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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill Hicks is a Genius! This book is just dull!
Being a huge Bill Hicks fan and thinking he is the best stand up comedian ive ever come across, i thought that buying a biographic book about him, could tell me the other side of Bill's life, this book kinda delivers on that note, but each chapter you get through, it just doesnt grip you. In the end once you finish a chapter, you are left wondering, can i actualy be...
Published on 25 Feb 2008 by KottonMouth King

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed emotions...
I've actually just finished reading 'American Scream' and im still unsure of what i felt about it. In one way it was great to read about the stuff you didnt know about Hicks, the personal stuff and his friends, yet you feel as if the person is writing a journalistic piece on one of the greatest people to have ever lived and clearly didnt know Hicks herself. Every antidote...
Published on 11 Nov 2003 by Giordano Bruno


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed emotions..., 11 Nov 2003
By 
Giordano Bruno (Rome, February 17, 1600) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
I've actually just finished reading 'American Scream' and im still unsure of what i felt about it. In one way it was great to read about the stuff you didnt know about Hicks, the personal stuff and his friends, yet you feel as if the person is writing a journalistic piece on one of the greatest people to have ever lived and clearly didnt know Hicks herself. Every antidote she included from his live shows you will have heard if you have his albums, or have seen the video's. Alot of the commments from Mr and Mrs Hicks, aswell as his friends can be seen on the 'Totally Bill Hicks' video, which seems to show she hasnt went that in-depth on her subject, much to the dismay of all his fans around the world. I guess if you really like Bill Hicks, you should buy it no matter what just to read about his depression and other issues which you really wouldnt imagine from just listening to him.
So i advise you to read it, but dont expect much from it. I would rather have had the writer to be Hicks himself (sadly impossible) or even someone close to him, or with similar feelings about the downfall of the world. This woman seems to have no geographical knowledge of the world outside America, often referring to Glasgow and Edinburgh as being in England. Her ignorance for these facts im sure Hicks would have been very annoyed with if he were alive today. But then again, if Hicks were alive today, he would probably be ruling the world and we wouldnt need some anonymous writer writing about him, the world would KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Ride, 19 Aug 2002
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
The author ..has made a stab here at profiling a comic genius who frankly deserved better. The choice of Janine Garofalo to write a foreward is quite bizarre, given that she didn't know Hicks and devotes a scant one and a half pages to tell us that he was a big influence on her - I don't see it myself. So, what True delivers is a life told through the eyes of a series of friends and managers - those who chose to cooperate with an unauthorised biography - there are no surprises here, no great insights and one is left with the nagging sensation that things have been left out. Some of the narratives presented by 'friends' do not ring entirely true; the impression that they have embellished or edited events in their own favour is hard to shake. The style is dry, the vocabulary oddly limited and the volume itself inexplicably slim when one considers how much living Hicks packed into his short life. That said, I salute any attempt to shed some light on the man's background and experiences and no doubt, if you're a fan of his work, you'll buy this book anyway just as I did. I can only hope that this doesn't become the definitive work on Bill Hicks' life and talent and that a better biographer comes along eventually to put some colour and motion into True's black and white still.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hum, 23 Oct 2002
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
Excuse me while I refrain from singing Ms. True's praises for this book. "American Scream" is a biography of one of the most interesting entertainers of the 80s and 90s, whom died a relatively unknown, only to have his star explode upon his death. Bill Hicks' ideas obviously struck a chord with True (as it did with so many others) and compelled her to write a book about him, some 8 years after his death having never met the man in person.
To me, the book is a disappointment because it relies on the word of casual friends and "co-workers" and (seemingly) bootlegged recordings transcribed in part to form a narrative journey through Hick's life. There is not a great deal of information contained within this book that the average fan doesnt already know via the wealth of articles available online or from John Lahr's profile prior to Bill's death.
The book is undoubtably a fanboy(girl)'s unashamed gushing about someone she admires. Theres nothing really wrong with that but it still feels a tad empty for me as a Hicks' fan that finally something related to Hicks is released and its less than satisfactory way to celebrate the life of one of the greatest entertainers of the past 50 years (who sounds like the fanboy now?). While you do get a somewhat limited insight into certain aspects of Bill's persona that you wouldnt normally get, at the end of the day only the die hard fans will rush out and buy it and... they'd know most of the story anyway.
I, for one, hope Kevin Booth will eventually come through with THE definitive epitath to the life of Bill Hicks - And Im sure he will. Someday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great man, wild life, dull biography..., 14 Dec 2004
By 
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
I remember the first time I saw Bill Hicks on Channel 4 (late 80's, Jools Holland's Happening, I think...). One of the funniest comedians I had ever seen. He approached things from a completely different angle and was probably the funniest, most intelligent comedian I'd ever seen. And certainly the only one with a serious social, rather than purely political, message. None of your "right on", politically correctness here...
So I bought this book and, whilst there some interesting stuff in there I didn't know about his life, there's a lot of stuff I knew already or didn't really care about (sorry Bill!). The guy should be remembered through his art, not through someone else repeating his jokes in print, where you'll only really get it if you can remember hearing or seeing hi telling it.
Don't buy this, by the DVD "Totally Bill Hicks" instead. Then you'll see what all the fuss was about....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great comic; interesting life; poor book, 14 Feb 2005
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Bill Hicks and I was interested to learn more about him. This book did not help. This is a rather dull biography providing a largely chronological account of his all too brief life interspersed with copious extracts from his stage material. It totally fails to capture the spirit of the man.
If this is your only exposure to Bill Hicks then you will never understand why he was so fantastic - go straight to the source - don't bother with this book, buy a Bill Hicks DVD (e.g. Totally Bill Hicks which includes a documentary and a performance) or CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill Hicks is a Genius! This book is just dull!, 25 Feb 2008
Being a huge Bill Hicks fan and thinking he is the best stand up comedian ive ever come across, i thought that buying a biographic book about him, could tell me the other side of Bill's life, this book kinda delivers on that note, but each chapter you get through, it just doesnt grip you. In the end once you finish a chapter, you are left wondering, can i actualy be bothered to read on to another chapter that is just not gripping enough. It only excelled at the parts where Bill was giving up Drink,Drugs and smoking and the sad part of how he found out he got cancer, these few chapters, that are few and far between, are very interesting. This is not a terrible book, but it just doesn't give Bill Hicks the credit he deserves that other books may give him, if your new to Bill Hicks you may enjoy, but die hard fans,stay away! There is nothing new here you wouldnt already know.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let the party begin...", 15 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Well finally! Roll out the bunting and put on the party hats Goat Boy fans because after one incredibly long wait something new about the genius that was/is Bill Hicks is now available for us, the extended family of Hicks fanatics, to go out and buy!
Really, this book has been such a frustrating and looooooong time coming considering Bill's ever increasing (and fully justified) cult status. It's really quite surprising that no one has put pen to paper before now; but a big pat on the back to True for making the effort and doing a pretty good job.
This is actually a pretty straight forward, but extremely interesting biography, and it manages to detail Bill's life as well as it can without any imput from the man himself (obviously). True relys on the stories and accounts from Bill's friends and colleagues, and the anecdotes are delievered with just the kind of affection and admiration you would expect. For those of us who only really caught onto Bill after his death the details about his early years, and how he broke into stand-up will be particularly interesting.
Is the definitive account of Bill? I hope not, there is a lot more out there and hopefully one day it will be available to us all, but this is a essential contribution to the, unfortunately, pretty small canon of work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag, 25 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
This book is strange, it could have been written 8 years ago, the text relies heavily on the same tapes all Bill Hicks fans have of his live shows and does not touch on 'life after Bill Hicks'. There is nothing on how he became more famous (argueably) following his passing, nothing on who he left behind and how they felt and very little on his influence. The book is well written, very journalistic, and it does give some insights into his upbringing and how he lived and worked. A little too pro-Hicks, but still a relatively enjoyable read. However, its expensive, so I'd buy a tape or a video of the man himself, you'll get much much more out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Bill's Life, 3 Feb 2004
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
The book is a good as a general introduction to Bill's life and the development of his career, though it IS perhaps lacking in its grasp of the issues that Bill raised and was interested in; and their implications. It is by no means a seminary work; but perhaps it is useful to see it as the first of many (I hope and expect) studies of the man. With this as its purpose, it is well worth reading for any of his fans.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The hardest thing about this book is knowing the end, 3 July 2002
By 
This review is from: American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story (Paperback)
I have read a number of negative reviews on this site claiming that all the material in this book is easily known to us through the documentary IT'S A RIDE, Hick's recordings and the various editorials and articles written about him. To that claim I say rubbish. The book (whilst sometimes, I agree, leans too heavily on quoting HIck's material - though this is a document of the man after all and much of the quoting was necesary) delves quite deeply into a life that seemed to reserve its intricacies for itself. A friend has consitently told me over the last 8 years that a Bill Hicks biography of any kind would be a non event as the man was his material, his stage presence at it's manner - nothing more - his work was his life. However there were numerous occasions in reading this book where I experienced a geniune feeling of enlightenment as to who exactly this Bill Hick's guy was. The documentary, for one, over simplifies his relationship with his parents and to drugs... ignores his years of sobriety and flat out forgets to mention the extent of his spiritualism. If anything this book shows the flaws in the legend. I found the last 60 pages or so a real hard read - from his last gig to his death (following all his plans and hopes for the future). If you have ever watched Hicks and thought "this is more than just telling c##k jokes to hen parties on a saturday night at some comedy club franchise, this guy is SAYING something" then read this book.
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American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story
American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story by Cynthia True (Paperback - 25 Jan 2002)
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