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The Pleasure of my Company Paperback – 1 Jul 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753817683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753817681
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Of all the celebrities who've tackled novels in recent years, one of the most conspicuously successful in the field is comic actor Steve Martin. In books such as Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Shopgirl, Martin showed the same dazzling wordplay that marks his film and TV work, and his new novel, The Pleasure of My Company, builds on the earlier work to produce a book that is both effortlessly entertaining and beautifully wrought.

Martin's protagonist is Daniel Pecan Cambridge, a thirtyish loser whose life is wrecked by a whole slew of neurotic compulsions and tics. The small, irrational fears that plague most of us are the bane of Daniel's life, but he resolves to shed these straitjackets and move into something like normality. One of his aims is a normal relationship with a woman and there are several potential targets in sight: his therapist Clarissa, struggling to relieve him of his demons, Zandy, the beguiling assistant in the chemist's shop, and Elizabeth, selling apartments in his street.

But his compulsions are only one of his problems; his neighbour Bob has been murdered and Daniel is in the frame for the crime. The attention of the media seems set to keep him living an abnormal life for quite some time, which might undercut his hopes of winning the "Most Average American" competition.

Novels by comedians can often collapse into a series of one-liners, and while there are some zingers here, Martin is a real novelist--this quirky black comedy has both a solidly realised structure and a sharply etched cast. Daniel is a wonderfully characterised anti-hero--a natural, perhaps, for Martin himself to play when the inevitable movie is made. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Martin' s prose shows that he still has comic talent to burn. (THE TIMES)

Witty, wry, clever and ultimately uplifting, this is a work of real talent. (SHE)

This svelte and wickedly funny novel. (DAILY MAIL)

a string of entertaining, Martin-style riffs about a retarded man trying to get a date. (THE INDEPENDENT)

The poised prose and acute humour make this an immensely entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny read. (THE OBSERVER)

'Don't miss out on an extraordinary outing. (DUBLIN EVENING HERALD)

A gentle tale with the premise that no man is an island. (THE SCOTSMAN)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As advertised
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Format: Paperback
A couple of days ago, I was sat on a train from Edinburgh to London for 5 hours. It was hot and cramped, and there were so many screaming children on board it sounded more like a zoo. But I didn't much care or even notice, because I had this book! It absorbed me from page 1. The characters are fabulous and the vivid, cringe-worthy descriptions of surprisingly believable situations had me suppressing snorts of laughter and drawing alarmed looks from the fellow passengers of Coach D. It manages to be a touching description of a man with a potentially life-altering mental illness at the same time as being a love story, a slapstick comedy and a self-effacing look at American culture. Maybe it's just because the words of Steve Martin are so distinctive, but I think this would make a wonderful film.
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Format: Hardcover
These the words printed on the reverse of quite simply the best book I've ever read.
Being a student I don’t have much time to read, or more
realistically, don’t want to. I have been a huge fan of Steve Martin's films for a long time now, "Bowfinger" being my favourite. So, I thought I'd try out one of his books. This book is brilliant, witty, ingenious and extremely clever. It has opened my eyes to the joy of reading, as I am currently reading another of his books "Pure Drivel". The storyline is based around a neurotic 30 something year old male who is torn between 3 women, each extremely different, beautiful in their own way. Being very shy he finds various different ways to see them, without the torment of having to ask them out. It follows his weird and wonderful journey as he gets to know them better, encountering endless obstacles, such as the dreaded kerb, and the much feared light bulb!
Beautiful storyline, superb humour, good job it all started because of a clerical error!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must confess I read this book over a year ago and always meant to sit down and write a review but life got in the way somehow.

Secretly though I think I also wanted to keep this book to myself. I found it so engaging and heartwarming that although I felt like telling everyone to read it, I also felt like it was so good in it's own right that people would discover it anyway just like I had.

I can understand a previous reviewers comments about rereading the last few pages - I did too. It was such a good book that although I was captivated and cared about all the characters and wanted to know the ending, I was also disappointed to see the pages disappearing and knowing that soon it would be over and I'd have to read something else. In fact I tried to pace myself to make it last longer but I just could'nt put it down.

In some ways I wish it was a forgettable book so I could read it again with the same joy. But it is a truly memorable book that will make you smile.

I would'nt hesitate recommending it to anybody. The fact that Steve Martin wrote it is completely irrelevant really and shouldnt affect anyone's decision whether to purchase it or not.

I would only add that if you're not already a Steve Martin fan this book just makes you realise what a truly multi talented man he is.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the kind of book that you can read all in one go. Preferably on a Sunday afternoon when it's raining. It's brilliantly written, but although some have said it to be laugh out loud funny, I think the true strength of this novel is Martin's ability to make you fall in love with a crazy, and probably very annoying, man. You can't help but be captured by Daniel. I finished this with a little sob, glad for the character and Martin but kind of disappointed that my time with them was over.
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Format: Hardcover
An awesome read in my opinion.
Daniel Pecan Cambridge, a genius of sort rejected by Mensa after they inadvertently omitted the 1 at the beginning of his IQ, is plagued by OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Everything must be logical, symmetrical, and quantifiable. At any one time, for example, the total wattage of active light bulbs where ever he sleeps must be precisely 1,125.
Do not expect a fast-paced, wisecracking, rollicking read. Although Martin holds our interest with Daniel’s tangential forays into the absurd, and his variously humiliating, anti-heroic antics.
Steve Martin is intelligent and, at moments, The Pleasure of My Company displays a surprising sensitivity. This is light-hearted, quick-witted, comic and original. It is the kind of goofball comedy of the naïve which invariably secures Martin's films a PG rating. Expect to see it on the big screen soon. And then as a DVD purchase from Amazon :)
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first Steve Martin novel I have read and I have to say it will not be the last. Whilst it is not laugh out loud funny you feel warm inside when you finish this book. I think people will be very surprised at the talent Steve Martin reveals in this novel. I could very easily see him in the title role were he younger. I have recommended this to many friends and family and cannot praise the book highly enough
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Format: Hardcover
I wondered what to expect and found that Steve Martin writes *really* well. It doesn't feel like a book written by somebody who is just 'trying' to write despite being famous for other things - it feels like a genuinely funny, melancholic book by a talented writer. He doesn't show off, he doesn't use overblown prose like an amateur. He uses a very clean, easy to read style which can be read and appreciated without any effort - which belies the effort and skill which went into writing it.
A great book. Read it.
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