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)
It is easy to like Steve Martin because he is funny and smart. I found it interesting that how he came in contact with so many other show business and comedy legends. The fact that he reads the book is a bonus.
I'm not a Steve Martin fan but thought his autobiography was incredibly intelligent and well-written. It is fascinating to hear how his inner emotional life related to the public persona through different periods of his career. Ultimately, the self-awareness he achieves is quite inspiring.
I'd been waiting for a book like this about Steve Martin for many years so was extremely satisfied with the content. Informative and completely entertaining. Really interesting read.
The opening stories during the first hour held my attention, without enthralling me. But then the book really took off when Steve Martin began discussing his standup career, and all the jobs (writing on the Smothers Brothers' Show, etc.) that led up to it. And he discusses the inner workings of his mind during those years, sharing with us the conscious thought process that went into developing his standup persona. All of that was fantastic.
My only complaint is that I wish the book had been longer. (It’s just over 4 hours). I could have easily listened to him discuss his film career, as well. But this is a memoir about his standup days. And it's an interesting one. It also has a very warm quality. And it's a pleasure to hear Steve Martin deliver various jokes he has made over the years. I’m glad he chose to read his book himself. He did a very good job.
If you're a fan of Steve Martin, I don't see how you could be disappointed, other than, as I said, it could have been longer.
I really wanted to read this book as I am a great fan of Steve Martin. Yet his reading of it, short of some of his comedy bits, is rather monotone. The insights he gives are somewhat interesting, but few, there are huge gaps in his life (like only one mention of his marriage, and that is to counter a quote from some newspaper when he divorced). Didn't want all the dirt, but did want something that would make me 'feel' like I knew Steve Martin. I feel I hardly know the man at all.
I expected more from an autobiography. This reads like a review of a (not so engaging) trip. First I went here, then I went there, this happened, then that happened.
Dull as can be. I realize that Steve Martin is a "private" person, but why then would he write an autobiography? Oh yes, an autobiography that has no NOTHING in it!
If you ever think you have lead a dull life, then this will lift you up immeasurably! Rest assured, as it is conveyed here, this will top yours!
A total disappointment from a public figure who I enjoyed and laughed along with many others in the 70's.
Looking for a good autobiography? Try Diane Keaton's newest one, you won't be disappointed!
The book wasn't funny or even interesting
It was a dry read. But the writing was so poor not sure that anything could have made it funny.
The whole book should have been burned before press time thus stopping a audio book.
Wow I want my life and my money back.
As a fan of the audio version of Pure Drivel, I was surprised to hear Martin read this memoir in such a cold manner. I generally prefer works read by their authors because of the sophisticated judgment of inflection and tone that the creator can give his own words, and I heard none of that here. The content is interesting enough, and was not written to be humorous, but Martin treats it as if it were a set of airline safety regulations rather than a fragment of his own life. There is none of the warmth and joviality I normally associate with his reading. Forewarned is forearmed--look to this work only if you have a specific interest in Steve Martin, otherwise consider the much more genial Alan Alda memoir regarding his stuffed dog.
"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.
"excellent and entertaining"
I found this book to be well written, well read and a very interesting insight into the life of a clever and artistic man. Very entertaining. I would listen to it again in the future and there are not many books I would say that of.
"Not what i expected."
I love Steve Martin as a comic, but after listening to this I am not so much a fan anymore. It does seem to be true that a comic has a difficult life, and he seems to have had his fair share of obsticles to overcome in his life. Not one I would recommend.
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