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The Pleasure of My Company | [Steve Martin]

The Pleasure of My Company

Daniel Pecan Cambridge, 30, 35, 38 or 27, depending on how he feels that day, is a young man whose life is rich and full, provided he never leaves his Santa Monica apartment. After all, outside there are 8-inch-high curbs and there's always the horrible chance he might see a gas station attendant wearing a blue hat. So, except for the occasional trip to the Rite Aid to admire the California girl Zandy and to buy earplugs because they're on sale, he stays home a lot. And good thing, too.
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Publisher's Summary

Daniel Pecan Cambridge, 30, 35, 38 or 27, depending on how he feels that day, is a young man whose life is rich and full, provided he never leaves his Santa Monica apartment. After all, outside there are 8-inch-high curbs and there's always the horrible chance he might see a gas station attendant wearing a blue hat. So, except for the occasional trip to the Rite Aid to admire the California girl Zandy and to buy earplugs because they're on sale, he stays home a lot. And good thing too, or he would have never been falsely implicated in a murder, never almost seduced by Philipa, never done the impossible task of jogging around the block with Brian, never ironed his pillows, and might never have won the Most Average American essay contest.

In The Pleasure of My Company, Steve Martin's second novel, all of the enjoyments of the critically acclaimed best seller Shopgirl are present: the tender portrayal of loneliness and love; a character's quest to reach out and engage the world; as well as laugh-out-loud humor and language that is brilliantly inventive. But in the story of Daniel Pecan Cambridge and the people who inhabit the insular universe he is seeking to expand (if only one small square at a time) Steve Martin has achieved something extraordinary: the chronicle of a modern-day neurotic yearning to break free.

Don't miss Steve Martin, Christopher Buckley, and other humorists discussing their craft at the New Yorker Festival.

©2003 40 Share Productions, Inc.; (P)2003 Hyperion

What the Critics Say

"This novella is a delight....A complex mix of wit, poignancy, and Martin's clear, great affection for his characters." (Publishers Weekly)
"A genuinely funny and surprisingly touching tale. As compassionate as it is funny." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A few of the episodes build to moments of hilarity, and Martin's gift for comedic metaphor is uniquely his own." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (644 )
5 star
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2 star
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4.0 (168 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (165 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jana Rovinka, Slovakia 08-18-05
    Jana Rovinka, Slovakia 08-18-05 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    5
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    "Relaxing"

    The voice of Steve Martin is great. The book is ok. However sometimes it is lenghty and tedious.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I. Locke Saint Louis, MO United States 01-10-05
    I. Locke Saint Louis, MO United States 01-10-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
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    "For The Listener with a Quiet Heart"

    Daniel Pecan Cambridge, the story's narrator, describes himself as a man with a quiet heart. His self-imposed isolation from the world results in a sharper focus on the people he does interact with, making his observations deeper and more thoughtful. The story of his life, told though vignettes involving his obsessive thoughts and habits reveal his humanity, and ultimately his capacity for change. A must listen if you appreciate intricate descriptions and insight into characters, and social psychology.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Bicester, N/A, United Kingdom 08-04-04
    Stephen Bicester, N/A, United Kingdom 08-04-04 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Why you should never step off the sidewalk !"

    If you enjoy Steve Martin's films then you will love this. Its quirky, unusual, oddball - a little like Steve himself.

    The story revolves around the main character who has some personal issues ! Financed by a rich aunt he spends his days filling the hours watching the local neighbourhood and obsessing about the woman upstairs, the real estate woman across the road, his female shrink, the female in the local shop !!!

    Very funny and narrated by Steve himself who has a wonderful voice that takes you with him to his apartment and his endless days filling time and working out new routes to the shop without stepping off the kerb.......


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    runningforcookies 05-17-15
    ratings
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    "Wow."

    Well told. Insightful. Full of beautiful melancholy. Steve Martin really understands the ache of the human heart for connection and love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David R. Dickerson 01-22-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Takers for the Quiet Heart"

    This novella is infinitely endearing--the character of Daniel is intelligent enough to witness his own neuroses, which lends reliability to a narrator who could have been written as totally unreliable. This is a charming read and re-read (and as a book to listen to, Steve Martin's narration is flawless and enjoyable). I revisit this one on paper or audiobook yearly, and always wish I had written it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Ocean Shores, WA, United States 01-17-13
    Jill Ocean Shores, WA, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    "An incredible imagination!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I think this book might be a better read than a listen.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Steve Martin's imagination was the most interesting aspect--of the book, not the story. The least interesting of the book was the ending. It was as though Mr. Martin had been writing the book, then said to himself "Well, I have had enough of writing this book." andspent the next 15 minutes writing a quick ending.


    Did Steve Martin do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He did a great job of differentiating characters! He described their posture, facial expressions and how they were dressed-but as the amin character saw them, not just as a description.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I would rent it, but wouldn't pay money to see it in a theater.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LifeIsShort Anywhere, USA 10-05-12
    LifeIsShort Anywhere, USA 10-05-12 Member Since 2012

    Really short

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Delightful, creative"
    Would you listen to The Pleasure of My Company again? Why?

    The character development within the story was fascinating. It was a pleasure to listen to the nuances of the somewhat flawed character blossom along as path of the story line unwinds.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The quircky main character. We all know people that fall into these somewhat different ways of coping.


    Have you listened to any of Steve Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I listened to Shop Girl and of course, have recently saw him on his incredibly talented banjo tour.
    Both Shop Girl and The Pleasure of My Company truly couldn't be read by anyone but the author. His incredible timing and comedic background is unsurpassed- Can't imagine this book would work with anyone but Steve narrating.


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

    The end was delightful


    Any additional comments?

    An easy to listen to, happy, thoughtfully written book. Delightful if you are seeking something to take your mind off the troubles of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle W 09-23-12
    Elle W 09-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lighthearted with Happy Ending"
    Any additional comments?

    This is perfect for when you need a cheerful book. So the story of a man with severe OCD might not seem like it would be cheerful? It is in Steve Martin's hands. He's very articulate and creative; I enjoyed his way with words. His reading style is perfectly entertaining as well...never drags, words are enunciated clearly and the tone fits the story well.

    It is told in the first person narrative by Daniel, who is actually a likeable character whose neuroses prevents him from talking...well, talking like a normal, casual person...to women. But there is sweet love and friendly love in this story.

    I also enjoyed Shop Girl, but I do think this story is overall more cheerful, even if Shop Girl was, on the whole, a more literary endeavor. The Pleasure of My Company is well written, showing Steve Martin continues to be a talented storyteller. I smiled sometimes, laughed out loud others, and the rest of the time just enjoyed the well-turned phrase.

    I recommend this to anyone looking for a lighthearted, humorous book; anyone tired of depressing stories with too much drama and an unhappy ending. Which is me (I really needed this after a series of much too depressing books).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theodore San Diego, CA, United States 09-20-12
    Theodore San Diego, CA, United States 09-20-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "an obscessive compulsive finds happiness"

    I bought this book half thinking that it would be a waste of money, as I thought it would be a slapstick comedy routine. Although the comedy is there, it turned out to be a very touching story with almost zen-like undertones, following the life of an obscessive-compulsive person as he tries to find happiness. I ended up listening to this twice in a row. Steve Martin is a fantastic writer, and the best narrator for hs story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Regnerus Palos Heights, IL United States 08-20-12
    Bob Regnerus Palos Heights, IL United States 08-20-12

    Bob

    ratings
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    Performance
    Story
    "Pulled in to the complexity"

    I bought this book because I love the complex, comedic mind of Steve Martin. Without Steve doing narration, I would never even considered buying the audio book, and certainly not the written novel.

    That being said, I was not sure what I was listening to. I did not read any reviews, descriptions, or previews on purpose. It took me a while to "get it" and be connected to the characters. It's kinda like being dropped into a person's story at one point in time and then following it on.

    I was pleased with several of the story arcs that played out in the book, some truly genius and comedic moments when they played out. There was some laugh-out-loud moments, but also some highly dramatic and emotional moments as well.

    I was impressed with Steve Martin the author, in that he was able to create several characters who had depth, heart, and attraction. How he connected them to tell a story was quite impressive.

    Overall I was very pleased with the book and how it progressed. I found myself attached to the story and the characters and it was entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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