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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
Well if you've clicked on this link odds are that you already know about our friend the Goatboy. This book is an absolute must have for any Hick's fans out there, perhaps the most in depth account of Bill's life there's ever been. I also read and loved 'American Scream' but Agent of Evolution is packed with far more insights and shared memories from Bill's closest...
Published on 8 April 2005 by MATTHEW R CARTER

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if not particularly revealing
The problem with writing about a deceased legend like Bill Hicks is that the story is always going to be subjective. There's no right to reply, so you never know what you should believe.

Unlike a normal biography, this book looks at Hicks from all angles at all times in his life. School friends, girlfriends and colleagues (though crucially no family) roll back...
Published on 26 Oct. 2010 by A. Marczak


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 8 April 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well if you've clicked on this link odds are that you already know about our friend the Goatboy. This book is an absolute must have for any Hick's fans out there, perhaps the most in depth account of Bill's life there's ever been. I also read and loved 'American Scream' but Agent of Evolution is packed with far more insights and shared memories from Bill's closest friends, his past loves, the Outlaws and many more. It's a very personal account by Kevin Booth that isn't just a halo polishing exercise for Bill, it gives an account that shows that despite his often god-like status Bill could be as human as the rest of us. Any self respecting Hick's fan and Goat Child needs to have this on their shelf, tucked in warmly between Sane Man, Ninja bachelor Party and ClamLappers volumes 1-90. Buy it now!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars five stars is not enough, 18 Dec. 2006
You know you are reading a good book when the narrative pulls you in and are fully engaged in its story ."Agent of evolution"the biography of comedian Bill Hicks,written by his life long friend Kevin Booth fully succeeds in giving an emotive roller coaster ride of Hicks's life. A very personel and candid account indeed. The authors friendship with hicks started at school and remained close throughout,until his untimely death. Booth was clearly best qualified to write the comics life story.The visits to the brothels for some carnal pleasures had me laughing out aloud,and bills drunken/drug fuelled behaviour,the parties, long nights, well its a long list but Booth does not shy away from telling it all. there is no sweet and sugary treatment in this biography,its warts and all, and i hazard a guess that the author may have found the writing of some sections in this book a somewhat carthartic process.The inclusion of Hicks's many friends and associates who's accounts of him works well in shaping the form and tone of this biography,as many contributers are interconnected to one degree or another with booth and hicks, and helps to give a fuller picture of the comedian.The aptly named" Agent of evolution" was such an enjoyable and revealing read and anyone familiar with hicks's work, will find this book to be an absolute gem.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic, 17 Nov. 2005
I had only a passing familiarity with Hicks when a friend passed me his copy of the book. It is an absolutely fantastic account of the comedian's life. Even better it is simply a compelling biography, very unlike any I have ever read. I literally had a hard time putting it down and skipped a day of work (a bit of subversion that Mr. Hicks I think would approve of) so that I wouldn't have to interrupt my reading. I can't recommend it enough.
And not to get nitpicky (and I really do not like reviews of other reviews) but after reading the book myself and discussing it with a couple of other friends who have read it I can only think that the one-star reviewers below are either victims of their own expectations (they wanted the book to be something else instead of enjoying what it was) or they have some sort of personal gripe against the author(s). Oddly enough I think that this runs against what was one of the more brilliant pieces of subtext in the book. All of the conflicting accounts put together let the reader know that nobody owns the memory of Hicks. There is no 'Authority' as he was different things to different people. Those who found something different might want to rethink themselves then reread the book because it is absolutely fantastic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Rocks, 29 Mar. 2005
By A Customer
This book is fantastic - I had previously read the Cynthia True book on Bill Hicks (which was okay) as well as the general psychobabble about Bill but up until now there has not been a proper and fitting tribute to such an important artist in book form. Kevin Booth has taken his time to get it right. He lets everyone have their say (even Robert Morton!) and the book is both moving as well as funny and very honest. It is written by the people who knew and worked with Bill and it captures the spirit of the great man as much as any of his own CDs and Videos. I would recommend this to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if not particularly revealing, 26 Oct. 2010
By 
A. Marczak "mazzarak" (Mordor) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution (Paperback)
The problem with writing about a deceased legend like Bill Hicks is that the story is always going to be subjective. There's no right to reply, so you never know what you should believe.

Unlike a normal biography, this book looks at Hicks from all angles at all times in his life. School friends, girlfriends and colleagues (though crucially no family) roll back the years and remember the good times and the bad times.

At times, it's a bit random, other moments are more intimate, but if you are looking for the definitive story of Hicks' life, then this isn't it.

I finished the book, feeling glad I'd read it, yet now I don't recall a single thing about it, maybe because there is no theme or structure to the book, aside from being chronological.

It's as if a bunch of people have all turned up at your house with the same jigsaw, tipped all the pieces out and left you to put the puzzle back together. Occasionally thought provoking, but ultimately unsatisfying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agent of Evolution, 8 Feb. 2008
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Having loved Bill Hicks for some time, and after reading other biographies of him, as well as his own scripts, I decided to read this book and was not disappointed. There is a depth to Bill's life that you see from the topics of his comedy but that gets lost in his more controversial jokes. This book shows you the other side to Bill and you realise his humour comes from an intelligent (which we already knew), almost spiritual place. It is fascinating to see how he developed his comedy and how he experimented and grew in his life. Told from the point of view of his best friend and peers, you feel that this is a very open and intimate portrayal. This is a great read about a great man. I wish he was here to comment on America and the world now!

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Part enlightenment, part unnecessary intrusion, 16 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution (Paperback)
The problem with this book is not the factual inaccuracies, it's the areas it seeks to delve into. Sometimes it's like it doesn't get Bill Hicks. Michael Bertin intersperses some often well-researched details of Bill's life and career, but it feels lazy at times. Kevin Booth can be commended for his honesty in places, but there seems to be some hurt and bitterness within him and an all too eager desire to proclaim his closeness to Bill by (paradoxically) reminding us of Bill's flaws and only seeing incidents from his own perspective. The things he chooses to recall accentuate this ill feeling that pervades the book. Booth is intrusive and selfish at times in his choices of information, some of which prompt disgust.
That response is something of a good instinct, but I think it's the right response to this book. Nonetheless, if you read it objectively and seek to position yourself in Booth's shoes, you could argue that the book works out the unbelievable hurt Kevin must have felt about Bill's death. He doesn't need to say it so often in his book, we know that to be true. His parts do offer fascinating insight, especially when he picks up the positivity of Hicks' vibe. Maybe those other bits are just the raw working out of his hurt. I think the most important thing to know about Booth is that he facilitated so much. That's not intending to damn him with faint praise either. He was in to the idea of harmonic convergence, open to ideas. Bill thought of him as 'brother'. His own brother suffered from mental illness. Booth is a myriad of interesting stories and experiences. He is better than this book.
I think overall, I wouldn't want to read it again. But I'd have to defend his right and need to say it, just because they are only words. And if we all balanced forgiveness with a little imaginative flight powered by rationality, we'd let the Christians score 1-0 and accept that forgiveness makes it into the manifesto for the next evolution.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE Hicks book to read, 20 Jan. 2006
Hands down this is the best tome on Bill Hicks around. I enjoyed Love All the People, but the bulk of it was comedy routines. Who wants to read stand-up? Parts of American Scream were okay, but it read more like a long piece from People magazine.
This book, however, is all Hicks (as told by the people closest to him). And he just oozes out of every page. It was so refreshing to see how human Bill really was. Rather than demistify him, it almost elevated his status in that someone with such normal fears and fascinations became one of the greatest comics of a generation (and whose jokes are still relevant today). After reading it I felt like I had spent time around him, which is maybe the highest compliment I can pay the authors.
This book is superbly craftet and I can't recommend it enough.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting., 24 Jun. 2005
By 
Bj Morgan "derv1sh" (Leeds) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Im going to break from the trend here and rate this book 3 stars because I was personally so underwhelmed by something Ive literally waited years for. I remember getting giddy in anticipation when I read Kevin Booth was writing a very personal biography of one of my favourite comedians of all time. Ive been a Hicks fan for a good few years now, devouring everything available to me including the sub-par biog from Cynthia True but Agent of Evolution made me feel hungry for something more.
The book itself is structured well enough with Hicks' life, loves and personal failures shown in an understanding light by both Bertin and Booth. But it just lacks something. Maybe its because anything worthwhile about Hicks' life has been written about by so many people already, not even the perspective of his real friends can add anything to a man we all seem to pretend to know so well.
But we dont, of course, know him. Which is why such biogs are valuable. But aside from the occaisional annecdote or insight into who Bill Hicks was, the book is thin on new information. Between the Just A Ride documentary, the mahr letters and True's book, everything has been covered already.
Were my expectations too high? Maybe.
Kevin Booth, a guy who I had a great deal of respect for (primarily for keeping the Hicks legacy alive via Sacred Cow Productions), seems to become the focus of the latter few chapters. Theres a hurricane of bitterness in Booth's words, towards a number of targets such as Bill's parents, other friends of Hicks & also, what I interpreted as a feeling of underappreciation or overshadowing of Booth's work. He'll always be know as Bill Hicks' best made rather than the producer/musician status that he craves. I dont think Booth is blameworthy for his feelings and you cant knock him for sharing them, but they do detract from the book. At least when I read it.
But I guess the redemption comes because its firstly a book about Hicks. Anything celebrating the man will always be welcomes by me. Even if I felt a bit empty when I finished it. Its worth buying if you consider yourself a Hicks fan and a completionist, but otherwise maybe wait until it comes out in Paperback. Secondly, if you're new to Hicks or want to know more about the man then this is probably the start you've been praying for. But for those that feel them 'know' the story of how Hicks came to be Hicks, I just felt let down.
Its a shame because I found it enjoyable enough, touching at times, but at the risk of sounding like a fat kid at a pizza shop: it just wasnt enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Duller than expected, 13 Feb. 2012
By 
Ms. Fiona Allen "catlover" (edinburgh, uk) - See all my reviews
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I'm giving this 3 stars only because I didn't actively hate it.
I thought Bill Hicks was a truly tremendous talent - he made me laugh at things I've never found funny, for one thing - but this book feels like I've gate-crashed a wake for someone I barely knew and found his mates all telling stories about how he did this or said that or something-or-other-else.
Explaining Bill Hicks? not really.
There's a staggeringly high used of the fxxk word, in all its usages, but nothing about the move from devout teetotal Southern Baptist to acid-guzzling Buddhist misanthrope really hangs together or indeed explains how it happened. Disastrous relationships with women aplenty; no insights as to why they became disastrous. And foul-mouthed drunks are, by and large, not that funny.
I guess we're just lucky that he left , on video/DVD, a body of coherent work for us to remember; but this book will not help.
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Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution
Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution by Michael Bertin (Paperback - 3 April 2006)
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