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Not Taco Bell Material

Not Taco Bell Material by Adam Carolla 

Funnyman Adam Carolla is known for two things: hilarious rants about things that drive him crazy and personal stories about everything from his hardscrabble childhood to his slacker friends to the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He tackled rants in his first book, and now he tells his best stories and debuts some never-before-heard tales as well.  Organized by the myriad “dumps” Carolla called home as a child—through the flophouse apartments he rented in his twenties, up to the homes he personally renovated after achieving success in Hollywood—the anecdotes here follow Adam’s journey and the hilarious pitfalls along the way.

Adam Carolla started broke and blue collar and has now been on the Hollywood scene for over fifteen years. Yet he never lost his underdog demeanor.  He’s still connected to the working class guy he once was, and delivers a raw and edgy, fish-out-of-water take on the world he lives in (but mostly disagrees with), telling all the stories, no matter who he offends—family, friends or the famous.

Not Taco Bell Material is a memoir of Carolla’s early childhood, through his raucous drug-fueled teens and twenties up to the present day as a comedian, actor, producer and writer. The book follows the framework of the various ‘dumps’ Adam grew up in, the apartments he rented through his twenties, to the homes he purchased and personally renovated when he found success. Each chapter focuses on the hilarious stories that took place while he lived in each abode and is peppered with Carolla’s trademark rants all while managing to be touching and inspirational.

In his second book, Adam Carolla—author of New York Times bestseller In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks and chart-topping podcaster—reveals all the stories behind how he came to be the angry middle-aged man he is today.

About the Author

ADAM CAROLLA is a radio and TV host, comedian, actor, and host of the Adam Carolla Podcast. Carolla is well known as the co-host of the radio and MTV show Loveline, the co-creator and co-host of The Man Show, and as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

Adam Carolla talks about Not Taco Bell Material – Part 1

Adam Carolla talks about Not Taco Bell Material – Part 2

Adam Carolla talks about Not Taco Bell Material – Part 3


I really enjoyed “Not Taco Bell Material” on a number of different levels. First and most importantly, it’s well written, literate and well organized. I love how he has chunked his life based on the house/dwelling/hole he was living in at the time. Pictures are great too. Secondly, it’s funny as hell. I laughed out loud constantly. You can hear Adam’s voice throughout the whole thing, it’s like listening to him talk. Thirdly, and most surprisingly, is how deep it really is. Adam comes from a very dysfunctional family background, and that he’s able to speak as someone who has some perspective on it, but still working through it, is quite touching. I can’t believe his family–you really can’t make this stuff up.

The only part I didn’t particularly like was how he skipped over parts of his life that were apparently covered in his previous book, which I didn’t read, but I think I’m going to. (Referring to how he met Jimmy Kimmel, etc). I’m now a fan.

A great read. I highly recommend this one!

-By Allie

Carolla hits another home run here. This will almost certainly be the funniest, and quite possibly the most charming, book you’ll read this year.

Carolla manages to be down right hilarious and yet incredibly insightful at the same time.

I highly recommend.

-By Ryan Vooris (Ithaca, NY)

The Ace Man’s follow-up to “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks” is a solid memoir. For what it is, it’s a good book, however those looking for more of the brilliant musings Adam’s first book offered will be disappointed. If you want to know the life story of the man behind the jokes, “Not Taco Bell Material” is a must read. If you’d rather keep Adam’s personal life at bay and just laugh at his rants, stick with the podcast — he’ll fill in all of the autobiographical gaps eventually.

I have been a fan of Adam for about twelve years now. When I was in high school, it was his genius and Dr. Drew’s passionate passion that put me to bed at night (Loveline runs from 10p.m. to midnight where I live). That said, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him tell most of these stories before at one point or another. Like “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks,” “Not Taco Bell Material” is a compilation of his greatest hits, but in the form of life events rather than musings/rants. The comedy in “Not Taco Bell Material” comes in the form of metaphor, analogy, and hyperbole laced throughout Adam’s retelling of the stories that made him the man he is today. His “Tan Gent”s are brilliant in their own right, but leave a little to be desired in the humor department.

My biggest critique of the book is structural. Before I get into this, I want it to be known that I am not usually a grammar cop, but this is so blatant it is worth mentioning. The book has countless run-on sentences and page-long paragraphs that force the reader (me, anyway) to have to reread several passages. Ace cannot be blamed for this because as with “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks,” he did not pen the book himself. Thankfully, “Not Taco Bell Material” is such an easy read that this mechanical flaw is not a major nuisance. I’m not one to finish books quickly, but I tore through this one in 3 days — partially because of the ease of reading but mainly because it was so damn good.

Amazon Link –


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