Jamie's Reviews > Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

really liked it

I've always liked Steve Martin as an actor and comedian. I've even liked the novellas he's written. So I was curious to see what he had to say about life as a stand-up comic. And I was pleased and delighted that BORN STANDING UP was such a good book. The book is autobiographical but focuses on Steve Martin's evolution from amateur performer and magician at Disneyland, to the dawn of his film career beginning with THE JERK. And throughout the whole book, it's stand-up comedy that takes center stage.

Reading the book--a very quick read because I was captured by it--was like sitting in a room with Martin, having him talk about how *he* became a successful stand-up comic. One thing I liked was that he really did't try to tell anyone else How To Do It, and I imagine that is because the process is different or everyone. But there is a clear evolution to Steve Martin's career and he was very specific in the details of the things he attempted, the lucky accidents, and how he learned to be a comedic performer over the years.

Martin write colloquially but with a charming, self-deprecating style that makes the book feel more like a conversation. He is down-to-Earth and at the same time he is a force for comedy. There are hilarious moment and touching ones. All told, I'm glad I decided to pick this one up and I'm better for having read it.

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Reading Progress

January 30, 2012 – Shelved
July 30, 2012 – Started Reading
July 31, 2012 –
page 57
August 1, 2012 – Finished Reading

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