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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

4.3 (8249 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan 09-23-16
    Susan 09-23-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wild and Crazy and Hardworking Steve!"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a short but enjoyable listen. The focus is on his stand-up career and not much else.I've always been a fan but never saw much of his stand-up, mainly his hilarious movies. I was very impressed by how hard he worked to get to where he is. He sounds very grounded and likable to me. The parts about his father I found to be sad.
    I thought his narration was fine. I don't think I would have liked a different narrator on this one.Short but insightful. If you are a fan I think you'll enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly McCullough 09-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wild & Crazy!! Loved it."

    What a life.
    I remember in the first time I heard the song King Tut. I was 9 years old in 1978. Steve Martin has been making me laugh ever since.
    This was a great audio book.
    I love that Steve read his story and played his banjo.
    His perseverance and original ideas to further his career were inspirational to me. Thanks Steve.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid New York, NY, United States 09-23-16
    Ingrid New York, NY, United States 09-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "No I know it's possible to love someone you've never met"

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Appreciate the honesty and all the stories of his journey. So glad he narrated it. Will watch The Jerk again for sure! He will always be among people I cherish & admire from afar.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 09-23-16
    Robert 09-23-16
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    "Thank you Steve Martin"

    May you continue to enjoy just right.
    May others enjoy your story as I did.
    Your message of perseverance needs to be shared.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Denver, CO, United States 09-22-16
    Lindsay Denver, CO, United States 09-22-16
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    "Steve Marting being Steve Martin"
    If you could sum up Born Standing Up in three words, what would they be?

    Comedy is hard.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Born Standing Up?

    The most memorable moment for me deals with his father and their relationship. Especially their exchange on his father's death bed.


    What does Steve Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He sings and inflects the jokes the exact way that he does. I would have missed that if I had read it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely. It's pretty short and very entertaining.


    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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bram koster 06-10-16
    bram koster 06-10-16 Member Since 2017
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    "pretty dull"

    this book had two high profile recommendations. so I thought it might be fun and interesting. it was neither.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cal 06-09-16
    Cal 06-09-16
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    "Slow to start, string finish"

    Enjoyed the last few chapters when Steve starts to really open up, first half is a bit boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick D New York, NY 06-08-16
    Patrick D New York, NY 06-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "I didn't want the story to end."

    Such a great story -- and there is no better way to hear it than from the voice of Steve Martin himself. Funny and touching, it brings back memories of his career. The insights into his life are unexpected and profound.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PeleGirl5284 04-22-16
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    "Perfect"

    Steve Martin on his journey in developing his own style of stand up. You can't get more perfect than this.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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