The Barnes & Noble Review
Whether it involves musing on the inevitable and annoying ironies of everyday life, spouting off about anything and everything that gets his goat, or just plain figuring out new and improved ways to be difficult, George Carlin's comedy is incorrigible and unmistakable. Following the runaway success of Brain Droppings, Carlin now delivers all-new rants, what-ifs, observations, and out-and-out damnations in his cantankerous new collection, Napalm and Silly Putty.
Carlin is at his best taking on the whole world and telling it like it is -- or at least how he sees it. From the "Airline Announcements" section ("...here's a phrase that apparently the airlines simply made up: near miss. Bull****, my friend. It's a near hit! A collision is a near miss.") to "Cars and Driving" ("One of the first things they teach you in Driver's Ed is where to put your hands on the steering wheel. They tell you to put 'em at ten o'clock and two o'clock. Never mind that. I put mine at 9:45 and 2:17. Gives me an extra half hour to get where I'm goin.' "), Carlin takes you on a wild ride through a life you'll never look at the same way again. He identifies the experience of "vuja de" -- "the distinct sense that, somehow, something that just happened has never happened before" -- and posits existential questions including, "If there really are multiple universes, what do they call the thing they're all a part of?" and "If the reason for climbing Mt. Everest is that it's hard to do, why does everyone go up the easy side?" Of course, it wouldn't be George Carlin if he didn't say a whole lot more that we just can't print here!
Including more lists of things he's had just about enough of, and hilarious short takes that will put you in stitches, Napalm and Silly Putty is Carlin's comic opus on life at the dawn of the 21st century. In it, he asks, "Have you ever started a path? No one seems willing to do this. We don't mind using existing paths, but we rarely start new ones. Do it today. Start a path. Even if it doesn't lead anywhere." Carlin has certainly started his own path -- read Napalm and Silly Putty and decide for yourself where he's going. (Elise Vogel)
Carlin has refined the art of verbal deconstruction of issues great and small . . . The cranky comic's jackhammer attack is at full blast in his new book.
Then there's George Carlin. He's back with a new collection of essays, opinions, jokes and rants: Napalm & Silly Putty. The legendary comedian, who narrates the audiobook, can be crude and scatological, but he can also be surprisingly insightful. His topics include consumerism, air traffic, death row and his version of the sporting life. Carlin has a rich, velvety voice and a practiced delivery that has been honed over the last forty years. Always the colorful entertainer, he does not disappoint those anticipating some dirty language.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Politically incorrect comic and Grammy winner Carlin has shown no signs of burnout during a four-decade career arc as solo stand-up, TV writer and sitcom actor (That Girl; The George Carlin Show), with 18 hit recordings and 10 solo HBO specials, plus film roles (Dogma; The Prince of Tides). Living in L.A. and Vegas, he continues to take his act to stages across the country. Four years ago, Carlin's huge fan following kept his Brain Droppings on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 weeks, so it's no surprise he's back for another round of acrid and oblique observations on modern mores. He covers a wide range of issues from rape and religion to the homeless: "There's no war on homelessness... it's because there's no money in it." And any topic is fair game: abortion, airport security, cars, funerals, language, organ donors, sports, technology, TV and war. On the latter, he says, "Men, insecure about the size of their penises, choose to kill one another." Over 100 scintillating short pieces are interrupted by loony lists and hundreds of clever one-liners. The fragmented format and colloquial style of writing suggest that much of this laugh-out-loud book is drawn directly from Carlin's stage act. Several satires here ("A day in the life of Henry VIII," a nine-page interview with Jesus, an avant-garde play program) indicate a different direction Carlin might consider for future books. (May 1) Forecast: HighBridge's abridged audiocassette and CD might lead some to peruse the book, which splashes in the wake of a massive Carlin retrospective ("From Class Clown to Social Critic") two months ago at the Museum of Television & Radio (N.Y./L.A.). With a 10-city author tour and national publicity, sales could equal those of Brain Droppings (700,000 copies). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The venerable iconoclast Carlin scores again with this collection of anecdotes and barbs. Sometimes juvenile, often curmudgeonly, Carlin is best when he goes to the edge. When he takes on air travel, he's mildly humorous; when he compares cats and dogs, he's fairly funny. Those are just warmups, however, for his attacks on sacred cows. The war on drugs, he asserts, would better be called "the war on the Constitution." As for kids, he states, "Your children are overrated and overvalued." He decries the loss of hazardous toys: "Whatever happened to natural selection?" He even argues for taxing churches and calls cemeteries a waste of valuable land. As he says, "If honesty were introduced into American life, everything would collapse." While the book is a print best seller, Carlin's inimitable raspy delivery lifts the tape to another level. Note that there is regular, though hardly inappropriate, vulgarity. For all humor collections. Norman Oder, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
THE NOONTIME NEWS
In Rome today, Pope John Paul removed his little hat and revealed he has a small map of Tombstone, Arizona, tattooed on his head.
Out at the lake in City Park, police have arrested a one-armed man who was bothering the other boaters by continuously rowing in a circle.
Authorities say a severely disturbed geography teacher has shot and killed six people who did not know the capital of Scotland. He is still at large and they remind everyone the capital of Scotland is Edinburgh.
A man at a tool and die company died today when he was hit with a tool.
A Detroit couple is suing Campbell's soups, claiming a bowl of alphabet soup spelled out an obscene message to their children. They state that at first the little letters floated around in a circle, and then they formed the words suck my noodle.
Millionaire clothing executive Dacron Polyester died in his sleep yesterday. It was not a peaceful death, however, as he dozed off while hang-gliding.
A large dog exploded on a downtown street corner this morning. No one was killed; however, several people were overcome by fur. Police estimate that more than 600 fleas also lost their lives in the blast.
A woman in Montana was severely injured yesterday when she attempted to force-breast-feed a wolverine.
A man wearing a Have a Nice Day button was killed yesterday by a man who works at night.
The Centers for Disease Control has determined that the common cold is caused by a tall man who carries around a bag of germs.
Twenty-six people were killedthis morning when two funeral processions collided. Police say the list of fatalities does not include the two people who were already dead.
The Mafia has killed an information clerk because he knew too much. His replacement, appointed today, says he has no further information.
In San Francisco, a baby has been born wearing sunglasses and holding a small can of peas.
A Milwaukee man has been arrested for the illegal use of food stamps. He was taken into custody while attempting to mail a bowl of chili to his sister.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced they have located another Mohican. Accordingly, all the books are being recalled and will be changed to read: The Next to the Last of the Mohicans.
And finally, here's a Halloween prank that backfired. It seems that little thirteen-year-old Danny Obolagotz thought it would be great fun to soap the windows of all the cars on his street. He had soaped seven of them and was starting to soap the eighth, not knowing that the owner of the car, Earl Fletcher, was seated inside. Fletcher shot Danny in the head four times.
Excerpted from Napalm & Silly Putty by George Carlin. Copyright © 2001 by George Carlin. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.