- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: November 1, 2007
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000ZM8GL8
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
The book itself is a collections of stand-up memories and developmental notes on how Mr. Martin began his professional career as an onstage performer. It goes through a bit of the highs and low without going for the cheap "tell all" trash of sex, drugs, and back room deals that seems more like a low class ploy to sell books. What little there is of that in the book is quickly and quietly glossed over. He speaks of his career and gives his nuances on how he moved from an unknown to having more fame and less privacy. The professional reading is also punctuated with mini banjo solos.
He does not go much into his movies beyond "The Jerk." Most of his private life is still very much private, although he does go a bit into his relationship with his immediate family. There is not a lot of mentions of other famous people beyond a few tiny mentions here and there. It really is merely focusing on career development without throwing any of his past coworker under the proverbial bus.
For me, he came off as a hard-working professional with a lonely somewhat secluded life that makes me want to reach out and be his friend. However at the same time, it made me know that since his fame that he has erected a wall between his public persona and his private life. I do not see him as capable to have a friendship with the "common" folk anymore, as he will always be unable to trust anyone without expecting ulterior motive, which is a shame.
Martin's book brings the dark, but not so much the anger; more sadness. What he does a pretty good job of is showing that, while he landed by an accident of birth in a charmed place and time, he was plagued with the same dysfunctional family relationships as people whose lives are less charmed.
But what I found the most interesting is that he's somewhat candid about the conceit behind his most-lucrative period of "new comedy" -- that it was aimed at creating the impression that you had to be smart to understand it, that something important was being said that you needed desperately to be a part of, something that the yapping masses wanted to"be hip to," and that you didn't dare let on that you didn't find it funny for fear of letting people know how uncool you truly were. You had to get the inside joke, or pretend you did, to avoid being mocked. And in that sense, his comedy was actually a microcosm of much of the culture of the seventies, (and '80s) specifically -- phoniness, full-blown artifice. That's what Madison Avenue, when it co-opted the hippie culture, created; it morphed the sixties' culture into its polar opposite while retaining the superficial trappings.
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.”
What makes the book so great is not that his story is so unique or profound, but he's very good with how he tells the story. He makes it very poignant . If more writers were as honest, personal, and eloquent with words as he is in this book, more people would read.