Monday, May 19, 2008

2008 Book 43: Napalm and Silly Putty

Book #:43

Book Title:Napalm and Silly Putty

Author:George Carlin


Pub. Date:2001


Started:May 18, 2008

Finished:May 19, 2008

Time to Read:2 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:(From Amazon - my dust cover is long gone.)

Standup comic George Carlin follows up his dark-horse smash bestseller Brain Droppings with another compendium of cranky meditations, cinching his reputation as the Andy Rooney of boomer hepcats. "Road rage, air rage," Carlin rails. "Why should I be forced to divide my rage into separate categories? To me, it's just one big, all-around, everyday rage. I don't have time for fine distinctions." Carlin is not into the lengthy essay--he's a sprinter of the mind. Most sentences in the book could be lifted out to stand alone and provoke deep thought: "How can it be a spy satellite if they announce on television that it's a spy satellite?" Good question. "Why do they bother saying 'Raw sewage'? Do some people cook that stuff?" Yuck, but yes, Carlin's got a point.

He can do an extended bit too, most memorably the transcript of Jesus on a talk show plugging his new tell-all memoir about the Trinity, Three's a Crowd. Carlin is funny, but genuinely angry and poignant at times: "You live 80 years and at best you get about six minutes of pure magic," he says. Sad, but about right.

And how did Carlin get into his line of business, "thinking up goofy s---," as he puts it? There's a clue in one entry in this book: "As of 1995 the number of people who had lived on earth was 105,472,380,169 ... it means that at this point there have been almost 1 quadrillion human bowel movements and most of them occurred before people had anything to read. These are the kind of thoughts that kept me from moving quickly up the corporate ladder."

Thank god Carlin stayed low on the corporate food chain and high on his own utterly idiosyncratic ideas!

Review:I realize that the humor of George Carlin may offend some people - he's rough, he's raw, and he ain't afraid of 4-letter words - but even on my 4th or 5th readthrough of this compilation of his comedy, I find myself laughing my butt off!

Some goodies to look forward to, if you like his standup: Airline Announcements, Golf Courses for the Homeless, and It's Not a Sport.

Not appropriate for kiddos...see prior comment on language. But for adults who like humor on the edge, you'll enjoy!

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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