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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life Paperback – 7 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (7 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847391486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847391483
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Martin is one of today's most talented performers. His huge successes as a film actor include such credits as ROXANNE, FATHER OF THE BRIDE, PARENTHOOD and THE SPANISH PRISONER. He has won Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for comedy albums. In addition to the bestselling PURE DRIVEL, he has written several plays, including Picasso at the Lapin Agile and a highly acclaimed novel, SHOPGIRL. His work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Author photo (c) Sandee Oliver

Product Description

Review

.... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steve Martin was born in Texas in 1945. Famed for his stand up comedy and performances in hit comedy films, he is also a writer, producer, musician and composer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Celtic Mystery on 27 July 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I had no idea Steven Martin was such a wonderful writer. It's not a long read, wish there had been more, but didn't feel the slightest cheated. I absolutely enjoyed the journey he took us, the reader, on. It was personal, insightful, funny, rueful, behind-the-scenes and made me feel I had sat down and had a really good getting-to-know-you chat with this man. Great photos too. I've been a fan since just before he hit it B I G - I'm happy to say I was at the Amphitheatre show he mentioned. I always looked forward to his SNL appearances, and his films. I had the impression he was rather distant and cold as a person. But reading this you realise the depth and warmth there - and that he was always just protecting his sanity during the extreme craziness of the "Wild and Crazy Guy" and "Well Excuuuse Me" era. Highly recommended IF you are a Steve Martin fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on 10 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been a huge steve Martin Fan ever since I saw a clip of him doing stand-up on BBC Comic Relief in 1989. Since then I have seen all his films, purchased his comedy albums and all his books, This book is the best of the lot.

I was in America the day this book came out and I bought it on that day. I couldn't put it down it was such a well written, enjoyable read. It was finished within the day I bought it. His description of him and his fathers relationship is dealt with exceptionally well, the early years at disneyland and the Bird Cage Theatre, The realisation on a sunny day that he is now going to have to write his own material so he can achieve Originality, his relationships, his television writing, his lonely life on the road, all the way through to his enormous success and eventual step-down are all written about in a wonderful, sometime self deprecating, way that I have returned to sections of this book many times since reading it originally.

It is also a book that explains the culture of the late sixties through the seventies from someone who was there but not out of their head all the time... His description of the 'Streets Of SanFrancisco simmering with a toxic vitality' makes me wish I was around at the time as well.

If I have any complaints about this book it is in what he left out, although the stories were mentioned briefly there was no mention of the publication of 'Cruel Shoes' Also there is no mention of his appearance on the Muppet Show, a Television show as Subversive and funny as SNL which he mentions... Also I was disappointed to learn that the white suit he wore, had a practical purpose and wasn't just to make him look crazier...

Excellent Read... Especially for any Comedy Performers out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BarbaraLyn TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
I am always pleased when I find an author that reads his own work. In BORN STANDING UP, that is the case. Who better to tell the story than the person who wrote it!

When Mr. Martin was doing stand up, I was not a big fan of his. His humor and mind didn't match. Yet, in reading his story, I understand where his humor came from and why. He tells us how he got started in stand up and how it developed. He tells us the story of his life right from his childhood up to today.

He takes us through the learning years where his act was just beginning to the act that everyone wanted to see. He tells the listener how he became estranged from his own family and how he managed to get back together with them again. In other words, he takes us full circle through his life. He even tells us about his writing talent of which I was not aware.

All in all, BORN STANDING UP is a great listen. Even if you are not a fan of Steve Martin, you can't help but become enthralled with his life and why and how he got where he is today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Giles on 24 Jan 2008
Format: Audio CD
I would not usually opt for audiobooks, however, I could not resist having Steve Martin recount his stand-up career in person. I was not disappointed. Granted, I am a fan and I agree with the other reviewer - if you know nothing of the author's stand-up career this book is probably not for you. If your experience of Steve Martin is having seen him in films such as The Pink Panther or Cheaper By The Dozen, then I think it likely this book will not satisfy your expectations.

I enjoyed the many extracts from his old routines that Steve happily delivers in character and there are many insights into what dedication went into perfecting his apparently 'wild and crazy' performances. I never knew of his mental breakdown (which lasted some time) before his career took off, perhaps this caused his unusually early whitening of the hair.

Great stuff - oh oh, I'm getting happy feet!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
Take a look at Steve Martins resume and it quickly becomes obvious that not only is he a prolific performer but also one with great staying power. To the modern generation he is perhaps best known for his many recent so-so comedy films but the truth is that he is much more, innovator, peer to many & much loved icon. This autobiography does much to further his reputation by showing him as a consummate professional, tireless worker & as is the case with so many comedians, a far more reserved & quiet character than he at first appears.
A fascinating insight on not only his early years of learning stagecraft also sheds much light of 1950's/1960's America. His early job's at both Disney & Knott's Berry Farm are both detailed well and present much of interest about those he worked with and how he grew as an actor. He describes many varied people he met and worked with and although giving an honest appraisal he avoids any 'dirt' and is always generous in his praise & giving due thanks to his influences.
Martin's style is quick and serious. This works to avoid any point of the narrative dragging and instead of trying to entertain the reader you feel as though he were just relating those points in his early career he feels are important, no drama, no jokes, just a chatty & honest jog through his memories. He is also honest in his appraisal of himself. The overall impression left is of a man that,even after all these years & successes, still examines his motives & actions and is still unsure of just when the audience is going to walk out.
I am not a huge fan of autobiographies as they nearly always tend to be self-congratulatory, delusional & scathing of everybody but the author. Not so here. This is informative,interesting & offers much insight to the real character of its writer.
A book that repays the time and effort taken to read it.
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