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The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten.: The Tweets of Steve Martin Flexibound – February 21, 2012
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About the Author
Steve Martin is a legendary writer, actor, and performer. His film credits include Father of the Bride, Parenthood, The Spanish Prisoner, and Bringing Down the House, as well as Roxanne, L.A. Story, and Bowfinger, for which he also wrote the screenplays. He's won Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for comedy albums. In addition to a play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, he has written a bestselling collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, and a bestselling novella, Shopgirl, which was made into a movie. His work appears frequently in The New Yorker and The New York Times.
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I've always admired Steve Martin for his willingness to experiment - and not only with different forms of humor onstage. In films and books, he has tackled comedy, often focused on existential and philosophical issues...or random musings that seem ad libbed. I've always gone out of my way to catch a Martin performance, read one of his books, or stay up to watch him interviewed on late night television. I like his unpredictability and wilingness to take chances.
So as soon as I heard about his latest book, I pre- ordered it. I was intrigued. I just wish I liked it enough to give it a 5 star review. Unfortunately, I don't.
As Martin notes in the book, he first started tweeting for self- promotion. But his interest in that faltered and he decided to experiment with Twitter's possibilities. As of this review's publication date, Martin has nearly 2,300,000 followers. This book contains a small collection ( the book is around 121 pages) of both Martin's tweets as well as responses from fans.
A sample tweet: "Running low on Twitter feed. Going to store to get more." i got a kick out of that tweet. Based on the Kindle edition I read, there are approximately 1 to 3 tweets per page so this is a very quick read. For those who've followed Martin's Twitter page avidly some of the material may not be new. Some will even find their tweets in the book, although a fair number are listed anonymously.
I found the book itself to have some funny, creative, and even enigmatic moments but far too many pages had material that just fell flat. I enjoyed the Sing Alongs section where Martin would give the first line of a song and followers would suggest the rest of that line. But other chapters just puzzled me, with tweets that just didn't strike a humorous or even thought-provoking chord in me.
If you're a diehard Steve Martin fan - as I am, although this review may not indicate it - you'll probably buy this anyway. Since I've heard plenty of people complain about the price of books these days, I feel obligated to remind potential buyers yet again (noted it above too) that there are relatively few pages and a small number of tweets per page. Consider this a "heads up" if you're the type to feel resentful that you've spent nearly ten bucks on a small book of one-liners.
As for me, I'm glad I had a chance to check it out. I'm loaning my copy (yes, you can do this with electronic editions) to friends for their take. I'll update my review if they feel significantly different about the book than I do. Since we all seem to enjoy different types of books (with occasional overlaps) there is certainly a chance of that.
Meanwhile, I'll be looking for Martin's next book and I'll probably pre-order and buy it. As far as I'm concerned, he still has more hits than misses.
Here's a sample taken more or less at random:
"The Red Cross is a really good cause, but one billiard ball hitting another is a really good cause and effect."
"REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: Other jurors are stupid. They don't believe in 'hexes.' Plus, they want me to put my magazines away."
"Today is National Marijuana Day. A day when...uh...wow, Wolf Blitzer is SO funny."
My only complaint is, for the price, it would be nice if the book had a bit more content. It's small and thin, somewhere in between one of those little gift books and a regular trade paperback and only a hundred pages with maybe about two or three tweets per page. So the list price is perhaps a bit steep for what's basically a glorified gift book, even if it is by Steve Martin. But if you're a Steve Martin fan like I am, it's worth it, especially if you can pick it up on sale like I did here. :)
I read his novella, "Shopgirl" though I think he developed the characters and conflict further in the movie.
His novel, "The Pleasure of My Company" was fantastic, I have read it three times. He reads the book himself in the audiobook version, which is also a great performance.
I read his recent novel about the Art world in New York, "An Object of Beauty" and I was gripped by the main character and torn by her ethics. Too bad the audiobook version is not read by Steve Martin, I couldn't get into the voice.
Thank you and More Please, Steve!