Seven Dirty Words : The Life and Crimes of George Carlin
by James Sullivan

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More About Seven Dirty Words by James Sullivan
  • ISBN-13: 9780306818295
  • ISBN-10: 0306818299
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publish Date: June 2010
  • Page Count: 261

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 46.
  • Review Date: 2010-03-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

A recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, stand-up comedian Carlin (1937–2008) wrote three bestselling humor books and looked back over his five-decade career in his recent memoir, Last Words. Now music journalist and culture critic Sullivan, a contributor to Rolling Stone and the San Francisco Chronicle, offers an overview, starting with the young Carlin in 1950s New York. The Air Force sent him off to Louisiana, where he began as a Shreveport radio personality. As a DJ in Fort Worth, Tex., he polished a comedy act with Jack Burns, and the two left for the West Coast, performing together for two years before they split in 1962. Going solo, Carlin's taboo topics and “subversive attitude” took center stage. In this linear summary of Carlin's career, Sullivan dissects the comedian's classic iconoclastic routines, probes his working methods and successfully captures his rocketlike ascent to fame from night clubs and the 1960s comedic cauldron of Greenwich Village to television acclaim, controversy, and creative conflicts. However, those who want to experience a full explosion of the cynical and caustic Carlin blasting off minus the heat shields should instead seek out the finely tuned and wit-saturated Last Words. (June)

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