Melissa Hansen, April 22, 2009 (view all comments by Melissa Hansen)
I truly enjoyed this memoir, I read it in 2 days. It is a brief book, but considering the last book I finished took a couple of months, that is telling! Martin is so full of passion and humility. It is not a laugh out loud funny story of a "Wild and Crazy Guy"; but the earnest and heart-on sleeve reflection on his stand-up career. It was a dream turned reality, and yet it ended abruptly. I loved the story of someone working hard for their dream, not an overnight sensation. Martin is a talented writer to boot. I really enjoyed Shop Girl too.
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Dr. Rico, December 11, 2007 (view all comments by Dr. Rico)
Don't come to this book expecting either high hilarity or Punichello-style mawkishness. Yes, it is funny sometimes and sad sometimes. But the strength of Martin's astonishing memoir is the simplicity, honesty, and directness of his revelations and insights about himself and his art. His comedy embodied absurdity, but he explains how it grew from a rigorous intelligence and discipline. He is a famously private person, but he reveals intimate details of his life with breathtaking candor. He explains his work and his creative process with clarity and discernment, but never degenerates into self-aggrandizement or navel-gazing. Like Martin himself, the book is impossible to classify, and it lingers with you long after it ends. Highly recommended.
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Scribner Book Company -
by Ann E.,
At times uproarious, often sentimental, and always laced with the wit and charm we've come to expect from Steve Martin, this is a warm and enjoyable portrait of his life in stand-up from childhood to his last show in 1981.
by Ann E.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Neatly combining his personal and professional worlds, beloved comedian, filmmaker, author, magician and banjoist Martin (Pure Drivel) chronicles his life as a gifted young comedian in this evocative, heartfelt memoir, which proves less wild and crazy than wise and considerate-though no less funny for it. The typically reticent performer shares rarely disclosed memories of childhood-his father, a failed actor, harbored increasing anger toward his son through the years-and the anxiety attacks that plagued him for some two decades, along with his early success as a television comedy writer, first for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and the evolution of his stand-up routine. Sharp insight accompanies stories of his first adult gig (at an empty San Francisco coffee house), his pioneering 'no punch lines' style ('My goal was to make the audience laugh but leave them unable to describe what it was that had made them laugh'), appearances on programs like The Steve Allen Show and breakthrough moments with small, confused audiences. Though vivid and entertaining throughout, Martin doesn't dish any behind-the-scenes dirt from Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show; rather, he's warm and generous toward everyone in his life, including girlfriends and colleagues. Tellingly, this intimate early career recap ends not with Martin's decision to give up live performance or his film debut The Jerk, but with a visit to his parents and Knott's Berry Bird Cage Farm, where he first performed as a teenager." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Entertainment Weekly,
"Born is a smart, gentlemanly, modest book. That it comes from a man who's spent his life lampooning arrogance makes it all the more winning. (Grade: A)"
by Janet Maslin, The New York Times,
"Even for readers already familiar with Mr. Martin's solemn side, Born Standing Up is a surprising book: smart, serious, heartfelt and confessional without being maudlin."
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