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)
I only went to a few live "concerts" when I was in college in the '70s and Steve Martin was one of them. In my mind's eye I still see his visual, intelligent, and off beat stand up routine. This memoir, beautifully read by the author and punctuated with what I assume is his banjo playing, brings those moments back to vivid life. I laughed out loud again at his wonderful humor (which was somewhat disturbing to the people on the treadmills next to me at the gym).
In addition to his wonderful humor, the author gives us insight into some of the entainment influences in his career and contemporary comedy. In addition to laugh out loud and insightful moments, Steve Martin shares memories from his childhood that are touching, often sweetly funny, and sometimes heart wrenching.
This will be a great book for all baby boomers. And if you don't like it as much as I did, then EXCUUUUUUUUSE MEEEEE!
I was unable to stop listening to the audio book read by the author. His beginnings were different than I imagined. He started working at age ten and never stopped. I understand now why he no longer does standup. I miss his wild and crazy humor, and applaud his movies. Bowfinger is my favorite.
I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks
I admire Steve Martin the comic actor, and I was surprised and delighted by the quality of Shop Girl. This memoir of how Steve Martin dedicated himself to a craft that is difficult and ephemeral is eloquent and honest. I especially enjoyed his concession that his depressive episode might have been self indulgent but nevertheless challenging.
I enjoyed this audio book, and it was lovely having the author perform it himself. With regard to the story, I had hoped for more about Steve Martin's life, but I suppose the title does suggest the fact that it is more about Steve Martin's stand up career than himself.
Love him or hate him, it's difficult to deny that this man is a complex and multi-talented performer. Made all the more powerful by Steve Martin's own narration, Born Standing Up will be added to my all time favourites list. From his very humble beginnings and the long road to stardom, this book covers the highs and lows of Steve Martin's life. His narration is intensely personal and engaging and presents an insight into the life behind the public facade.
A truly wonderful book.
This book was a real treat. Martin has an amazing amount of insight into his life and success. Anyone considering a career in show business would learn a great deal from his story. It was great to hear him read his own book as it almost always is, but in this case the listener gets a bonus in that when Martin recounts some of his old material he more or less performs it at times, making the comedy come alive as it did in his appearances and recording. Highly recommend.
Steve Martin does an incredible job capturing his time as a stand up comedian and the experiences that shaped him as a performer. Yes, the book is funny, but it is also very poignant as he takes the time to explore how his childhood and family shaped the person that he became as an adult.
Interesting and intelligent insights from the mind of Steve Martin. His own voice is sincere and engaging to listen to. His look back on his stand-up period is objective. When I watched him when I was a college student, I just thought he was funny. His book shows there was interesting stuff going on under the surface that I didn't see. This is a serious look and although it has funny moments that made me laugh it is more than that. Steve takes you along through the world of stand-up from the performer's side with a realism and credibility that makes it interesting.
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.
"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.
"One crazy guy"
Wonderful reading and well layered a great insight and has many touching parts. It's a great listen
"Excellent presentation. Lovely story."
Narrated beautifully. Learnt a lot about Steve Martin. Very easy to listen to.
"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.
"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!
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.
"Great insight into the life of a great performer"
Insightful. Entertaining. Comical.
None I can think of.
His voice reading his story made it all the more real. It's his story after all so his tone changes naturally when it needs to, giving the book an extra dimension of reality as well as entertainment.
Mostly the part when talking about his relationship with his father. So honest and open about such an intimate subject. Fair play to him.
I liked the way he gave insight into the comedy circuit. I've kinda always wondered what it was like but never had the cojones to actually go try stand up. It's was a great listen.
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