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From the daughter of the iconoclastic comedic performer, Kelly Carlin’s memoir A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George “is written in the DNA of a Carlin, honest, biting, savage, funny, sad, dark, and profound…Hold on; like George Carlin, this book gives you a hell of a ride” (New York Times bestselling author and multi-award-winning comedian Lewis Black).
Truly the voice of a generation, George Carlin gave the world some of the most hysterical and iconic comedy routines of the last fifty years. From the “Seven Dirty Words” and “A Place for My Stuff”, to “Religion is Bullshit” and “The American Dream”, he perfected the art of making audiences double over with laughter while simultaneously making people wake up to the realities (and insanities) of life in the twentieth century.
Few people glimpsed the inner life of this beloved comedian, but his only child, Kelly, was there to see it all. Born at the very beginning of his decades-long career in comedy, she slid around the “old Dodge Dart,” as he and wife Brenda drove around the country to “hell gigs.” She witnessed his transformation in the ’70s, as he fought back against—and talked back to—the establishment; she even talked him down from a really bad acid trip a time or two (“Kelly, the sun has exploded and we have eight, no-seven and a half minutes to live!”).
Kelly not only watched her father constantly reinvent himself and his comedy, but also had a front row seat to the roller coaster turmoil of her family’s inner life—alcoholism, cocaine addiction, life-threatening health scares, and a crushing debt to the IRS. But having been the only “adult” in her family prepared her little for the task of her own adulthood. All the while, Kelly sought to define her own voice as she separated from the shadow of her father’s genius.
With rich humor and deep insight, Kelly Carlin pulls back the curtain on what it was like to grow up as the daughter of one of the most recognizable comedians of our time, and become a woman in her own right. This vivid, hilarious, heartbreaking story is at once singular and universal—it is a contemplation of what it takes to move beyond the legacy of childhood, and forge a life of your own.
“[A] sensitively observed portrait...Kelly writes about the family dynamics unblinkingly, and while the book is clearly a deeply felt love letter to her dad, there are hints of the dark side of being raised by a celebrity truth-teller.” —New York Times Book Review
“There are a lot of nights I still wish I could sit next to George and talk; this is the next best thing. Wonderful read.” —Jon Stewart
“Entertaining and enlightening!” —The Washington Post
“It is written in the DNA of a Carlin, honest, biting, savage, funny, sad, dark, and profound…Hold on; like George Carlin, this book gives you a hell of a ride.” —Lewis Black
“Kelly's stories are hilarious and so personal, at times felt like I was reading her diary. For anyone that's has ever not been sure who they are, this book is for you.” —Jay Mohr
“As a fan, this book is essential. As a comic, this book is profound.” —Margaret Cho
“Kelly Carlin shines a light on George Carlin, and gives great insight into a man who was a hero to many, but a father to one.” —Bill Maher
“Highly readable... Told with candor, humor, and good L.A. gossip..., the tale of Carlin's journey... is one of trauma well told and triumph well earned.” —Playboy
“Kelly tells a much-needed, revealing story about what it means to grow up in the shadow of fame.” —Booklist
“A brave and, naturally, hilarious book.” —Dana Gould
“Filled with wit, charm, and genuine, if not extraordinary prose. Bravo, Kelly!” —Kevin Pollak
“Kelly Carlin has humanized her father, in a way that doesn't hold back and through her brilliant writing, brings him to life in a whole new way.” —Lizz Winstead
“The daughter of the great comedian speaks: funny and moving.” —Robert Klein
“A heartwarming, hysterical read!” —Kevin Smith
“A must for fans who want to understand the legend behind the mic” —Mother Jones
“A funny, honest, and compassionate account of growing up with a master of comedy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An inspiring and beautiful read.” —Paul Reiser