30 Day Book #11 – Favorite Biography

This is another one where I chose the question because I immediately thought of the perfect book to use as my answer.  There have been a lot of interesting people throughout the history of the world, and there have been a lot of very interesting books written about these people.  In my review yesterday about the book Goliath, I think that one of the most intriguing people in history was Nikola Tesla, I haven’t read a biography about him, so I’m going to choose a Biography that I read over this past year: Last Words by George Carlin with Tony Hendra.

I love comedy, I really love good stand up comedy.  George Carlin, as far as I’m concerned, is the greatest stand up comedian of all time.  Much of his material from 20 or 30 years ago is still relevant and funny today, and there are not that many comedians about whom you can say that.  Take a look at Carlin’s work over the years, he was consistently funny for every special that he ever had.  By comparison, look at Jeff Dunham (who is a comedian that I really like), his first special was very good, and his second had some very good moments even though it wasn’t overall as good as the first, but his third special (which was shown on Comedy Central this past Sunday) wasn’t nearly as good and it was just him trying to keep recycling the same jokes over and over again.  Dunham is a good comedian, and his struggles (as well as those of many other comedians) to be consistently funny help to show just how great Carlin really was.

Last Words was primarily written by Carlin, with Tony Hendra helping to edit and organize the book.  The book is well written and does a wonderful job showing the events in Carlin’s life that helped to shape his worldview and his comedy.  Carlin was a genius and did a better job of analyzing his craft than most people do.  He had a very strange road to get to where he was in life, and this book does a great job of showing that road.  George Carlin is one of my favorite comedians of all time and one of the most interesting people to live in the past 100 years.  I loved reading about him and I would highly suggest this book to anyone who was a fan of his or anyone who enjoys good comedy and seeing some of the behind the scenes material that led to Carlin defining his craft.

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