Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Tears of a Clown

Last Words by George Carlin and Tony Hedra


In the words of Carlin, this is a 'sortabiography'.  There aren't many funny moments in this book. It is more a cross between a biography and autobiography, or a memoir with some flashes of humor.  There's also a lot of name-dropping in this book, if that is your thing.  It was surprising to see how little of this Carlin writes.  It seems to be mostly told to and written by Hedra.

I've often heard that comedy gets its roots from the deepest pain and that seems to be true in the case of Carlin.  Such tragedy and heartbreak, and most of it brought about through his own making.  Carlin is very honest about the mistakes he made in his life, which caused my respect for him as a person to really grow.  I especially appreciated that he took the total blame for causing a mess in his daughter's life and his wife's life and then stood steadfastly by them as they battled these demons.  Much of the book is him battling his own demons as well, and his story is told with no apologies or excuses and with total honesty.  He fessed up to his mistakes--how many stars do that today?

I love George Carlin's humor.  He is biting, brutal, funny and always current even when his jokes are decades old.  His humor is timeless, which is a great quality for a comic to have.  It was interesting to see how one individual turned such pain into happiness and laughter for others.

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