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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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  •  
    ABC Williams Clarkston, MI 10-07-15
    ABC Williams Clarkston, MI 10-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Disappointing"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'll be honest: I'm not a big Steve Martin fan to begin with but I have serious respect for his contributions to the comedic world and thought he was magic on SNL. I found his narration to be flat, his story dry, and meandering without any clear end in sight. If you're looking for a great comedian's story, check out "I Must Say" by Martin Short. It was nothing short of wonderful.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    barney lobar Indiana 07-28-15
    barney lobar Indiana 07-28-15 Member Since 2014

    review master2008

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    "average read and listening"
    What did you like best about Born Standing Up? What did you like least?

    I found the info about his life very interesting and telling in his development. However, his read of his own book is very lackluster. Lacks the spontaneity and creativity of his own standup routines.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Steve Martin? Why or why not?

    Not really. He is not a very open author or engaging.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Maybe have someone else read it? Add some personal info. Does not compare well to Billy Crystal's book.


    Did Born Standing Up inspire you to do anything?

    Maybe watch some of his Saturday Night Live appearances.


    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed in the lackluster performance. Almost stopped listening. But I slogged through. Was just okay.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan New Orleans, LA, United States 07-23-15
    Juan New Orleans, LA, United States 07-23-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Not very intimate but that is Steve"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Well Steve could have been more revealing about himself


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steve Martin again?

    Probably not


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    His voice is smooth and his delivery excellent.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes it did have some details about delivering comedy and did tell some details about what it is like about developing a comedy act. However it is lacks too much detail. Not too much introspection.


    1 of 1 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 4 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 4 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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Austin, TX, United States 02-09-10
    Debbie Austin, TX, United States 02-09-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Engaging"

    I loved this memoir and hearing about Martin's challenging upbringing and career path. I don't share Steve Martin's sense of humor. But, I love that he seems like a very kind, honorable human being.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 06-17-16
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 06-17-16 Member Since 2009
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    "private & lonely VS. public & crowded"

    ? did you come of age with the comedy of the 1970's and 1980's
    ? can you remember the very early years of " Saturday Night Live "
    ? do you have an appetite for knowing a performer's back story

    steve martin has written a wistful and tender hearted memoir for you
    as you'd expect he's a sensitive soul ( migraines, panic attacks, hypochondria etc. )
    he seeks the stage to work out those issues and escape a dreary home life

    martin is a remarkably kind, thoughtful, modest and eloquent man
    he clearly prefers his current quiet life to his prior episode of national fame
    there's a profound genuineness to his description of his life and friends

    for some people, solitude and introspection are not things to be avoided
    martin is clearly in that group and he quickly found fame to an irritant
    if that speaks to your soul, i'd highly recommend this self-narrated book

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patrick dailey Parma, OH, US 04-14-09
    patrick dailey Parma, OH, US 04-14-09 Listener Since 2007
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    "born standing up"

    This was a great listen. I love the fact that Steve Martin read his own book, it really added to the realism of his life.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Blashy Québec, Canada 02-16-09
    Blashy Québec, Canada 02-16-09 Member Since 2015

    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 8 people found this review helpful

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