- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (September 2, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416553657
- ISBN-13: 978-1416553656
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,062 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life Paperback – September 2, 2008
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"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." - Jerry Seinfeld, GQ
About the Author
Steve Martin is one of today's most talented performers. He has had huge success as a film actor, with such credits as Cheaper by the Dozen, Father of the Bride, Roxanne, Parenthood, L.A. Story, and many others. He has won Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for his comedy albums. In addition to his bestselling novel The Pleasure of My Company and a collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, he has also written a play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. He lives in Los Angeles.
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1,062 customer reviews
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What does this have to do with Steve Martin’s book? Comedy is born out of life’s tragedies and trauma’s; they force us to become stronger and more resilient, and over time - look at things - in a sometimes disturbing humorous light.
Steve’s book was enlightening and uplifting, from learning about his triumphs and struggles- in all that he endured to become the comic, and man he is today. I admire him greatly! The biggest obstacle and accomplishment when reading this, and I’d think he’d agree, was after obtaining a certain amount of respect, fame, and fortune, and having written “Lapin Agile” a play set in 1905 about the hypothetical meeting of Picasso and Einstein – Steve returned home. He earned the respect of love of his father, and basked in the love of his mother and sister; taking delight in their stories of forgotten anecdotes. There isn’t any greater gift in life than that!
If you desire to be a comic/entertainer I highly recommend reading this book. It will not only inspire you, but offer you an introspective look at what and why you wish to be a comic. Comedy is a journey - such is life, and what better way to view it than in this humorous biography, “Born Standing Up.”
I leave a 3-star review mainly because I felt that I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. The book is quite short for a memoir and at the end, I felt that I was just getting started. Martin tells the story of his childhood and the early years of his standup career well, but I personally feel like this book is an unfinished product. It felt as if there were intentions to write a comprehensive memoir at some point, but the publishing deadline arrived and the book was shipped as is.
Despite my critical review, I would say the book is fully worth the read. It is one of those books you have to sit down and digest all at once and enjoy entering the mind of the man who invented an entirely new version of standup comedy.
Steve Martin set records filling stadiums for comedy shows. Before that, he was an opening act at concerts. Before that, like many comedians, he struggled, doing five shows a day for twelve years. He gives insights into how family dynamics drove him into his craft, and what it was like to discover his unique creative voice.
It's well-written, which is something I'm especially appreciative of lately. I recently read a book by another comic that was poorly-written. I finished it because I was interested in that person's story, but the stink crept into my own writing, and it took a few days of practice to shake it.