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.
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"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)
Father, teacher, writer, curry enthusiast.
Listening to Steve Martin read his own work on this audiobook brings a depth to it that it might lack on the written page. Don't listen to this for it's tight, intricate plot or you will be disappointed. Instead, listen to it for the way it draws you into the main character's mind. There is a rhythm and logic to the way he reasons things out that is compelling. You grow to genuinely like this man and care what happens to him. I laughed aloud on at least three occasions while I was listening to this book - something I rarely do when I am alone.
I can't put my finger on it, but Martins style reminds me a lot of Douglas Copeland (GenX, Shampoo Planet, Microserfs). I read the reviews before purchasing it and had more than a few misgivings, but decided to purchase it anyway.
It's better than Shopgirl. He's managed to put in more (perhaps predictable) plot twists to speed up the book. It isn't the Steve Martin that we watched in The Jerk or SNL, but it's different and it's good. Martin has ripened, matured and cut down on drugs since his older books (Cruel Shoes) where he waxed on about the Indian Giftgiving Magi and is standing at a different place with deeper characters(but if you like the old stuff try to find a copy of Cruel Shoes and you won't be dissapointed). Martin can build a great neurotic character you can't help but love. Daniel Pecan Cambridge swirling in his over controlled world that is sliding into a happy chaos is one such character. If you liked As Good As It Gets, Shopgirl or Woody Allen you'll probably love this. Try it, you'll like it.
Not being a fan of Steve Martin, I decided to give this book a try based purely on the description; and was more than pleasantly surprised. The book manages to be funny, heartbreaking and remarkably illumintating all at once.
The story is deliberately slow to start, but manages to draw you in to such an extent I found myself sitting in the parking lot for half-an-hour just to get to the end.
Daniel Pecan Cambidge is a seriously troubled individual, with several harmless but disconcerting disorders. How he finds both himself and the power to change his life is both charming and entertaining.
Telling the story from Daniel's own point of view gives you an understanding of the way his mind works and just why his bizarre habits seem so perfectly normal to him. Having the author read his own work was a stroke of genius as he displays a warmth and character that makes the book all the better.
I have found myself reassessing Steve and will look out for more of his books, particularly those he narrates himself. Do not be put off if you are not a fan of Steve's, but be a little wary if you think the height of his comedy is a little slapstick and stupidity: this book is not just for laughs.
The quirky, pleasurable and endearing hero of Martin's new novella raised first my eyebrows and then my affection. By making the reader the confidant of an obsessive/compulsive savant as he journeys his convoluted but oddly ordered world, the author slowly wins the reader over, walking them from mildly shocked and amused eavesdropper to cheerleader. Quite enjoyable.
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
Martin takes a self-absorbed neurotic into his first halting human relationships, past romantic disappointments, into responsibility for a helpless human being. The humor carries the listener through the guy's ridiculously boring daily existence into genuine appreciation for his condition. This story is excellent and Martin uses real genius in his choice and development of characters and story-line. I was well-gratified by listening, wondering about my own neurotic tendencies, without being pushed to do so.
I decided to try this selection after loving Steve Martin's Shopgirl. Even though Shopgirl sets the bar pretty high, The Pleasure of My Company didn't disappoint. It is a sweet and surprisingly moving story. The main character isn't instantly likeable, but he worms his way into your heart slowly. His peculiar world view eventually seems like it's just fine, an improvement on normal.
Steve Martin's very parsimonious prose really shines when read aloud.
Steve Martin is definitely funny and brilliant, but this book wavers between that and being a bit boring. I expected him to be a better reader, but on the other hand, I can't really imagine anyone I would have rather read this, since it is "so Him". The story did get a little slow towards the 2nd half, but I must say, I really liked the ending. And there were definitely moments of great poignancy (sp?) along with the humor. But I also felt like there are a lot of much more interesting books out there to read/listen to. How's that for a mixed review?
Very well written. If you are a fan of Steve Martin's comedy and expect this book to be funny, don't bother. This is a little adventure in the life of a nuerotic character who finds love, eventually. I downloaded it after hearing an interview on NPR and enjoyed it. Just a light little book for an hour or two of enjoyment.
Light and funny, the emphasis on 'light'. I guess the novella as art from does not allow for much character development. However, the protagonist here was endearing and the story unfolded as an unconventional love story, that had a sweet, unlikely ending. The author showed a lot of compassion for the main character--- this saved the piece from being an enlongated New Yorker fictional oddity.
This isn't exactly my style book. However, the author's name caught my eye and I gave it a try. Steve reads this book himself and does a great job. It took be a while to get absorbed in the story, partly because I'm more the mystery/suspense type of reader. About half way through I found myself interested in learning what happens next and the ending left me satisfied. Give it a try. It's entertaining in Steve Martin, kwirky way.
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