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The Pleasure of My Company

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  14,774 ratings  ·  1,439 reviews
Daniel Pecan Cambridge, 30, 35, 38, or 27, depending on how he feels that day, is a young man whose life is rich and full, provided he never leaves his Santa Monica apartment. After all, outside there are 8-inch-high curbs and there's always the horrible chance he might see a gas station attendant wearing a blue hat. So, except for the occasional trip to the Rite Aid to ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 6th 2004 by Hachette Books (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  14,774 ratings  ·  1,439 reviews

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Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Steve Martin has a wonderful way with words. He gives life to the ordinary. To the people who live on the sidelines, shy, quiet, never attracting attention. Those who many would simply label "boring". Martin shows us that we all have a story inside us, if only we took the time to look a little closer. After reading Shopgirl I knew I had to check out more and was not disappointed. In The Pleasure of my Company we follow Daniel Cambridge, a lonely but highly intelligent man whose life is ruled by ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Joel Neff
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sentimentalists and those prone to melancholia.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Arthur Graham
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So...having a whole separate world going on inside your own head is a real thing? Whew, good to know I'm not alone. What an awesome little book this was.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Initially I really could not get into this book and I was beginning to think it might be one of those that I didn't finish.I just couldn't get to grips with the main character or feel anything for him, which is perhaps what was intended. As Daniel, the main character, loses some of his obsessions and begins to interact more with 'real life' the more I began to enjoy the book and warm to him. In the end I'm glad i stuck with it. Not my favourite book, but enjoyable in the end!
May 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: xy, novels, this-is-mental
The main character was annoying as hell. I didn't care about his journey. I wanted him to just go away.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Light, easy writing style, but at times felt unfocused. And the ending was particularly rushed.
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sabra Embury
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Ellen Posledni
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
don't bother.... i literally skipped half the book and read the last few pages...
Michelle Spencer
This was fantastic. Daniel’s compulsions, while often played for laughs, don’t disguise the human underneath. It was impossible simply to roll my eyes at him and say, “Oh my gosh, that’s so weird.” I really felt for the guy! Considering how short this was, I was very impressed by how well-developed he was as a character. It became clear very early on that the last thing anyone should do with Daniel Pecan Cambridge is dismiss him as a weirdo. He’s just a genuinely nice guy with a huge set of ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Annabel Smith
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny
"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
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, adult
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, ...more
Kressel Housman
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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. ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: off-beat
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,
J.E. Jr.
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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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
“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.” 184 likes
“Or is it that I think too much?” 79 likes
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