the book was tedious.
The title of this book is misleading. This is the autobiography of a famous person's daughter. I bought the book because I am a huge George Carlin fan. Unfortunately, there was too much emphasis on Kelly's wounded inner child and far too little time spent on George. I understand that George's life on the road made him an absentee father, so father-daughter stories are not plentiful. Interviewing George's contemporaries could have filled that void, and it would make for much more interesting reading.
No. Ms. Carlin's voice does not lend itself well to audio books.
Like many people, Kelly's parents did a lousy job. Unlike many people, Kelly's parents supported her for decades while she sorted through the wreckage of her childhood. Then, she wrote about that journey in uninteresting, exhaustive detail. Her editor should have cut the self-discovery portion by 75% and added more stories about her father.