Journalist and cultural critic James Sullivan tells the story of Alternative America from the 1950s to the present in this definitive biography of the Catholic boy for whom nothing was sacred: George Carlin. Seven Dirty Words is a hilarious and insightful read, documenting the life and art of the legendary comic, provocateur, and social critic who fearlessly questioned the American way of life through the words we use.
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James Sullivan is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. He has written for many other publications including the San Francisco Chronicle and Rolling Stone. He lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts.From Publishers Weekly:
A recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, stand-up comedian Carlin (1937–2008) wrote three bestselling humor books and looked back over his five-decade career in his recent memoir, Last Words. Now music journalist and culture critic Sullivan, a contributor to Rolling Stone and the San Francisco Chronicle, offers an overview, starting with the young Carlin in 1950s New York. The Air Force sent him off to Louisiana, where he began as a Shreveport radio personality. As a DJ in Fort Worth, Tex., he polished a comedy act with Jack Burns, and the two left for the West Coast, performing together for two years before they split in 1962. Going solo, Carlin's taboo topics and subversive attitude took center stage. In this linear summary of Carlin's career, Sullivan dissects the comedian's classic iconoclastic routines, probes his working methods and successfully captures his rocketlike ascent to fame from night clubs and the 1960s comedic cauldron of Greenwich Village to television acclaim, controversy, and creative conflicts. However, those who want to experience a full explosion of the cynical and caustic Carlin blasting off minus the heat shields should instead seek out the finely tuned and wit-saturated Last Words. (June)
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