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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • Bicester, N/A, United Kingdom
  • 08-04-04

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.......


3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I enjoyed this pleasant, quirky book.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Imperfectly ideal

average and astounding. loved it! this story touched my heart and mind at a needed time.

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  • Story

A true joy to listen to get it NOW!!!

This book is a joy to read you should pick it up the main character has problems and has come to terms with dealing with them until life roles the dice and gives him an extra portion of problems but undaunted he deals with them in his own Special way it's a fun read I give it 5 stars across the board but truly it was the first book by Steve Martin I
Had read and after reading it I bought everything he has on audible and enjoyed them all.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bravo Mr. Martin!

I loved the main character. He was vividly portrayed, often with the smallest detail. A work of real insight.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wow.

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

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  • Performance
  • Story

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!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jill
  • Ocean Shores, WA, United States
  • 01-17-13

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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).