This little memoir is an interesting look at Steve Martin’s career as a stand-up comedian. He was living in California when, as a boy, he had a fascination with magic tricks. It was that fascination that he took on stage with him for the first time, working his act around magic, and then adding comedy and his banjo playing. Although this wasn’t the audio-book version, I could hear Martin’s voice coming through the stories he told. I appreciated the approach he took to comedy, allowing both the man and the act to learn, grow and evolve over time. I was a teenager when he decided to quit doing stand-up. Martin was at the height of his career and I remember being shocked. After reading the book, I understand why it was the right decision, as difficult as it might be to walk away from such dizzying success. I’m glad Martin has been able to continue that success by channeling his comedy through acting and writing, in addition to utilizing his other talents (ie, writing novels and art collecting). Fans continue to benefit from that and I hope he is happy and fulfilled. My only complaint is I would have like the memoir to be a little bit broader. He mentions his first movie, “The Jerk,” but never mentions any others. He mentions his divorce in passing, but never even so much as hints about falling in love or getting married or even the woman’s name. I realize he was focusing on the stand-up portion of his career, but leaving out such important parts of his life made the book feel a bit disjointed.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2008
Amazon Book Preview of Born Standing Up