11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Steve Martin scores again!,
This review is from: The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel (Hardcover)
Steve Martin is one of the most talented, creative and intelligent individuals in Hollywood. Who else can lay claim to being such an exceedingly gifted comedien, actor, playwright and author?!
After reading The Pleasure of My Company, what struck me as most impressive was that not only did Steve Martin write a second terrific novel but this novel is nothing like his first! Far too many writers can work in only one style, and while their writing is solid each novel seems to mirror the first.
In The Pleasure of My Company, Steve Martin takes his talent in a decidedly different direction from Shopgirl. In fact, I wasn't even sure I was going to like the novel at first; the main character takes a bit of getting used to. His neurotic quirks and his tendency to overthink everything are, at first, fairly annoying. By the end of the novel, however, I was shaking my head in admiration. Steve Martin has constructed a story of sweetness and warmth; Daniel Pecan Cambridge ends up being one of the most likeable protagonists I've encountered.
Yes, he has his idiosyncrasies but he also completely lacks pretense. In and around Los Angeles, this makes Daniel a compelling individual of rare integrity -- the opposite of Get Shorty's John Travlota, Swimming with Shark's Kevin Spacey or The Player's Tim Robinson. Hollywood does come to Daniel, in the form of Crime Show, but he remains blissfully uncorrupted. His neighbors enjoy his company because he asks nothing of them.
Technically unable to function in society, Daniel is visited weekly by a young therapist. When her own life comes unraveled, its Daniel who provides the support and assistance she needs. Through this reversal of fortune, Daniel finds his focus pulled away from himself. Happily helping Clarissa and her young son, Daniel has less and less time to sustain his neurotic habits. As others begin to depend on him, Daniel's self-confidence grows.
You can't help but root for Daniel as the story develops, and he builds a life outside his apartment. When his selflessness is rewarded we all enjoy a happy ending.