Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up With George

Author: Kelly Carlin
Stars: 4
Review by: Mandy Apgar

Methinks that part of what she means by the title is that her father matured along with her over time. The only child of the late George Carlin, himself the son of a fractured relationship born to a middle aged mother, Kelly recounts her early childhood up to her father's passing. It is more her book than his I think - and she is forced to grow up very quickly to help deal with her father's various drug binges and being "chief Brenda wrangler" - watchdog of her alcoholic and pill addicted mother. Her parents slowly begin to control their demons somewhat just as she encounters hers - drugs and men (Leif Garrett wasn't too hot to be with, if anyone from the 70s is interested). She marries a drug addled nut although she knows it is the wrong thing to do, and endures years of hell before she finally leaves him and immediately meets her husband Bob. Their joy together as a unit is short lived however, as the cancer that runs in her mother's family swiftly claims her. George finds happiness with a new love but after years of hard drugs his heart is beyond repair and he shortly passes of heart failure at 71. She had her parents cremated and their ashes are scattered by herself, family and friends (after an appropriately expletive laden service) leaving Kelly behind to continue her dual career as counselor and Carlin ambassador.

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