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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

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Performance
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  •  
    John MERIDIAN, ID, United States 12-19-13
    John MERIDIAN, ID, United States 12-19-13
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    "Just what I always wanted"
    What made the experience of listening to Born Standing Up the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the fact that I could download it to my phone, and not just stream it. There are several spots on my drives where there is no cell coverage, and being able to listen uninterrupted made it great


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve Martin. I've always admired him, now I get the backstory of his life.


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

    I love that it's his voice, talking about his life.


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

    I was blown away that he worked at Disneyland (in the magic shop). I've watched his comedy, but never saw the magic part of a show.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, by a great artist, delivered in the best possible way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael E. Sternoff Redmond, WA United States 09-26-13
    Michael E. Sternoff Redmond, WA United States 09-26-13 Listener Since 2010
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    "He's holding back."

    So I love this book in so many ways. Steve is one of the greatest comedians of all time, but there's something damaged about him. You really understand it when he's telling the stories of his father. You can see why Steve didn't have his first child to 66 years old, don't think he wanted to be a father in the way his dad was to him. It doesn't seem like his dad was that bad, just Steve succeeded where his dad failed. So the rest of the review is gonna be slight criticism, but overall I loved this book, this guy is awesome and has had an amazing life.

    I think he was overly concerned with being a good writer. Some of his analogies feel like a stretch and sound unnatural. Like he's trying to write Shakespeare for a Kentucky fried world(see what I did there?.............. analogies that don't make too much sense and take away from the focus of the story.)

    It's a great incite to the world of comedy, but with every chapter I really felt like he was not telling the full story. He was protecting himself. Especially when he talked about having a panic attack when he smoked pot in the 60's, so he never did drugs again. I've heard first hand accounts of that not being entirely accurate. It's like he's trying to paint a picture of his life as how he wants to see it.Which I guess is the reason you do an autobiography. To write history in your eyes, history as you want to see it. But I think it comes off as a sterilized version of what is an incredible life story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy CANANDAIGUA, NY, United States 08-01-13
    Amy CANANDAIGUA, NY, United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Very entertaining"
    Where does Born Standing Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a shorter book, but nonetheless very entertaining and insightful. I really loved the insight into Martin's history and how he crafted his act. I think I am left feeling surprised that he took his humor so seriously! I am a big fan of his music, so it made me happy to hear his banjo tunes in between the chapters. That was a great touch.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica SALINAS, CALIFORNIA, United States 07-11-13
    Jessica SALINAS, CALIFORNIA, United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Beautiful Story Told Beautifully"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Manning Portland, OR 07-09-13
    Nicole Manning Portland, OR 07-09-13 Member Since 2012

    author

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    "Humble, Smart, Funny"
    What made the experience of listening to Born Standing Up the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning about the hard work and artistry that went into Mr. Martin's career.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Whitehouse, TX, United States 06-04-13
    Amazon Customer Whitehouse, TX, United States 06-04-13 Listener Since 2009
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    "Great read."
    Where does Born Standing Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's about as good as Rob Lowe's book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    He's very grounded, unlike many celebrities.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When his mother died.


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Austin, TX, United States 06-03-13
    Ted Austin, TX, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2012

    Actor/Writer in ATX "The Most Wonderfully Ridiculous Person" -Kristen Kurtis 93.3 KGSR

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    "A Must Read for Comedians of Every ilk"
    Would you listen to Born Standing Up again? Why?

    Will and have


    What about Steve Martin’s performance did you like?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Bethany, OK, United States 06-02-13
    Brad Bethany, OK, United States 06-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "interesting"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Born Standing Up to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Steve added his emotion to the reading


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

    The struggles he had


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

    No I have not


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

    Not really


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-18-13
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-18-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "expected more"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Helena 04-12-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Understand his success: work, work, work."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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