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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 (623 )
5 star
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3.9 (148 )
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  •  
    Daniel Atlanta, GA, United States 06-02-05
    Daniel Atlanta, GA, United States 06-02-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Martin at His Best"

    No, this isn't arrow-through-the-head or wild-and-craaazy-guy stuff. Martin here inhabits the mind of an OCD man whose obsessions merely exaggerate our own (well, men's anyway). It's a funny, moving story that Martin reads in his own inimitable way of spitting consonants and odd inflections. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Ware Aurora, CO USA 02-13-04
    A. Ware Aurora, CO USA 02-13-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    64
    7
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    "A Sweet Story"

    This book started a bit slowly, and it was hard to identify initially with Daniel and all of his quirks and issues. But it built into such a heartwarming story, and it was wrapped up in a bow at the end. Happy endings, especially when the setup seems somewhat bleak, are to be treasured.

    Don't be turned off by how much time is spent enumerating Daniel's challenges in dealing with "real life", stick with it and you will be rewarded. More satisfying ending than Shop Girl, I can't wait for his next novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Boston, MA, USA 12-16-03
    James Boston, MA, USA 12-16-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Incredibly disappointing"

    I really enjoyed _Shopgirl_, and I was looking forward to _The Pleasure of My Company_. Unfortunately, it is the first book on tape upon which I've ever simply given up. It really is that bad. Essentially, the humor in the story boils down to "hey, this guy has OCD, isn't that funny? It's funny, right? Laugh, it's funny!" Frankly, it's just tiresome.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann phoenix, AZ, USA 04-22-09
    Ann phoenix, AZ, USA 04-22-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Didn't even finish it"

    didn't like the book. it was not funnily written and read even worse. being an actor you would think Steve Martin would have done a better job reading. his reading was only second worse to his writing

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Clarksville, MD, United States 03-09-04
    Harry Clarksville, MD, United States 03-09-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Different than I expected"

    This book was very different than I thought it would be. Although it ended up to be a pretty good book, it was very weird starting out. I kept expecting it to be a autobiographical work which it is not. Funny, subtle and warm. It was an ok book but not great.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Royal Oak, MI, USA 12-02-03
    Todd Royal Oak, MI, USA 12-02-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to recommend"

    I really wanted to like this story, and as another reviewer says, the only redeeming element is the author's narration. Steve Martin is a comedic genious; however, the longer I listened, the more I began to realize there would be no "pay-off" at the end of nearly 5 hours. I bought this as a break from my usual mystery/thrillers. Oh well. It's not the worst audible book I've purchased, but extremely far from the best.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elliot Krane 12-05-03 Member Since 2003
    ratings
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    115
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    "Who said he can write (books)?"

    Now I like Steve Martin, but this book is self indulgent and reads like a prolonged and increasingly dull monolog. One must conclude the only thing that got this published was Steve Martin's name. One can practically hear his high school English teacher telling him to use more metaphors; indeed this book has more metaphors than Martin has pennies in the bank (for example). Love your humor, Mr. Martin, but please go back to stand-up and films.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AuntGert Naples, Fl 11-20-03
    AuntGert Naples, Fl 11-20-03 Member Since 2002

    Recorded books have changed my life as now I can experience hundreds of works I’d never have time to read traditionally.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He can write fiction--this isn't it"

    Steve, you've successfully developed a public persona that interfers with a reader accepting this latest novella as a legitimate work of fiction. You should not write first-person prose. Your fame has engrained a funny, off-beat personality into Americans' minds and for your to a) ask readers to separate everything they are familiar with you from the funny, off-beat personality of Daniel; and b) to then solidify the connection between you and this character by going on to narrate the book is asking too much of us readers.

    "Shop Girl" worked because you stepped back and created a world without Steve Martin in it. Now I hear you're going to play in the movie version. Come on--you're smart--think about this. Separate Steve Martin the novelist from Steve Martin famous TV and movie actor and comediene. You can do it.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rincewind Seattle, WA 11-11-03
    Rincewind Seattle, WA 11-11-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really bad"

    This book is really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really bad. If you've stayed with this review this long, then you probably have the tolerance to put up with this inane dribble. This book is like one of these 1980's Saturday Night Live skits that had no point and no puchline and just served to separate commercial breaks. At least SNL only lasted an hour. This book is not funny. Just sad.

    18 of 75 people found this review helpful
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