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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

4.3 (7665 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Heath 07-06-15
    Heath 07-06-15
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    REVIEWS
    41
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Celebrities are people too."

    Steve shares a lot with this. Guess what? Celebrities are people, not the roles you've seen them portray.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Ellyn 07-06-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Making history"
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent and poignant story of Martin's journey through comedy history. Very interesting read on how and why his act developed as it did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Beamsville, ON, Canada 07-06-15
    Shawn Beamsville, ON, Canada 07-06-15 Member Since 2012
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    0
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    "Edutaining"

    An enjoyable biography sounding truthful and being entertaining. If you like biographies, comedies, or shoes I suggest this listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eddy Martinez 07-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed this very much."

    It was a pleasurable listen as Steve recounts his historical career. Laughed out loud several times as backstage stories take you into the life and lessons as we move through this world trying to make the best of it. Stevie's courage to press on and pursue dreams motivates the listener to fave the reality, we only live once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Proud Grandma 07-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "This was just OK"

    This was interesting, but bland and obviously leaving out the juicy personal information I wanted!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lane 07-03-15
    Lane 07-03-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A fun look back at Steve Martin's early career"

    it was fun to get to know the Steve Martin from his earlier years. I grew up on The Three Amigos, Roxanne, and planes Trains ans Automobiles...it was a wonderful story of his pre Amigos life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy 07-03-15
    Tracy 07-03-15 Member Since 2016
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    111
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    "Fascinating and inspiring!"

    I have always really liked Steve Martin. Listening to him read this account was not only very enjoyable, but it elevated my respect for the man even higher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-01-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love it"

    Good insight on how he saw him self. He's funny and a Humble Man. I think you will enjoy this book if you are a fan I'm a huge fan of him

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    402266 07-01-15
    402266 07-01-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Short but meaningful."

    This compact book brings to mind the virtues of brevity as E. B. White taught them in the Elements of Style. It is compact, but meaningful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dino Crocetti Texas, USA, Earth 07-01-15
    Dino Crocetti Texas, USA, Earth 07-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Brilliant but lifeless"

    A fascinating story, but lifelessly performed. He read his book as if reading stereo instructions.

    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
    Performance
    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
  • T Parks
    12/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well review me!"

    Loved this audio book. I'm a huge Steve Martin fan but a little too young to remember his period as a stand-up,*&& so hearing his vivid account of that era helped match the archive footage that exists to his personal experience.

    One thing that stands out is that he absolutely worked his butt off to achieve fame. 5 sessions a day! No wonder he experienced stand-up burn-out via the creative vacuum of repetition.

    It's a very touching audio book and one that I hope he expands on with regards to his career as an on-screen actor. I'd love to hear what he experienced making All of Me or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    If you're a fan or someone interested in the restless 70s then you owe it to yourself to have a listen.

    0 of 0 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
    Performance
    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
  • SeanC
    12/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Performance
    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

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