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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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  •  
    Bobbie Huntsville, AL, USA 03-11-10
    Bobbie Huntsville, AL, USA 03-11-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Drive & Listen"

    Keeps your attention and is very good for a trip

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Simi Valley, CA, USA 09-19-09
    Dan Simi Valley, CA, USA 09-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty Much What You Expect"

    It was interesting to have Steve tell you the whole story. It was pretty much like watching one of those old VH-1 biographies. A lot of facts, and several fun anecdotes.

    If your looking for something light, to break up a couple larger novels, this is it. If you really like Steve Martin (I do), you'll enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Green Bay, WI, USA 01-16-09
    Phillip Green Bay, WI, USA 01-16-09
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    5
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    "1975 former Disco guy loved the book"

    If like me you graduated in the 70's you grew saying all of Steve Martin's phrases. Good book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 01-08-09
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 01-08-09 Member Since 2006

    Don't you just love a great story well told?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Comedy is hard work"

    I had no idea the amount of dedication and serious sweat it takes just to be mediocre much less great! The "anti" comic style Martin developed made it all the harder. Read this and you'll understand why Mr. Martin is the entertainer he is today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Rio Rancho, NM, United States 12-29-08
    Teresa Rio Rancho, NM, United States 12-29-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Honest poignant memoir"

    This is a wonderful memoir. Steve Martin gives an open and honest account of his development as a comedian and performer. It is also accompanied by banjo music both composed and played by Steve Martin. Definitely worth a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Macedon, NY, USA 12-27-08
    Joyce Macedon, NY, USA 12-27-08
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    2
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    "Excellent, insightful book"

    Simply put... An extremely enjoyable read (listen). Steve Martin helps the reader (listener) understand why at the top of his profession he walked away.

    Highly recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen USA 11-11-08
    Eileen USA 11-11-08 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Stand-Up Memoir"

    Being a fan of stand-up comics, and a huge Steve Martin fan, I was drawn to this book. Listening to Martin himself narrate it was even better. He tells his story in a very conversational manner, and you feel like he's speaking to you on a personal level. The laughs aren't as huge as his comic routines, but there are plenty sprinkled in. Highly recommend it as a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Lansing, MI, USA 11-07-08
    Jeff Lansing, MI, USA 11-07-08
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    "Good, not great."

    Having grown up listening to Steve Martan records, snl appearances, and then the Jerk, I was a huge fan. Steve goes into great detail about his childhood and his interest as an entertainer, how ever I feel like he only skims the surface once his fame was achieved, I would have like to here more stories about SNL, friends and the business ETC. It's like he grew tired of writing the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John New York, NY, USA 08-09-08
    John New York, NY, USA 08-09-08
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    "Very enjoyable, Steve Martin is a very good reader"

    I'm a Steve Martin fan and loved his stand up comedy. This audio book covers this part of his career in detail (and more) that fans or anyone would find engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Deborah New York, NY, United States 08-02-08
    Deborah New York, NY, United States 08-02-08
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    "Comedy Icon..."

    I enjoyed the book on audio perhaps better than if I had only read it in print. Steve Martin narrates his own work which is interesting in itself as it makes the story that much more personal. The overall audio experience is further enhanced by the bits of his banjo playing that are used to separate one section from another. The banjo playing was a nice surprise and an added bonus that you certainly don't get when you only have the book.

    Steve Martin got into just how hard he worked before he was able to achieve success at comedy. I have loved Steve Martin forever -- or so it seems -- but I never thought about what he did before he became famous or what he did in order to become successful. He gave a lot of detail about he did and what he went through for all of those years.

    I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it to anyone who is interested in Steve Martin or to anyone interested in what it takes to achieve success. Fascinating story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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