Sunday, October 21, 2007

Steve Martin Memoir

ISBN: 1416553649
Format: Hardcover, 224pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: November 20, 2007
Price: $25.00

I saw this the other day while browsing online and I think I'll have to read it.


At age 10, Steve Martin got a job selling guidebooks at the newly opened Disneyland. In the decade that followed, he worked in Disney's magic shop, print shop, and theater, and developed his own magic/comedy act. By age 20, studying poetry and philosophy on the side, he was performing a dozen times a week, most often at the Disney rival, Knott's Berry Farm.

Obsession is a substitute for talent, he has said, and Steve Martin's focus and daring his sheer tenacity are truly stunning. He writes about making the very tough decision to sacrifice everything not original in his act, and about lucking into a job writing for The Smothers Brothers Show. He writes about mentors, girlfriends, his complex relationship with his parents and sister, and about some of his great peers in comedy Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels, Carl Reiner, Johnny Carson. He writes about fear, anxiety and loneliness. And he writes about how he figured out what worked on stage.

This book is a memoir, but it is also an illuminating guidebook to stand up from one of our two or three greatest comedians. Though Martin is reticent about his personal life, he is also stunningly deft, and manages to give readers a feeling of intimacy and candor. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs collected by Martin, this book is instantly compelling visually and a spectacularly good read.


7ine said...

Oh, me too! I'm not much for memoirs or anything, but you know this one has to be a hoot.

Nothingman said...

The dude is good! mostly we see comedians and think these people have had it easy, but some of them have real heart rending stories to tell,,, now only if jim carrey will write a book! try getting the one by Bill Hicks...brain busting!

Good going!



NouveauBlogger said...

Oh, I'll definitely have to read that one. I saw him in concert years ago and it was great. Since then, I've always been a big fan!

Katie said...

7ine, I think so too. I haven't read anything else of his though so I'm not sure if it would be funny or sad or both. He writes short stories mostly, do you remember that movie 'Shop Girl'? He wrote the novella of that.

Nothingman, I agree. It seems sometimes as if they suffer more than the average person. But at least they are able to turn it into laughter.

Nouveau, you saw him live?! WOW! That is so cool! I bet he was great.

7ine said...

Yeah, I remember Shop Girl, though I never read the novel for it. Tat movie's been a while back...I may have to check it out again to refresh my memory.

Graeme Flory said...

I saw 'The Man with Two Brains' for the first time the other night, it was really really funny! :o)
Let me know what his memoirs are like.

Katie said...

7ine, if you see it let me know how it is. I could never bring myself to watch it because I knew it would be sad.

Graeme, I have never see that one. I'll have to rent it.

minijonb said...

i'll have to look for this one. i loved his old classic routines.

Katie said...

Let me know if you read it. I would love to but I just don't have the time. Well.. maybe I'll have time because it doesn't come out until next month.