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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life | [Steve Martin]

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".
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Publisher's Summary

In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

At age 10 Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times: the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late 60s, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the 70s.

©2007 Steve Martin; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

2008 Grammy Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album

"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." (Jerry Seinfeld)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Ivy Writer 02-20-12
    Ivy Writer 02-20-12

    Ivy Writer

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    "Really insightful autobiography"
    If you could sum up Born Standing Up in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, funny, smart


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hard to say, Steve is the main character, but his life seems to have been filled with interesting people!


    Have you listened to any of Steve Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listened to his stand up, which was funny and absurd. He comes across as much more intelligent and thoughtful in this book than in his stand up.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. It made me laugh at times, but it's a more sly humor. I keep saying


    Any additional comments?

    I'm about 70% through it and really enjoying it. I don't want it to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Nairobi, Kenya 02-11-12
    Anna Nairobi, Kenya 02-11-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Hilarious!"

    The book is entertaining from the beginining to the end and the narration is great. I listened to 'Born Standing Up' after completing a very draining project at work and the good laugh was therapeutic! Anyone looking to have a good laugh will find this book rewarding.

    It however feels too short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Australia 01-31-12
    Ryan Australia 01-31-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Listen"

    A great listen if you're interested in the comedy world with the bonus of a highly engaging delivery from the man himself

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl 01-30-12
    Cheryl 01-30-12 Member Since 2012

    momdeplume

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    "Gave me Happy Feet"
    What did you love best about Born Standing Up?

    I bought this audiobook expecting some comedy, but what it delivered was an insight into the making of a career and a life--exactly what a good autobiography should be, even though at one time, Mr. Martin says he feels like he's writing about someone else's life. Steve Martin is a good storyteller. He gives us his triumphal moments as well as his anguish, without being overwrought. The story was always engaging and often surprising.

    His voice, as we know, is very pleasant, and more pleasant still is that he reads with emphasis and diction, and just the right amount of emotion. You might think that's to be expected from a person in show business, but it's true that there are several audiobooks out there that have been slaughtered by actors who are bad readers.

    On both counts, story and delivery, this one is a good pick.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Lowell, NC, United States 01-26-12
    Brenda Lowell, NC, United States 01-26-12
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    "Wonderful listen!"

    I loved listening to this book. It would not have been the same if it were read by anyone but the author! No one would have done the voices the same or sang the songs we who were weaned on his stand up routine know so well. I love Steve and at one time knew his comedy routines by rote. I love him as an actor today. After listening to his book I understand the life of the aspiring comic and know exactly why he chose another course for his career. Love this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Almonte, Ontario, Canada 01-25-12
    Bruce Almonte, Ontario, Canada 01-25-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Entertaining and interesting"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this auto-biography and Mr. Martin provided an insightful and thoughtful account of his rise to fame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Round Rock, TX, United States 01-23-12
    Joe Round Rock, TX, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Short, but entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to Born Standing Up the most enjoyable?

    The fact that Martin narrated his own book added immensely to my enjoyment. To have him deliver his one-liners and sing some of his songs the way he did on stage was wonderful.


    What does Steve Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When Martin's own voice is delivering his funny lines and singing some of the songs he actually used to do on stage and TV, it was an incredible delight.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This is not a


    Any additional comments?

    This is probably the shortest audio book I've ever listened to. If Martin had chosen to dwell on other aspects of his life (his marriage, his movies, his bluegrass music), it would've been a much longer book. But this isn't an autobiography that intends to delve into his entire life. Rather, it is very specific to the development -- and eventual triumph -- of his stand-up-comedy routine. I did find myself wanting to hear what he had to say about the other phases of his life, but perhaps there will be another memoir or two coming from Steve in the future. I hope so!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin K. Harriman 01-23-12 Listener Since 2009
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    "Easy listening, entertaining and insightful"
    Where does Born Standing Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have listened to several audio books here on audible and Born Standing Up: was terrific.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve Martin does a fantastic job telling the story of his struggle to success while sharing the humility of being a comic.


    What does Steve Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Steve's voice makes the story come to life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction here, but if you are looking for understanding of why or how Steve was able to reach meteoric success in ten years, I think you will find plenty of ah ha moments.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Baltimore, MD, United States 01-20-12
    Emily Baltimore, MD, United States 01-20-12
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    "A Candid View from a Sane Comic"
    What made the experience of listening to Born Standing Up the most enjoyable?

    Listening to Steve Martin read it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the stories about the early days of his career. I also liked how he showed the evolution of his artistic style.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen United States 01-03-12
    Karen United States 01-03-12

    I've just gotten hooked on audio book this last year & I love them. Now I can "read" a book & do other things like walk or hobbies.

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    "Loved it, love him!"
    Would you listen to Born Standing Up again? Why?

    yes, coz he's so funny


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Born Standing Up?

    I just realized I am vain and there's a song about me, ha ha.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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