Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Next Read

I first discovered Steve Martin’s writing back in high school when a friend of mine gave me Pure Drivel for my birthday.  It was the funniest thing I’d ever read at the time and fit right into my conception of Steve Martin and what he does- funny guy, right?  It wasn’t until I read Cruel Shoes that my concept of Steve Martin got turned on its head.

To be perfectly blunt, I didn’t get Cruel Shoes.  Reading up on it I learned that the scenarios and stories in that book were derived far more from his college studies of philosophy than on the situational comedy I saw of him on SNL and his movies.  I concluded that I just didn’t know enough philosophy to get the stories and questioned the several other books I’d already gotten from my wish list.

Which is why it’s only now, over a year since Cruel Shoes, that I’m willing to try again.  The name of the book is "The Pleasure of My Company" and it tells the story of a young neurotic man living in L.A. trying to overcome what sounds like a pretty severe case of agorophobia.  At least that's the tagline. 

I have hope that I’ll get this, for several reasons.  Firstly, it’s a novel rather than a collection of short stories so the characters will remain pretty consistent (I assume).  Secondly, it’s described as “gentle” by more than one reviewer on the back cover.  I find this word terribly reassuring.  And third, it was written only ten years ago as opposed to the 36 years it’s been since Cruel Shoes.  I think his humor has maybe mellowed a little bit in that time, become a little more accessible, maybe?  I hope so.

Either way, I’ll let you know how it goes.

13 comments:

  1. 'gentle' does give it hope. Good luck. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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  2. I've always been a Steve Martin fan...but not a fan enough apparently, because I didn't know that he was a writer as well! Hope the book turns out to be a good one for you :)

    Also, 3 Ups is a go! Your "Upee" is Sherry Ellis over at http://sherryellis.blogspot.com/

    No need to rush in giving your Ups. Whenever you can is fine. And thanks again for joining!!

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  3. I enjoy Steve Martin's writing style a lot.

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  4. I've never read anything by him that wasn't comedy.

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    1. Cruel Shoes was comedy, it was just so surreal I didn't get the homor a lot of the time.

      Shopgirl, which I haven't read but have seen the movie of, was not a comedy but I absolutely adored it.

      This book looks to be a comedy, definitely.

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  5. I've read several of his books, including his memoir, and enjoyed each one. I liked Shop Girl and In The Pleasure of My Company too. He's a pretty talented guy. I also have a couple of his CDs and enjoy his banjo talent!

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    1. His memoir is one of those book from my wish list I mentioned but I haven't read it yet. And yeah, he's an amazing banjo player as well. I'm seriously thinking about picking up the new CD he did with Edie Brickell cause the singles I've heard are amazing.

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  6. I'd never even think to read Steve Martin. Maybe the reason I should:)

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  7. I loved Martin's shorts, particularly his short-shorts like "Changes in the Memory After Fifty." I can't recall many of his feature-length short stories, though. Flash fiction seemed to suit him, as he routinely wrote some of the funniest stuff the New Yorker ever published. I hope his full book treats you well.

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    1. By the by, every single one of those New Yorker pieces is in Pure Drevel- there's only a small handfull of pieces in there that didn't first appear in the New Yorker, so if you don't have it yet, you know.

      The full book is going really well so far- the MC's voice is quirky, crazy and so endearing it makes me want to glomp him into oblivion.

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  8. What is "glomp?" I love Steve Martin as well. Got to see him live once back in the 1970's when he hopped in his car and did a tour of the US playing small venues. He was amazing. I'll be back to see what you thought of the book... Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Nice to find you this way.

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    1. A glomp is a bear hug with a running start. Most often given when you haven't seen someone in a long time, or are simply so overhwhelmed by warm, fluffy love for them that you cannot contain yourself.

      I am so jealous of you have seen him live- that's awesome!

      And I'm already working on my review of the book- I tend to write them as I read so I don't have to go back and try to remember later on. I'll let you know when it's posted.

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