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Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution Paperback – 3 Apr 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment (3 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007198302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007198306
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘I thought he was the most intelligent, most liberating social and political comic I had ever, ever heard.’ John Cleese

About the Author

Born in Connecticut in 1961, Kevin Booth grew up in Austin, Texas as Bill Hicks’s long-term friend and the co-creator of many of his shows.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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By A Customer on 17 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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By A Customer on 29 Mar. 2005
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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