"Last Words" by George Carlin and Tony Hendra

Review by Borodutch

This book was relatively short but pretty on point. Even though it wasn't meant as a biography, it ended up just like one. It has much more to do about George than his art or style.

"Last Words" explores Carlin's childhood and early career and tries to tie it into the sentiment George gave the characters he used during the stand-up routines. It was remarkable to learn about his early struggles and constant issues with various drug addictions and his abusive and self-destructing years.

After all, listening to this was almost like rewatching a watered-down story from "Californication" tv show. Undesired artists strike gold by taking the world with their talent, fighting with all the issues that come with success, realizing their mistakes, and trying to fix them, but it might have been a bit too late. Tragic, yet feels so human.

A considerable portion of this book is dedicated to Carlin's fight against various censorship tools, which was quite educational. I hope that artists never get oppressed by establishments — but my hope is probably futile. Nevertheless, George's account of the things happening during his career resonates with anyone thinking rationally.

I knew George Carlin from his role in Kevin Smith's artistry and stand-up shows. I never was a part of the culture where and when he thrived. However, I recommend this book to any artist hoping to strike big in this world. "Last Words" is a cautionary tale of what shouldn't be done (e.g. reckless drug use) and what could've been if Carlin was a tad bit more self-conscious and careful.