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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 (7890 )
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Performance
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  •  
    snmds 10-17-17
    snmds 10-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "Insightful And Moving "

    I came for the showbiz stories, was captivated by Steve's introspection and insights into his family. The author's narration is intimate and terrific.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa draper, UT, United States 10-13-17
    Lisa draper, UT, United States 10-13-17 Member Since 2016
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    15
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    "Great Book "

    Great story on never giving up. Fun to hear the stories in Steve Martin's voice

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 10-05-17
    John 10-05-17 Member Since 2012
    RATINGS
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    1
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    "LA story in written form"

    This is LA STORY in written form. This book is the reason I stop listening to autobiographies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jdharmon 09-28-17
    jdharmon 09-28-17 Member Since 2015
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    "This book is FANTASTIC!"

    You will laugh, cry, and be completely entertained. I knew it would be funny, I didnt anticipate it being phenomenally written, insightful and brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Wells 09-19-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    3
    3
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    "Kind of uninteresting."

    Some parts were painfully boring. As a fan, I expected to be entertained. His interview with Howard Stern on Sirius was much more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Williams 09-19-17
    J. Williams 09-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great Memoir"

    What a great memoir. It was wonderful to have the voice of Steve Martin reading his own words to get the delivery, experience, and overall aesthetic that he wanted to convey; great book, would recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 09-06-17
    09-06-17
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    "Hearing Mr Martin read this is just great."
    Would you listen to Born Standing Up again? Why?

    I have already listened to it twice and will do so again and again.


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

    His failure, yet he still keeps going.


    What about Steve Martin’s performance did you like?

    He was there, you know these stories are true.


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

    It was too much, but there was nothing boring about it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris San Jose, CA, United States 09-05-17
    Chris San Jose, CA, United States 09-05-17 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny and good but not great story"

    First and foremost, this is an excellent performance by Steve Martin. It really carries the book. If anyone else had read the book, it would not be a 5 star overall. The good story has some gaps for those who did not grow up during his Stand up days. The story would have been more on point if more background or description would have been given for the younger audience not familiar with the 60s, 70s, Or 80's. However, a lot of subtext does come from how he reads the book which helps fill in the blanks. Overall a great listen and would recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Daniel California 08-20-17
    J. Daniel California 08-20-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Comedy isn't pretty."

    This is the story of how much hard work and perseverance is needed to be successful. In particular I enjoyed hearing the cast of characters that Steve met in the process. Gary Muledeer to Elvis. Quite a life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suburban Dad Chicago Area 07-31-17
    Suburban Dad Chicago Area 07-31-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great listen"

    For any Steve Martin fan, this is a must listen. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Alistair
    London, United Kingdom
    5/13/11
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • john keegan
    Glasgow, Strathclyde United Kingdom
    7/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Funny Guy!"
    Would you try another book written by Steve Martin or narrated by Steve Martin?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Great book and a story that brings you up to date.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    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.


    Was Born Standing Up worth the listening time?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Hare Hatch, United Kingdom
    1/26/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Narny
    Lincoln, United Kingdom
    6/17/11
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    6/12/17
    Overall
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    "great book"

    good read, v informative - would highly recommend this to anyone in the stand up business or anyone who is a fan of steve's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    5/21/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "short but great"

    Great to hear steve talk about his comedy. influences and his path to success. A genuine comedy legend and a kick ass banjo player too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • T Parks
    12/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well review me!"

    Loved this audio book. I'm a huge Steve Martin fan but a little too young to remember his period as a stand-up,*&& so hearing his vivid account of that era helped match the archive footage that exists to his personal experience.

    One thing that stands out is that he absolutely worked his butt off to achieve fame. 5 sessions a day! No wonder he experienced stand-up burn-out via the creative vacuum of repetition.

    It's a very touching audio book and one that I hope he expands on with regards to his career as an on-screen actor. I'd love to hear what he experienced making All of Me or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    If you're a fan or someone interested in the restless 70s then you owe it to yourself to have a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Parke
    6/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One crazy guy"

    Wonderful reading and well layered a great insight and has many touching parts. It's a great listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faye T.
    3/15/16
    Overall
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    "Excellent presentation. Lovely story."

    Narrated beautifully. Learnt a lot about Steve Martin. Very easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Schunowho
    2/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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