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Cruel Shoes Hardcover – February, 1982

4.2 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Hardcover, February, 1982
$42.66 $2.56

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (T) (February 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517330806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517330807
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,912,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JMack VINE VOICE on September 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Cruel Shoes is Steve Martin's masterpiece book. While some of the passages seem to make little to no sense, other passages are laugh-out-loud brilliant.
The best passages in the this book are "Cruel Shoes" and "The Diarrhea Gardens of El Camino Real". These passages poke fun at women's desire for shoes and environmentalists with the wrong idea. Other classics include "The Turds", "Wrong Number", and "Comedy Events You Can Do". "The Last Thing on My Mind" is the kind of thought prvoking comedy that is the trademark of George Carlin. "Society in Aspen" also has its moments including naming Jesus as a frequent horse shoe player.
The only soft spot in the book is the poetry. I am not sure where Martin was going with it, but it really does not work. Also many of the pages are pictures which seems somewhat wasteful when the pictures are poor quality.
With all of the classic humor in the book, there is no reason it should be out of print. It is a bargain at the available used prices.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book at the local library several years ago, when I was a senior in high school. The result? Hours and hours spent trying to write a story as funny as Martin's -- during class. I do, however, forgive him for making me end school on a bad note, since he wrote such a remarkable book!
I don't think anyone can really understand how bizarre Martin's humor is until they read his short (very short) stories. Most of the stories seem to be a bizarre twist on the small things of our everyday life. Did you ever stop to think if apologizing was a sufficient penance for dialing a wrong number? Did you ever wonder how far women's obsessions with shoes could go? Have you ever envisioned dogs leading a separate life? If you've been too short-sighted and overlooked these weighty matters, Steve Martin will right this wrong in your life.
Most of the stories are brilliantly funny (for some reason, THE SMOKERS just kills me), some are just too bizarre for words. Some of the stories seem to be a random jumble of sentences - which sometimes works (Shuckin' the Jive) and sometimes fails (The Vengeful Curtain Rod). It's not perfect, but definitely worth a look if you're looking for a unique kind of comedy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was given the book as a Christmas gift. It's a wonderful read. Martin, whose standup has never appealed to me, is exposed as a deep, hilarious, thoughtful and sometimes pained mind.
He writes as the deepest of his thoughts came, and he twists what the ordinary mind sees as reality into something far more entertaining.
The cruelty of the shoes he writes about in "Cruel Shoes" is troublesome, but quickly overcome by so many of the other pieces in the book.
Steve Martin has been seen as a comic genius for many years. "Cruel Shoes" allows the reader to see beyond the silliness of his standup routines with a dive deep into his heart and soul.
I loved the book. I recommend it for anyone and everyone who has ever seen or heard of Steve Martin or any of his visual works.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I remember the impact of reading Cruel Shoes as an impressionable teenager and thirty years later the same *WTF is this!* thoughts still permeate my head. Comedic genius need not always be connected to gut-wrenching laughter (re: any Dave Chapelle skit from his two season show) but can also be found in subtle but impacting insanity such as Andy Kaufman or... Cruel Shoes. Give this book a shot, you may or may not be disappointed but you certainly will shake your head for some reason or another. Also... I realize the risks of purchasing used books but a couple of disappointing elements from the seller I bought my used copy from: (1) The Dust Jacket was not sent and this book was definitely published with one; (2) seller left a previous price tag sticker of $1 on the book. I think the overall effort was lacking with this transaction albeit the shipping was prompt. There's a lot of competition so I will look for other sellers going forward.
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Format: Hardcover
Steve Martin is the type of comedian that you either love, or hate. Fortunately, I am one of those people who love his humor. This book is a shining example of that humor, and can only be described as "Very Martin".

When I was growing up, this book was in my moms book collection, and I pulled it out and started reading it. It was actually the first book I read that wasn't bought off a comic rack.

From the moment I started reading, I fell in love, and I firmly believe it's this book that made me as interested in reading as I am today.

It's a collection of short, weird bizarre stories that seem baffling at first, until you get into the "Martin mindset", at which point you will be completely hooked! The stories are all very brief which means they can be read in quick chunks, and set down, only to be picked back up later without having to remember what was going on before. It's quick to read and easily digested. My personal favorite story is "The Day The Dopes Came Over", which is still as entertaining to me today, as it was when I read it all those many years ago.

If you are a Steve Martin fan, and for whatever reason you don't yet have this book? Do yourself a favor, and pick it up. You owe yourself that much!
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