Love All the People: The Essential Bill Hicks

Overview


Love All the People, a collection of controversial comedian Bill Hicks’ stand-up routines, notebooks, journals, and letters, traces his evolution from brilliant conventional stand-up to something far more interesting and dangerous: a comic speaking without fear. The result is a radical philosopher masquerading as a comedian, plumbing the American psyche with challenging (and side-splitting) conclusions. Hicks, who died of cancer in 1993, didn’t go the easy way with his humor. He attacked the lies that justified ...
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More About This Book

Overview


Love All the People, a collection of controversial comedian Bill Hicks’ stand-up routines, notebooks, journals, and letters, traces his evolution from brilliant conventional stand-up to something far more interesting and dangerous: a comic speaking without fear. The result is a radical philosopher masquerading as a comedian, plumbing the American psyche with challenging (and side-splitting) conclusions. Hicks, who died of cancer in 1993, didn’t go the easy way with his humor. He attacked the lies that justified the carnage of the Gulf War, the preposterous power of the mainstream media to confuse and corrupt, and the demeaning cynicism of the marketing culture. In Love All the People, that renegade comic artistry that made Bill Hicks an iconoclastic social commentator is recorded, celebrated, and revealed as true genius in this expanded edition that includes additional routines and other writings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593762018
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 425,955
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    This is a great book. But PLEASE make the effort to watch and listen to the man at work.

    Bill Hicks was, and is, one of this country's most original, thought provoking, and controversial comedians/performance artists. And yet, there are so many people who have no idea who the man was. As we near the 15th anniversary of Hicks' premature death at the incredibly young age of 32, there has been a resurgence of Hicks' work being discussed and shown. This is in no small part due to David Letterman's very recent devotion of essentially an entire show to the man, with Hicks' mother as his guest, and Letterman showing an excised routine that Hicks did on CBS's The Late Show in late 1993. While that performance did not represent the "real" performance characteristics of Bill Hicks (he was very ill at the time, and was (intending to be) on national television), it prompted Letterman to comment on how the topical nature of the routine was not stale, even at 15 years old, and that Hicks indeed was ahead of his time.
    With all that said, this book is a must have for the Hicks fan as well as the uninitiated. It is not for the faint of heart when it comes to the skewering of American political conservatism, organized religion, society's view of illegal substances, and any number of other topics that most all other comics avoid like the career ending plague that they could be. The book chronicles some of Hicks' early experiences as a fledgling comic (who sold out comedy clubs at the age of 14!), but spends more effort as a timeline of his journey throughout the last stages of his career. This is accomplished by the printed transcripts of several Hicks routines as he began to illuminate on any number of social issues in a comedic setting. Also included are some writings that Hicks himself produced, including some short stories and essays. I was pleasantly surprised to discover what a gifted writer Bill Hicks was. Also included is a fantastic and enlightening forward by John Lahr who was close to Hicks, especially during the period just prior to his death.
    The timeline also encompasses Hicks' journey of spiritual awakening and discovery, and his development of a relationship and oneness with God. Some would view Bill Hicks as some sort of Godless atheist on an attack against those who love the Lord. This was anything but the case. But one has to experience Hicks' journey through his words and reasoning to understand where the man came from, and where he ended up.
    I highly recommend this book. But please, take the time and effort to view Hicks at work. I mentioned earlier that Hicks was a comedian AND a performance artist. I stand by this. Bill Hicks did not fire off jokes, get some giggles, and trot off stage. Hicks viewed himself as a truth teller, a preacher. He was charismatic on stage and acted out his one man "dark poetry" in a manner that sucked the viewer in, and then delivered a blow. Sometimes the blow was subtle, but often not. To appreciate the transcripts of routines (which are, in all fairness, sometimes redundant) one needs to have a perspective on how Hicks talked, moved, acted, screamed, fought, and communed with his audience. One doesn't see that on "Late Show" appearances. These are better viewed through his HBO special and club performances which, luckily have been preserved.
    Buy this book. Read this book. But also study the man in action. You may not agree with his message. However, he will certainly make you think.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 19, 2009

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    Posted March 29, 2009

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    Posted November 27, 2008

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