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Daniel Pecan Cambridge is the narrator and central consciousness of the novel (actually a novella). Daniel, an ex-Hewlett-Packard communiqué encoder, is a savant whose closely proscribed world is bounded on every side by neuroses and obsessions. He cannot cross the street except at driveways symmetrically opposed to each, and he cannot sleep unless the wattage of the active light bulbs in his apartment sums to 1,125. Daniel's starved social life is punctuated by twice-weekly visits from a young therapist in training, Clarissa; by his prescription pick-ups from a Rite Aid pharmacist, Zandy; and by his "casual" meetings with the bleach-blond real estate agent, Elizabeth, who is struggling to sell apartments across the street. But Daniel's dysfunctional routines are shattered one day when he becomes entangled in the chaos of Clarissa's life as a single mother. Taking care of Clarissa's tiny son, Teddy, Daniel begins to emerge from the safety of logic, magic squares, and obsessive counting.
Martin's craftsmanship is remarkable. The tightly packed novella paints rich portraits with restraint and balance, including nothing extraneous to Daniel's world. The book does not try for pyrotechnics but is contented with a Zen-like simplicity in both prose and plot. Avoiding the crushing bleakness of much contemporary fiction, Martin insists through Daniel--a man haunted by horrors of his own making--that there is possibility for compassion, that broken lives can actually be healed. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Martin tells a charming story here, with excellent writing from the first paragraph to the last. It's full of gems that I still find myself quoting. Read morePublished 19 days ago by H. Webber
Steve Martin is a fabulous writer. This book is delightfully written and is an easy, pleasant, and witty read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Susan McClain
Clever, understated and an engaging quick read! We all have a little bit of Daniel Pecan Cambridge in usPublished 1 month ago by Paul Dolan
Steve Martin is such an imaginative writer, and what a character he has concocted in Daniel Cambridge. This is a light and easy read, but thoroughly entertaining.Published 1 month ago by Keyra
My friend talked up the book more than he should have.. but still enjoyed the quick read.Published 2 months ago by Charles R.
Martin captures the trials of OCD perfectly while at the same time demonstrating the strength of human interaction on a person.Published 3 months ago by Andrea
This is one of my favorite books, ever. It's very gentle. Steve Martin is a genius.Published 4 months ago by Theresa
After I liked Shopgirl, my friend Brendon lent this to me so I could read it. I was very impressed with the story of Daniel, who's a neurotic, obsessive-compulsive man living on... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Swank Ivy