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The Pleasure of My Company

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  12,066 ratings  ·  1,216 reviews
From Steve Martin, one of our best-loved comedians, a fantastic new novel with an unforgettably weird, original and ultimately engaging character - Daniel Pecan Cambridge.
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Published July 1st 2004 by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2003)
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Min
I have read many of Steve Martin's novellas, as well as his previous novel, Shopgirl, and enjoyed them.
However, I think The Pleasure of My Company has to be my favourite. The pace, the characters, the humour and the quirks of the main character drew me in. It is a short enough book that it can easily be read in one sitting. But I found that I wanted to keep coming back to it, to once again see life through Daniel's eyes.
I am not keen on analysing books for the deeper meanings of life; I like t
...more
Laurie
I have to say that after I read Shopgirl I was hesitant to give Steve Martin another try. Hesitant, but some moments of Shopgirl made me feel like I also sort of owed him.

I am so glad I did. This book is obviously less meditative, and certainly more outright sappy--but I loved almost every moment of it.

The difference? I loved and cared about the characters. Felt closer to them each time the main character reached just a little bit more out of his self imposed bubble.

Everything worked out almo
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Roy
The greatest obtacles are those we impose upon ourselves. As for the deepest wounds, they tend to come from those who love us considerably less than by all rights they should. This wonderful little book eloquently expresses both of these points. It belongs to that popular category of fiction which is narrated in first person from the perspective of a character who is emotionally and/or mentally challenged, thus magnifying commonplace exploits to Mount Everest proportions. I'm looking for a short ...more
Joel Neff
Feb 23, 2008 Joel Neff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sentimentalists and those prone to melancholia.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mindy
I absolutely loved this book... even more so than Martin's first novel, Shopgirl. I'm pretty sure he's a genius.

The narrator, Daniel, has anxieties and compulsive behaviors that are completely absurd. He has many unlikeable qualities, but he is also kind-hearted, witty, and hopeful. Martin does a great job of humanizing him so that by the end, I empathized with all of his eccentricities.

I liked that the world was so tiny, rarely expanding beyond Daniel's apartment. Small things become monumenta
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Arthur Graham
I was first exposed to Martin's written work through Picasso at the Lapin Agile, not Shopgirl, so naturally I was expecting something far different from this book. Nevertheless, the cold cockles of my heart were curiously warmed by this humorous tale of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets a whole helluva lot more in return.

It's probably fair to say that Martin isn't the most brilliant novelist around, but he's genuinely clever and funny much of the time, which is more than most can boast. I
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Jennifer
I started listening to this in the car on my ride to work on Monday. That's when I realized I had either listened to it once already or read it before. I decided to go ahead and listen to it again - What else is there to do on the drive in to work anyway.

The story centers around the carefully constructed world of Daniel Pecan Cambridge - an obsessive-compulsive who has as many rituals as I have unwanted hair. (ALOT) Daniel doesn't have a job - his OCD got in the way of his job at Hewlett Packar
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Kelly
After being disappointed with another of his books I was hesitant to read this, but a customer gave it to me calling it his favorite and I was surprised by how well I liked it. It reminded me a little of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon, and made me grateful that my compulsions aren't debilitating.
Beth Sniffs Books
Normal, well-adjusted people who function just fine in life may be tempted to believe that some of the neurotic things that Daniel does are just too absurd to be true or that some of the events are a bit far-fetched. But honestly, speaking as someone who walks that fine line between Weird and WEIRD, Daniel Pecan Cambridge is the real deal.

I would love to know how Steve Martin conducted his research for this book. What was his inspiration for Daniel’s persona and his quirks? Why does the story ta
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Paula
I'll do my best not to compare or contrast this with Shopgirl since, for the most part, both books are completely different animals. Even though, like with Shopgirl, at times I was either very frustrated or very surprised by what I was reading.

Daniel, the character whose head the reader is in, is slightly off from normal, to put it in a nice way. One of the biggest frustrations for me in the book, however, was that it's not really clear why this is the case; I mean, we know it has to do with his
...more
Brentney
I read Shopgirl, Martin's other bestselling novella, last weekend, and while I wouldn't call it "fantastic," the characters stuck with me all week. It was a mediocre story with exceptional heart (and yes, that is a bit of a nod to Martin's occasional turn toward the prosaic).

The Pleasure of My Company is the apple to Shopgirl's orange. There really is no comparison. While Martin's earlier work is occasionally funny, it is primarily somber and deals with heavy subjects (clinical depression, chea
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Sabra Embury
I hold in high regard, the variance of output Steve Martin produces. He's a fascinating character who has been around, making himself known in trademark guises for decades now. As comedic actor, he's iconic; as a writer he's good at weaving cozy webs around sensitive, struggling characters.

In 1990's Shopgirl Martin sculpts Vermont transplant, and glove counter ingenue, Mirabelle Buttersfield, into a compelling LA heroine. Three years later in 1993The Pleasure of My Company follows the lonely an
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Ellen Posledni
WOW. I can't even tell you how much I loved this book and how brilliant Martin is. You really have to have an impressive ability to observe and verbalize the human nature and all of its idiosyncrasies to be a funny comedian (he is), and he's taken that ability and converted it into a really insightful, hilarious, touching, and brilliant novel. Written from the perspective of an admittedly insane man, Martin manages to make his oddities understandable, even likeable. What a fascinating peek into ...more
Trish
This is such an optimistic story, and the experience of reading it is so joyful. The writing is lovely, the characters are fascinating, and the plot unfolds like a flower.

Obstacles and obsessions have narrowed Daniel's world. He doesn't have a job, he doesn't have friends. He can walk to the Rite-Aid by following a complicated route that avoids curbs. His grandmother sends him letters filled with love ... and checks. Twice a week, a student therapist named Clarissa stops by to ask him how he is
...more
Kelly
The book jacket describes the main character as a "modern-day neurotic yearning to break free." At first, I wasn't that jazzed up reading about his various neuroses, but Daniel Pecan Cambridge grew on me. I loved Shopgirl almost instantly but I grew to love Martin's second novel as I read more of it, with my attachment to it coming to a crescendo just as I read the last page. (damn!)[return][return]While I don't join Daniel in his insistence on a constant total of wattage from indoor lighting, t ...more
Matt
The fact that Steve Martin chose a somewhat cliche scenario for this book (a protagonist with OCD whose safe, regimented life is encroached upon by "normal" people who are actually more screwed up than he is...BUT...they teach one another about love and life) only serves to show how well he can write. This is a funny, touching novel that ends up giving insight into who Steve Martin is beyond the one-dimensional comedian from vintage SNL and '80's films.

It's not the best novel I've ever read (it
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Mitch
I must have been living under a rock because I didn't know Steve Martin wrote fiction. I mean, I am pretty indifferent about him in movies (I'm not a fan but I don't dislike him either) but I was curious to see how his books were. So, the one that looked most popular was "The Pleasure of My Company". Well, I got it for Christmas as off it went with me to Starbucks to give it a go.

75 pages later I was still in Starbucks still nursing my cold venti or grande or whatever-the-hell weird ass sizes St
...more
Michael
I am a huge fan of Steve Martin. His standup routines are excellent. His films are funny. I also enjoyed his autobiography, Born Standing Up. I was not impressed, however, with Martin's novella, Shopgirl. I found it to be lacking in substance, not very funny or entertaining, and unmemorable. The Pleasure of My Company has caused me to re-think Martin's ability to write fiction. The Pleasure of My Company is entertaining, funny, and heartwarming. The ending may be a bit sappy and too much of a "T ...more
Annabel Smith
I didn’t know quite what to expect in a novel by Steve Martin, star of countless generic comedy films. I must confess I was suspicious that Martin only found a publisher because he was already famous, however, after reading this small and quirky book, I have changed my mind. In fact, I found Steve Martin, the author, much more talented and interesting than Steve Martin, the actor; his humour far more witty, subtle and eccentric in his writing than in his films.

Martin has created an unlikely hero
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izikavazo
"It's a fabulous night and us folks ought to pop out and look at various stars."
That line had me laughing out loud in my car. This audiobook was very enjoyable. I knew I would enjoy Steve Martin's humor but I wasn't totally sure if I would enjoy is story-telling. It turns out he knows what he's going.
You'll notice that quote above doesn't include any "e"s. The character vows not to use the letter "e" in order to distract himself from his long list of neuroses. It's very easy to say that his guy
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Anya
PROS
-Gentle, quiet, very slice-of-life, cute.
-The main character was fleshed out well. Despite his weird quirks that made me go 'Oh jeez, REALLY?', he was likable.
-The author's prose was likable.
-Everything was reasonable. Nothing really suspended my belief too bad, which is important!

CONS
-Not a page turner. I mean, I know it's not SUPPOSED to be, it's a slice-of-life type of book after all, but that doesn't mean it only held half my attention for most of the book.
-The other characters were one-
...more
Kressel Housman
In doing research on OCD, this book came up as a fictional account, and to my surprise, it was written by comedian and director Steve Martin. I didn't know he'd branched out into novel writing, so that was intriguing in itself. The book isn't laugh-out-loud funny, but sufferers of OCD alternate between absurd and pathetic, which is pretty much the feel of this book. You can't help but sympathize with the protagonist because he's a nice guy, but some of his obsessions and compulsions are funny. A ...more
christa
Daniel Pecan Cambridge lives in a prison of disorder. His life in Santa Monica is a highly structured life in which he must find a way to the Rite Aid that doesn't involve stepping off a curb. He is mentally unable to hold a job like the one he once had at Hewlett Packard. He is unable to use public transportation unless he can draw lines between passengers based upon the plaids and stripes they are wearing. He prioritizes his mail into three piles, savoring letters from his grandmother in Texas ...more
Fawzy
I liked the book. But I thought the ending could have been better. All of a sudden the character meets the love of his life. And he doesn't have any phobias anymore. So I liked it until the ending. The ending read like he didn't know how to end it so he just writes,"And then it turns out that so and so is the love of my life." And she thinks my phobias or my obsessive compulsive disorders are cute.

I'm not saying David Pecan Cambridge wasn't deserving of love or anything like that. Just saying th
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AnnMarie
First of all I didn't realize Steve Martin wrote books and then I honestly wondered if it would be one of those that lacks substance but he is famous so of course everybody buys it! Well I was presently surprised he is a wonderful writer! The story was funny and quirky and had wonderful characters. It was touching and I was sad to see it end. I must say I listened to it on cd and it was read by Steve Martin so I think it was an added bonus to the book! I will definitely check out his other books ...more
Nancy
Steve Martin's slender, sensitive novel hit me like a breath of fresh air on a still summer afternoon. It thoroughly captivated and rejuvenated me through its damaged hero, his fanciful imagination, and his totally open heart.

This is not a book for those who expect things to "happen" in a novel. The narrow life of Martin's protagonist is sad. We enter the life of a man with unbelievable compulsions, multiple obsessions and a mind-numbing facility to engage in mathematical miracles. You betcha, h
...more
J.E. Jr.
What a great little book! While it starts off a bit quirky, it is always entertaining; there are several places where the plot will surprise you (pleasantly).

Steve Martin artfully explores the life of a man with some challenges due to mental illnesses, and how he seeks and finds a “normal” life. With the same quality of story-telling as his other work, Shopgirl, but less suggestive content (not that Shopgirl was particularly salacious)— in other words, mostly clean language and only a little PG-
...more
David S
In The Pleasure of My Company the main character, Daniel Pecan Cambridge, is plagued by OCD tendencies. The whole story is told from first person it means we spend all 159 pages inside the barriers of these problems. One of the characters in his life categorizes the various quirks as intolerable, tolerable and hilarious.
Better than the quirks is his life and the lives around them. He writes Daniel so well in that the people around him feel incomplete and undiscovered, because they are to him. A
...more
Suzy
This is one of those books that was a delightful reading experience, in which I completely suspended my disbelief and devoured every line...and then I finished it, and went, wait a minute. Did this character slip drugs into a woman's drink regularly, and consider sleeping with her when she was drunk out of her mind (of course he sabotages that, so you get the feeling he never intended to do it, but still....)? Wasn't the plot too rushed, many lines a bit pat, several of the characters two-dimens ...more
Elizabeth
I was unsure about this book because I don't really consider myself a Steve Martin fan. I'm glad I decided to pick up this book and read it, though, because it is an excellent story. Steve Martin, in my opinion, is a much better writer than he is actor.

The Pleasure of My Company is a delightful novella written in first person POV of a man who lives with OCD. Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, it is a story where you quickly become attached to the characters and their problems.

I love the main cha
...more
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  • 10th Grade
  • Thumbsucker
  • America the Beautiful
  • Tepper Isn't Going Out
  • Canned and Crushed
  • Between the Bridge and the River
  • Her
  • Everybody into the Pool: True Tales
  • Speaking With the Angel
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Wake Up, Sir!
  • The Cigarette Girl
  • A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane
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Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician, and composer. He was raised in Southern California in a Baptist family, where his early influences were working at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm and working magic and comedy acts at these and other smaller venues in the area. His ascent to fame picked up when he became a writer for the Smothers ...more
More about Steve Martin...
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life An Object of Beauty Shopgirl Pure Drivel Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays

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“I understood that as much as I had resisted the outside, as much as I had constricted my life, as much as I had closed and narrowed the channels into me, there were still many takers for the quiet heart.” 179 likes
“Or is it that I think too much?” 81 likes
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