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.
2008 Grammy Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album
"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." (Jerry Seinfeld)
Steve Martin has an iconic voice and a legendary sense of humor. Hearing him say the things he wrote in this book felt deeply personal, like he was revealing himself for what he truly is. Listening to Born Standing Up made me care deeply for the author in a way that one very rarely cares for those in the public eye. It was not a distant or lofty description of an alien world. It was the true story of a journey that seemed at once romantic, intriguing and yet completely realistic. It truly is a magnificent work with a beautiful story arc that reaches climactic highs and transcendent resolutions. 10/10 will listen again at least once or twice.
I really enjoyed hearing Mr. Martin read his story in his own voice. He's got a wry sense of humor and is an expert at timing, so the book was really enjoyable when heard instead of read.
Learning about the hard work and artistry that went into Mr. Martin's career.
If you are looking for celebrity "dirt," you won't find it here. Martin didn't write a "tell all" here, but then again, he's got way too much class for that. Great book!
It's about as good as Rob Lowe's book.
He's very grounded, unlike many celebrities.
When his mother died.
Actor/Writer in ATX "The Most Wonderfully Ridiculous Person" -Kristen Kurtis 93.3 KGSR
Will and have
Having read the book on the page as well, there is something added to the story by hearing Steve's own delivery. His voice is fantastic for narration and the story feels more personal.
Yes, Steve added his emotion to the reading
The struggles he had
No I have not
Say something about yourself!
Maybe Mr. Martin is just an actor /performer? I always thought he was a writer? I love the jerk and his earlier records. Yes the vinyl ones.
Martin's success in the world of comedy and show business is marked by his unrelenting perfectionism and practice, practice, practice. While this slice of his autobiography is revealing of his hard work and of his decency, one does not hear too much of his private life now (which is perfectly OK). He seems a real intellectual, artist, and person who's curious about life, which is what makes him interesting. What makes him funny we've all seen. This book goes a long way to showing what makes him tick. Liked it a lot.
Yes. It was great to hear Steve talk about his stand up career and hear his philosophy about career fulfillment.
Steve... were there any others???
His distinct tone. I could imagine his voice if I read the book. I am an 80s child and the earliest work of his that I have ever seen is early SNL. I'm more familiar with his movies. I have never seen his stand up and I would not have been able to properly guess the tone of the jokes if I had not listened to it.
The last joke made me laugh for a good five minutes. I cried when he spoke about the death of his parents.
He constantly talks about what a shy person he is. He is known to be very private. I gave the story a 4 star rating because like many autobiographies that are specific to one period of a persons life you can literally feel passages where you get the feeling there is more to a story but the author is only going to tell as much as they want you to know. It is the authors right to do so but when the reader can sense the story is censored it leaves a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. I also found this in Tina Fey's "Bossypants". The only autobiography I can think of where I did not feel this was you Michael J. Fox's "Lucky Man."
We were looking for a book we could both appreciate on a two hour drive and this was our compromise choice. The performance was very good and it held our interest both going up and coming back.
This is not a book of celebrity gossip or shallow reflection. That is its strength. It is a serious analysis of how Steve Martin evolved into a stand up comic, how he succeeded, and why he stopped. It candidly examines his relationship with his family, how his routine developed, who and what influenced him and how he succeeded at a particular moment in time. It also examines why he stopped at the height of his comic popularity and started making films.
Not surprisingly Steve Martin is a really effective reader and it was his performance that was the standout characteristic of the audio. Because it is a memoir it was effective to have it read by an author whose narrative skill is professional. The story is intelligent and carries you along and is very satisfying if you are looking for something to pass the time, but in the end it wasn't all that memorable.
If you grew up during Steve Martin's early career this is likely to be more of interest to you than to younger people unless you are familiar with his very visual brand of comedy during the 70s.
Any fan of Steve Martin would appreciate a look back with Mr. Martin on his beginnings in comedy, the development of his standup routine and his move away from standup to a very successful movie career. Lots of wonderful stories, and a few sad ones. Great listen.
Great memories of his SNL appearances. I appreciated the difficult stories about his Father.
Hearing Mr. Martin's difficult times with his Father.
"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.
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.
Great book and a story that brings you up to date.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"One crazy guy"
Wonderful reading and well layered a great insight and has many touching parts. It's a great listen
"Excellent presentation. Lovely story."
Narrated beautifully. Learnt a lot about Steve Martin. Very easy to listen to.
"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.
"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!
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.
"Great insight into the life of a great performer"
Insightful. Entertaining. Comical.
None I can think of.
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.
Mostly the part when talking about his relationship with his father. So honest and open about such an intimate subject. Fair play to him.
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.
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