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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 (7245 )
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Performance
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  •  
    FunkaDelic225 05-25-15 Member Since 2017
    ratings
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    42
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    "Fan of Steve Martin"
    What made the experience of listening to Born Standing Up the most enjoyable?

    It was very interesting to hear how he started comedy and a bit of his life before, during, and after his comedy exploded into our lives.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve Martin - this is his autobiography.


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

    His voice is unmistakeable and it wouldn't have been the same audiobook experience had he not narrated. It was wonderful to hear his story, his words, and his life with his voice! Another great aspect of his narration is his banjo playing during several transitions and chapters - really wonderful musical talent, this man has. I heard him accompany Edie Brickell on the David Letterman show in 2014 also.


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

    There were a few very personal revelations he shared with the reader/audience that touched me as I was listening. I loved that he was so honest and raw in his descriptions of his personal as well as professional experiences.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a fan of Steve Martin, classic stand-up comedy, or revealing auto-biographies you won't be disappointed in this audiobook. I really enjoyed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 05-02-15
    michael SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 05-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "He worked for it"
    If you could sum up Born Standing Up in three words, what would they be?

    Great read. I love to see the backstory of how they succeeded. Spoiler alert ... he didn't just wake up one day and star on Saturday Night Live ... he worked for it. Steve does the narration which is nice, but unlike the Tina Fey book, he doesn't seem to add any flair to the narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. J. Ryan 04-28-15
    K. J. Ryan 04-28-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Not small"

    This little biography packs a big punch in a small package. Great insight into the greater comic with moments of belly laughs. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. J. Murray scotland 04-27-15
    E. J. Murray scotland 04-27-15

    Ed

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    9
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    "Like smooth OJ"

    Still good but missing some juicy bits. Decent chronological account of the younger years of being a comic in those times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Pusateri 04-19-15 Member Since 2012
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    27
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    "Well worth the listen"

    Even if you're not a fan of Steve Martin, there is some fascinating back story to the changing work of comedy from the 70s to mid 90s. And if you are fan, well that's a win-win no matter the situation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 04-17-15
    Josh 04-17-15
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    8
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    "Awesome"

    Performed amazingly by the man himself. Gives a first hand look into the struggles Steve Martin went thorough to achieve what he achieved, and what it was like being thrown into the spotlight. I enjoyed it a lot

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danyel Lawson New York, NY United States 04-12-15
    Danyel Lawson New York, NY United States 04-12-15

    freegnu

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    "Very open and honest"

    I like the unvarnished view of the strive for success. The keys to success according to Steve seem to me to be to never give up trying and learning and never drinking on the job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Dewayne Crewse Porterville, California 04-05-15
    Terry Dewayne Crewse Porterville, California 04-05-15 Listener Since 2009

    Titanic Stowaway

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    "Very engaging"

    In these memoirs we learn that Steve Martin's life has be richer and deeper than we may have guessed. I do recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Gravelle 03-28-15
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    5
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    "started slow"

    It started slow but I'm very glad I listened to it. Steve Martin has worked very hard to become the entertainer he is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate M. 03-23-15
    Kate M. 03-23-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun book by a fun guy"
    What did you love best about Born Standing Up?

    It went back to Martin's early life, when he did stand-up. Interesting to see how his life progressed until he gave up stand-up to move forward in his career.


    Any additional comments?

    Short and sweet!

    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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    "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
  • Sean Clark
    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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