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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 (7249 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Wallingford, CT, USA 04-29-08
    David Wallingford, CT, USA 04-29-08
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    "Great"

    Great book. I can't say that I have ever been a huge Steve Martin fan but after listening to this book I have an entirely new respect for him and his craft. Mr. Martin reads the book himself and does a fantastic job of bringing his pieces to life (as he should). I'm glad no one else narrated this book. A must read for any one remotely interested in a comic legend.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lloyd Ithaca, NY, USA 01-26-08
    Lloyd Ithaca, NY, USA 01-26-08
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    "great comedian, so-so novelist"

    I bought this book because I'm an unabashed Steve Martin fan and not too proud to admit I was one of the thousands who went to his comedy concerts in major arenas, relishing in every rendition of King Tut or his Grandma's song. For someone who's an excellent writer of screenplays, his autobiographical writing style is really too full of cliches and elementary similes, but in the end the book provides what it advertises: a look into the process that created (IMO) one of the most gifted stand-up comedians of this or any other generation. It'a quick and enjoyable listen, but really only if you're a fan of Martin. I don't think it would appeal to anyone else.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Houston, Texas, United States 04-28-12
    Sean Houston, Texas, United States 04-28-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A master"

    I loved hearing Martin's point of view of his rise from amusement park worker to SNL and Hollywood. Some great stories, told by the man himself. You come out understanding why he rose so far, and how he burned out on standup. It's amazing how much though went into what seemed like a freeform act. And you get why he decided it was time to move on.

    Highly recommended.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-12-09
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 11-12-09 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic"

    Loved this one. Great to hear Steve Martin tell his story (in his own voice) and how he landed on his own unique style of comedy. Some really interesting insights along the way.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-21-09
    John MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-21-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Very Enjoyable"

    If you're a fan of any aspect of Steve Martin's career, I think you'll enjoy this "peek" behind the scenes.
    As a creative person, professionally following a creative career, though in a different field, I really enjoyed listening to the evolution of his stand up career, material, and his thoughts, memory, and honest commentary about the highs and lows. In hindsight, he identifies turning points in his life and career that were insightful and often poignant.

    With all of the above, it would have been well worth it, but the book is also infused with the sophisticated Martin humor: loved the lines about "curvy virtues" and "I did not kill him."

    I'll listen to this one again I am sure in a year or so. (That was it's only negative, I wish it were a longer audiobook.) Great going Steve!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blashy Québec, Canada 02-16-09
    Blashy Québec, Canada 02-16-09 Member Since 2016

    Membre since March 2008.

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    "The biography of his career as a Stand Up comic."

    So a 6 hour listen was plenty and having Steve read it was fantastic.

    Great book on the life of stand up comedy and if you're a Steve Martin fan, the book is a must.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles P. Smiley Charleston, SC 01-22-17
    Charles P. Smiley Charleston, SC 01-22-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting perspective on a comic genius"
    Where does Born Standing Up rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a short listen but provides adequate insight into the life of Steve Martin. Of the 40 Audible books I've listened to, I'd rate it in the bottom third in terms of story. I enjoyed it but once was enough.


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

    I chose this book specifically so I could listen to it from start-to-finish while driving on a trip.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen W. Lam Vancouver, BC Canada 01-15-17
    Karen W. Lam Vancouver, BC Canada 01-15-17 Member Since 2014

    Vancouver-based filmmaker. Crazy cat lady who falls down a lot of rabbit holes.

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    "Wonderful Listen"

    Highly recommended for anyone who loves Steve Martin, stand-up comedy and banjos, although not exclusively. So glad I listened to the audiobook rather than just reading the book because you're treated to banjo interludes, Steve Martin's own dry delivery, his comic inflection and timing, not to mention the occasional song. Lots of insight, lots of laughs and even a few tears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Hanson Eau Claire, WI 01-13-17
    Lori Hanson Eau Claire, WI 01-13-17 Member Since 2012

    Civil War Nut LH

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    "I almost passed on this one, but . . ."
    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad I bought it. I've been watching Steve Martin for decades and always thought he was funny. However, I'm a big fan of Kathy Griffin. After reading her account of meeting Steve Martin for the first time, I was ready to give this book a pass (even though Kathy loved this book). I'm glad I gave it a chance.

    Steve's performance in the beginning is a little boring. If you get past the small part where he seems to be getting his feet wet, you'll find it's worth the wait. Okay, so he name-drops and I was a little impressed by that. He really gets into the story after the first chapter or so and that was enough to get me to listen to it again. I definitely got my money's worth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer West Lafayette,Oh. 01-12-17
    Amazon Customer West Lafayette,Oh. 01-12-17 Member Since 2015

    Lin

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    "the best story I have heard yet."

    I loved this story.Steve Martin is the funniest writer I have listened to,ever.If you like comics,he's the best.Buy this book now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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