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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

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • 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.

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.

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.

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).

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  • Theodore
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 09-20-12

an obscessive compulsive finds happiness

I bought this book half thinking that it would be a waste of money, as I thought it would be a slapstick comedy routine. Although the comedy is there, it turned out to be a very touching story with almost zen-like undertones, following the life of an obscessive-compulsive person as he tries to find happiness. I ended up listening to this twice in a row. Steve Martin is a fantastic writer, and the best narrator for hs story.

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Pulled in to the complexity

I bought this book because I love the complex, comedic mind of Steve Martin. Without Steve doing narration, I would never even considered buying the audio book, and certainly not the written novel.

That being said, I was not sure what I was listening to. I did not read any reviews, descriptions, or previews on purpose. It took me a while to "get it" and be connected to the characters. It's kinda like being dropped into a person's story at one point in time and then following it on.

I was pleased with several of the story arcs that played out in the book, some truly genius and comedic moments when they played out. There was some laugh-out-loud moments, but also some highly dramatic and emotional moments as well.

I was impressed with Steve Martin the author, in that he was able to create several characters who had depth, heart, and attraction. How he connected them to tell a story was quite impressive.

Overall I was very pleased with the book and how it progressed. I found myself attached to the story and the characters and it was entertaining.

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Like it a lot!!!

If you could sum up The Pleasure of My Company in three words, what would they be?

I love it!!

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

His voice!!

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

yes!!!!

Any additional comments?

I really like Mr. Steve Martin's work!!! I am waiting for his next book!!!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

can you talk without applying signs of "e"?

Would you consider the audio edition of The Pleasure of My Company to be better than the print version?

I haven't read The Pleasrure of my Company in print, but I can't imagine a better way to "read" this book.

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

I felt like I was in Steve Martin's head, listening to him writing this tale.

Any additional comments?

You can't help but like and relate to the main character on some level. I often found strangers on the street giving me odd looks while I was listening to this book -- as I laughed out loud or at the very least, had a stupid grin on my face.

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  • Rob
  • Warnbro, Australia
  • 02-29-12

If Steve Martin was Crazy(ier)

Martin captures the thoughts and motivation of one with so many fractures that rings with truth, though proliferated with lies. Like An Object of Beauty, the book is the narrative of journey. A journey that leads no where, but where characters have time to grow, as does your affection towards them.

Steve Marin: You either love him or hate him, and I cherish him as a genius.

  • Overall

Sorry, Steve, not a pleasure

I'm fond of Steve Martin -- his dry, absurd sense of humor connects most of the time for me. But this one just didn't work. I'm not sure why. Sorry, Steve. I wanted to like it, but just couldn't find it this time.

  • Overall

Epected better from Steve Martin

I have not finished listening to the entire book, but so far, I am at a loss at what this book is about.

  • Overall

ok but not great

this could have been really funny but i think Martin needed to rewrite the story from a different point of view. the first person perspective doesn't quite work like he thinks it does. and I felt like he had just finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime ( an incredible book I highly recommend, along with Born on a Blue Day), or had watched Rainman; and something about this seemed a little exploitative and at times in poor taste

  • Overall

Hilarious

Great Story...Love that it was read by Steve Martin. Can't wait for the movie.