I picked up this book in a bookstore about a year and a half ago. I knew very little about George Carlin at the time, other than that he was in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and some kiddie show. The very first moment I opened it, however, I almost literally cracked up. I was gasping for air, pounding the shelves, and getting dirty looks from everyone around me, but I didn't care. I never knew the written word could be so funny. It has been over a year since I bought it and I still at least glance at it nearly every day. Even bits I've read dozens of times before still make me laugh out loud. I just doesn't get any better than this. I'm waiting on pins and needles for the sequel. The book itself may have been thrown together rather quickly, but I'm sure the ideas it contains have been germinating and taking shape in Carlin's head for years. A lot of the language and politics related material is quite thought provoking provided you can stop laughing long enough to think. Frankly, I'm shocked there are so many people who seem to hate "Brain Droppings." I can see maybe if you are offended by the language (which is entirely possible), but saying the book is not funny at all just stupifies me. Carlin is a comedy genius and that's all there is to it. Buy this book!
In reviewing a book there is a tendency to review the author, not the book. This difference is magnified with this book as Carlin's humor at times seems in bad taste, ugly and negative, which could be criticized. Sometimes his thoughts are cutting and to the point - valid observations of the human state that make me laugh. But, that's my perception. The negative stuff is not funny to me, however it may seem funny to someone with a different outlook on life. Thus, this is not a criticism, but a review of his material to let readers know what to expect while browsing through the mind of George Carlin as set down on the pages of "brain droppings." Although not stated in the book, it is simply a collection of Carlin's stand-up comedy material as developed throughout his career. He uses slang and curse words to emphasize his points, and, sometimes, concepts meant to shock. This scenario would then appeal to those who portend to be outgoing, avant-garde, or "macho" in their mind set, for whatever reason. Due to this nature, I found it helpful to appreciate the humor of the more outlandish material if I could imagine his voice and manner of speaking as the words streamed from the page into my consciousness. As its format is that of a reference book, that is, a collection of non related thoughts, there is no particular theme or objective other than to observe the thoughts of Mr. Carlin who has the ability to make you laugh at yourself and some of the silliness in the world. Obvious is its objective to generate income as a collection of his routines. This it does with impunity. His material reveals him to be highly thoughtful, creative and sometimes silly, and it makes wonderful potty reading. Thanks George, it nicely illustrates that you are a grade "A" comic.
After reading the whole thing, I wanted either to hate George Carlin*s book, or at least enjoy it more than I did. This book suffers from what I call *Mark Twain Syndrome*; George can*t decide which way to write. Is this supposed to be an amusing view of modern life that*s self-consciously stopping to make biting remarks on the media, capitalism, etc.? Or is it an angry jeremiad against American society that is also thoroughly laced with humor? Satire IS supposed to make us think, but in this case George whipsaws between the stinging and the humorous too much; I don*t believe I am thinking the way he hoped I would. His comments are almost too double-edged, example *Some people pay good money to go drive and watch monster trucks crushing cars. Some people don*t have cars.* What can I say besides *Lucky them*? Of course the classic bits, *Baseball, football*, *A Place for My Stuff* are included along with frequent snipes about racism, consumerism and the like; the two chapters of one-liners are fun. All the same, if George is so upset at America, why can*t he be consistant? He heavily peppers the text with one particular word; I felt like I was hopscotching over a mile of dog messies. Ha-ha, very funny. Amusing, even it doesn*t have to be.
the only way to read this is to leave behind all expectations and just let it hit you in the gut! as with any comic, you'll find things that aren't so funny and then you'll find things that drop you to your knees. I didn't start laughing until the first chapter! G.C.'s guide to Dining Out and the advice to "Have Fun. Be Difficult." has changed my perspective on how to behave in a restaurant! Then there's the "Handwashing" monologue after which you'll never be able to see a man walk out of a restroom without wondering. I've always loved Carlin's ability to play with words, and make me wonder about why we take ourselves so seriously! So please, don't open this book unless you're prepared to be surprised, offended, disgusted, and ready to laugh and learn from the humor and bitterness of a really great comedian! I rate this an 8 only because Carlin uses too many one-liners (at which he is not very good) and not enough monologue (at which he excels). Enjoy!
Sure, George Carlin's comedic efforts are to be both respected and appreciated, but his first literary effort presents itself as absolutely horrid to those that can peer through his transparent, self-conflicting fusion of humor and "hey-look-at-me--my-ideas-are-totally-shocking" socio-political diatribes. Carlin's book has a ridiculously forced feel to it, as if when any idea entered his mind he immediately wrote it down, and these ideas often contridict themselves, as when Carlin suggests that you should definitely "live in the past," when earlier he attacks Americans for their focus on that very frame of mind. Sometimes, the humor feels rough and unedited, as if the comic had not thought the joke through -- a prime example is when he assaults Americans for the wussy names of our cars, like Corolla, Tercel, etc., apparently not realizing that he has listed only Japanese models. Between Carlin's shamelessly arrogant and "oooh-aren't-my-views-nonconformist?" cultural theories, he subjects the audience to dull, choppy "short takes," small one-liners that apparently no-one bothered to filter for their blatant lack of humor...comments such as "Satan is cool" and Carlins assessment that airplanes should be constructed entirely of the black box only go to show that his creativity has completely shallowed, and that he has slipped into a humorless vacuum of mediocrity and off-putting pomposity. If someone were to publish the unedited scribblings of a cocky, painfully unfunny comedian from "Evening at the Improv," they might produce a book like this -- a disappointment for those that remember Carlin in his prime. If you want to read genuinely funny comedy in print, check out Denis Leary's "No Cure For Cancer" or either of Dennis Miller's books, both astronomically superior to Carlin's pointless drivel.
this has to be the funniest book i have ever read. It's right up there with Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. Those who call his work Tasteless and offensive are probably just a bunch of those yuppie, narcissistic, baby-boomers with me and Carlin alike hold ALOT of hatred for. To the average reader, this book would be just another funny man's book. Believe me, George Carlin is one of the smartest people around. Every one of his opinions make absolute sense to me(excluding his take on abortion). If you want to laugh quite a bit, buy this book.
Thank God I was wise enough to check this book out of the public library. If I had purchased it, I would have demanded a refund from the publisher. This book shows that Carlin, one of my favorite comedians in the Seventies, is now just a tired hack. He is an awful writer. Worse, he no longer knows what is funny because he is sorely out of touch. As a fan of comedy I have witnessed the sad demise of his talent. Case in point: When I saw him perform live 15 years ago in New York he absolutely killed. But when I saw him perform live in Cleveland back in 1993, he was just going through the paces: giving an impersonal show and rushing off the stage as if he had a plane to catch. Out of respect, I would never pay for him again. Carlin is like a champion prize fighter who stayed in the ring too long. He should hang up the gloves; the pen; and the microphone and leave his fans with pleasant memories of what he once was.