Napalm and Silly Putty is being billed by publisher Hyperion as "George Carlin's latest collection of razor-sharp observations and caustic, irreverent humor"—knowing this funnyman's reputation, however, readers might well take that as understatement. Carlin, who last month was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Comedy Awards, has starred in 11 solo HBO specials (a 12th will be broadcast live in November), released 18 albums (10 Grammy nominations, three awards) and appeared in 10 movies (including Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and the soon-to-be-released Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). He's racked up hundreds of TV appearances (130+ on The Tonight Show alone). He's also, of course, got another bestseller to his credit: 1997's Brain Droppings spent 27 weeks on our charts in its hardcover and paperback editions and enjoyed a 40-week run on the New York Times list. And the beat goes on: Carlin's on view in the May Playboy (first serial) and Vanity Fair, and in upcoming features in Time, Time Out New York and USA Today. His 11-city tour winds up later this month in L.A. Napalm currently has 356,000 copies in print.

With reporting by Dick Donahue