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Born Standing Up Audiobook
Born Standing Up
Written by: 
Steve Martin
Narrated by: 
Steve Martin
Born Standing Up Audiobook

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

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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

4.3 (5161 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amy Huber Illinois 07-25-15
    Amy Huber Illinois 07-25-15 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining!"

    I was fascinated to hear the story of Steve Martin's early stand up years. He intersperses childhood memories of his family through the history of his years struggling to be a successful stand up comic. He narrates the story very matter-of-factly but still provides his recognizable voice.

    He really crafts vivid images in his words. He set the scenes memorably without getting bogged down in details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan New Orleans, LA, United States 07-23-15
    Juan New Orleans, LA, United States 07-23-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Not very intimate but that is Steve"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Well Steve could have been more revealing about himself


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steve Martin again?

    Probably not


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    His voice is smooth and his delivery excellent.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes it did have some details about delivering comedy and did tell some details about what it is like about developing a comedy act. However it is lacks too much detail. Not too much introspection.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 07-18-15
    Anthony 07-18-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Great read with all the good and bad of a life being loved."

    I truly enjoyed the honest and candid story telling of one of my favorite performers. Life is not all roses for those who achieve success but the proof is in how they manage it. Great story and a great performer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan 07-17-15
    Bryan 07-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Perfect"

    It was perfectly perfect, I can't say any more than that. It was so perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vince Hughes 07-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Born Standing Up"

    Just an amazing book, loved it all, an exceptional look into the mind that brought so much ground breaking comedy, I wore the albums out and never failed to borrow one of his lines whenever possible, although I was then a teenager heading into my twenties. Steve's comedy alwYs made me laugh & feel comfortable at the same time. Great comic, actor, & now author (your narration on Audible was fantastic) THANK YOU STEVE MARTIN

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari 07-15-15
    Shari 07-15-15
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    "Wonderful memoir."

    If you expect a book-long comedy routine, you will be disappointed. I enjoyed this very much though, as it is an intelligent, well-written and thoughtful account of how the talented Mr. Martin came to be the comic icon he is, and also how and why he walked away from that life. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DB 07-11-15
    DB 07-11-15 Member Since 2016

    just good books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Who hasn't raised their hand before?"
    Any additional comments?

    Well written and very well narrated biography. Necessary reading (or listening) to for any Steve Martin fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gotta Tellya Santa Rosa, CA 07-09-15
    Gotta Tellya Santa Rosa, CA 07-09-15 Member Since 2013

    KEC

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank you, Steve."

    Nice to know more about one of my favorite people. Steve Martin shares bits of his life and early career as graciously as if he were my host and I, the listener, was his guest. I saw Steve perform on stage in the mid 1970's. His show was outstanding. Steve is a treasure. I hope he realizes how much joy he has brought into the lives of others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 07-09-15
    Mike 07-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Steve Martin PUSHED!"

    The story is wonderful and the broke life of a comic was clearly portrayed but not overdone. Great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kristin 07-08-15
    kristin 07-08-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable and unexpected"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Born Standing Up to be better than the print version?

    Because Steve Martin read it himself, its like going to a stand up comedy show when he reads his own stuff.


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

    I enjoyed the whole book, the way he talks about his father is the most remember-able. Only because the way he talks about him, you can tell by the inflection in his voice that the feelings run deep there.


    What about Steve Martin’s performance did you like?

    I really liked it. It wasnt what I expected though. With Tina and Amy's books, I was laughing at what they were saying. But with Steve, it was so calm, like sitting down with a friend, listening to him tell me his life story. It was funny to me, but i connected to him on a different level that really makes me want to relisten to his book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I've learned to pace myself


    Any additional comments?

    I would like him to write more books and read more! I really like his voice!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Alistair
    London, United Kingdom
    5/13/11
    Overall
    "Interesting insight into a great comedian"

    Steve Martin's narration is wonderfully clear and insightful, unlike many of his contemporaries he is able to recall the early days of Saturday Night Live and the 70's stand-up seen brilliantly. It is a useful look into the formation of his career and how he struggled early on. I would have preferred it to be a little longer as it’s much more interesting than many celebrity auto-biographies.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • john keegan
    Glasgow, Strathclyde United Kingdom
    7/9/13
    Overall
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    Story
    "Funny Guy!"
    Would you try another book written by Steve Martin or narrated by Steve Martin?

    Yes, yes, yes. This is the first audiobook I have heard by Steve Martin and thoroughly enjoyed. It's fantastic hearing the author tell his thoughts and jokes.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Great book and a story that brings you up to date.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I wouldn't say I enjoyed one chapter or scene more than another, I did however love hearing how the conception of some of his catchphrases came into being.


    Was Born Standing Up worth the listening time?

    The book was a very open and honest account of his life, a must buy if you like Steve Martin, his work and comedy. My only downside was I felt it was too short.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Hare Hatch, United Kingdom
    1/26/12
    Overall
    "Well worth your time"

    It's a bit light on the humour but all the same, it's very interesting. His relationship with his parents, particularly his father comes as a surprise. He goes into detail about his route into the business, the highs and lows, the loneliness, and it's very revealing. Very well written and Steve reads it in a very matter of fact way - one that will stay with you long after you've read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Narny
    Lincoln, United Kingdom
    6/17/11
    Overall
    "Tears of a clown."

    I heard Scottish comedian Susan Calman recommend this book but having quite a mixed opinion of Steve Martin I thought it would just be a few hours of him massaging his own ego.

    However I admit to being very wrong and understood Ms. Calman's reason for recommending it. This honest and sometimes very sad memoir of Steve Martin is a very memorable and surprising listen. Yes, there is plenty of humour but it clearly shows the road to fame has been a hard journey for the star and he readily admits to his own faults. At the end of it my opinion had been altered somewhat.

    I would recommend this. It may not change your opinion of Steve Martin but it is an enlightening listen from the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Parke
    6/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One crazy guy"

    Wonderful reading and well layered a great insight and has many touching parts. It's a great listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faye T.
    3/15/16
    Overall
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    Story
    "Excellent presentation. Lovely story."

    Narrated beautifully. Learnt a lot about Steve Martin. Very easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Schunowho
    2/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It has a beginning, middle but no end."

    I'm a big Steve Martin fan but this book left too many questions unanswered. He tells a bittersweet, almost melancholy story of his rise to fame. It's honest and heartfelt and tells of his fathers coldness and his rise selling programs at Disneyland an on through magic shops and the small smokey clubs where he carved out his unique "Crazy " guy persona. He reads with little emotion but it has its funny moments.
    It ends just after his parents deaths and his first film success in The Jerk.
    It's well documented that Steve has wrestled with physiological problems and these are hinted at in this book. I would have liked to have heard the behind the scenes of his big hit films and his reminisces of his fellow performers. This would have ended the book with an upbeat feel.
    Do another volume Steve with a few more laughs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sean Clark
    12/3/15
    Overall
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    "Great insight into a funny man"

    Steve Martin wasn't just a comedian , he analysed comedy for its nuance. He worked hard, and from a most normal upbringing, became an overnight success 20 years in the making.

    Told with a familiar dry humour, it is sometimes hard to pick out the facts from a line. Which makes this book all the better for it.

    That Steve Martin narrates it is only right. So don't expect an uplifting experience, more a monotone dialogue in which Steve is the only character. And rightly so, great fun.

    You'll never feel this small again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. N. Curran
    3/5/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "Brilliant"

    The best read autobiography I've heard. Brilliantly told story of his rise to fame and the start middle ant then end of his stand up comedy career. This is well worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JamieD87
    12/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great insight into the life of a great performer"
    If you could sum up Born Standing Up in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful. Entertaining. Comical.


    What other book might you compare Born Standing Up to, and why?

    None I can think of.


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

    His voice reading his story made it all the more real. It's his story after all so his tone changes naturally when it needs to, giving the book an extra dimension of reality as well as entertainment.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Mostly the part when talking about his relationship with his father. So honest and open about such an intimate subject. Fair play to him.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the way he gave insight into the comedy circuit. I've kinda always wondered what it was like but never had the cojones to actually go try stand up. It's was a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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