I finished this with my mind screaming FIVE STARS, but the more I thought about it I was completely haunted by the fact her siblings just floated arouI finished this with my mind screaming FIVE STARS, but the more I thought about it I was completely haunted by the fact her siblings just floated around the story, ghosts with no personalities. I know the focus was on her relationship with her parents and coming out in general, but I find it pretty hard to believe her siblings were almost completely out of the drama. It's also a bad sign I keep writing "siblings" because I can't for the life of me now remember if it was two brothers or a brother and a sister...considering I just read the book about two minutes ago that's not a great sign! Still an intense and important book, specially for those folks and siblings of folks (ahem) who dealt with difficult coming-out stories. ...more
I count my idols on one hand. When I was 18 I took a cross country road trip with my father during which we listened to Martin's LET'S GET SMALL on reI count my idols on one hand. When I was 18 I took a cross country road trip with my father during which we listened to Martin's LET'S GET SMALL on repeat for the entire length of New Mexico. The trip confirmed a few beliefs, yes my father was the greatest man on the planet, and yes Steve Martin was a close second. Martin's stand-up has still never been rivaled, a perfect blend of absurd with a straight face, as if his goal was to make the joke fly over the audience's heads. Many times there weren't even jokes, no real punchlines or section to pause and laugh. To this day I can recite LET'S GET SMALL on cue from opening Banjo licks to his final Thank you's, which he gave to each and every audience member individually.
So many comedian memoirs tend towards one of two paths: "I am a comic and I will make you laugh" with the entire book being one punchline to the next, or "my life has been horrible, THIS is why I make people laugh". Born Standing Up never tries to make you laugh, nor does it try to make you pity Steve's struggling beginnings. It's sweet without venturing towards splenda, funny without ever trying, and inspiring to the point I gave it a hug when I finished. Oooh and it also settled a 10 year debate with an old college friend. (Ha, Jodie! See Steve Martin DID do all those rope tricks in Three Amigos!)
While Steve Martin as stand-up comedian will always be my favorite incarnation of the man, Steve Martin as writer deserves some applause as well. ...more