Pure Drivel
Steve Martin has always been one of the most intelligent of comedians (you won't find Adam Sandler writing a play about Einstein and Picasso anytime soon), but this intelligence is manifested in gymnastically absurdist flights of fancy, rather than the politically informed riffs typical of performers like Lenny Bruce. Pure Drivel is a collection of pieces, most of them written for the New Yorker, that demonstrate Martin's playful way with words and his unerring ability to create a feeling of serendipitous improvisation even on the printed page. Here's a passage from a piece that announces a shortage of periods in the Times Roman font: "Most vulnerable are writers who work in short, choppy sentences," said a spokesperson for Times Roman, who continued, "We are trying to remedy the situation and have suggested alternatives, like umlauts, since we have plenty of umlauts--and, in fact, have more umlauts than we could possibly use in a lifetime! Don't forget, umlauts can really spice up a page with their delicate symmetry--resting often midway in a word, letters spilling on either side--and not only indicate the pronunciation of a word but also contribute to a writer's greater glory because they're fancy, not to mention that they even look like periods, indeed, are indistinguishable from periods, and will lead casual readers to believe that the article actually contains periods!" Although some of these pieces flirted with topicality when they first appeared, Martin is most successful when he leaves the real world behind and gives his wit free rein. This collection preserves the best (so far) of his glorious improvisations. --Simon Leake

Pure Drivel Details

TitlePure Drivel
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 4th, 2003
PublisherPhoenix
ISBN-139780753813959
Rating
GenreHumor, Fiction, Comedy, Writing, Essays, Short Stories

Pure Drivel Review

  • Roy Lotz
    January 1, 1970
    Product not as described. Contains trace amounts of wit and seven parts per million of satire.
  • Melki
    January 1, 1970
    Martin has always been rather hit or miss for me. I loved The Pleasure of My Company, but was very "meh" on Shopgirl. This one is even a step below "meh." I guess that means putting it in the "blech" category. At least it's aptly titled.
  • Mark Rayner
    January 1, 1970
    It baffles me how this got in the non-fiction category, but at its heart, Pure Drivel is a selection of absurd short stories, some of them verging on flash fiction. I particularly enjoyed the closing pieces about the shortage of periods in Times New Roman (the most loathed font ever), "Bad Dog" and "Side Effects."I listened to this one, rather than read it, and I feel like it was the right banana.
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  • Tricia Bateman
    January 1, 1970
    if you've been wondering how bill murray managed to stage a comedic comeback but not steve martin, then you're just not looking in the right place. martin's humor is still sharp as ever. it's just been in written form for the last decade. my favorite essay in this one is "times new roman announces a shortage of periods." it's written with only one period over 3 pages and cracks me up every time i read it.
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  • Joanne
    January 1, 1970
    I wish Steve Martin would read to me every day....
  • Chy
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t even know where to start. Plot is not a factor. This is a collection of pure drivel, for certain. It’s tidbit thoughts and ramblings and short story pieces. It’s wrought with Steve Martinism.Whatever do you mean, Chy? you ask.“Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol,” Martin says, near the beginning. I was hooked. I loved it. I poured myself a mix drink, shoved my own writing projects aside, and dove in. Martin went on such a meander I don’t even know where to start. Plot is not a factor. This is a collection of pure drivel, for certain. It’s tidbit thoughts and ramblings and short story pieces. It’s wrought with Steve Martinism.Whatever do you mean, Chy? you ask.“Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol,” Martin says, near the beginning. I was hooked. I loved it. I poured myself a mix drink, shoved my own writing projects aside, and dove in. Martin went on such a meandering and varied trail that I was never bored. Especially since each entry is so very short. There were some times when I wanted to slap Martin and say, “Dude, the joke is over and it was never that good anyway. Move on,” but it wasn’t too bad. And the funnier parts made up for it.Pure drivel it is, pure drivel it spouts, and pure drivel totally cleaned my mental palette and set it up for whatever I’d lay across it next. A great “oh, stop taking it all so seriously” read for a reader.And I’ll tell you what I really think:Scenery/Setting: I know every story is different, but the introduction to it all and the closing actually gave a sense of being cohesive—of all being in the same world. That’s pretty cool. The closing was probably my favorite. It’s “A Word from the Words” and it’s written from the point of view of the words. They go over their importance and how much they enjoyed being a part of this collection. They even implore the reader to crack the book once in awhile just to let them breathe, even if the reader doesn’t read anything. That, to me, makes the setting of the whole thing. A word from the words.As for scenery, I suppose it’s pretty good. I have a vivid memory of one character’s drive back to his childhood home. When I can remember the sense I had of trees and distance, I have to praise the author for giving that to me. Mainly because the story would have been fine without it, but he gave me that sense anyway.Characters: Okay, they’re Steve Martin characters. They’re going to be quirky and just a little sad. The problems is, they’re all quirky and just a little sad. Some are more than just a little sad. While I appreciate the style of it, I like to be thrown a curve ball now and then.Or, maybe it is better to say that when the author is throwing curve ball after curve ball, I like to be thrown a straight pitch now and then.Enough baseball metaphors. Enough sports metaphors, period. Where did that come from, anyway?Plot: Some were good, but most of the time I’d reach the end and go, “What? Why?” Maybe that’s me, maybe there’s something I didn’t get. I may be a pompous ass, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think I did get them just fine, I just wasn’t interested in the way Martin presented those things.Other stories, though, did have good arc. And all of them had Martin’s personality and style. That’s good and bad. Good, because Martin is an engaging man and enough of an enigma that you never quite draw a bead on him. Bad, because Martin is an enigma and you can’t ever seem to draw a bead on him.Overall: I liked it. It’s short and all the items within are short, so it’s perfect for the short attention spans of today. I don’t think I got much out of it, but that’s mainly my fault. I like to be engaged. I like to settle into a story and really feel out the characters—something that few authors let me do these days. If I’m lucky, I’ll get one character I can really get to know. One. But we’re not talking general stuff; we’re talking Drivel.Martin’s snapshots didn’t let me sink into anything and didn’t ever let me really connect to any character. But that’s okay, because sometimes you need a gulp-and-toss book.
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  • Raghav
    January 1, 1970
    Pure Drivel is my go to book for all occasions. A collection of quirky shorts by actor/author Steve Martin the book is a wonderful addition to any collection. Martin's humour shines in the stories and while everyone might not get his humour or enjoy it, for me this book is the ultimate in comic writing.
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  • Tom
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of Steve Martin so these essays were bound to deliver. I think my favorite was Lolita in her later years.
  • Bruce
    January 1, 1970
    Going to the library to find Mark Twain's travel books, I was directed to the humor section. There I came across the three thin volumes that form the basis of this triple review. Generally speaking, it's probably not fair to the authors to compare their respective works, but I'll exercise the prerogative anyway because these are all so similar (and who's gonna stop me). Each of these books weighs in at a squidge over 100 pages, with about 20 short essays that achieve absurdity mostly by putting Going to the library to find Mark Twain's travel books, I was directed to the humor section. There I came across the three thin volumes that form the basis of this triple review. Generally speaking, it's probably not fair to the authors to compare their respective works, but I'll exercise the prerogative anyway because these are all so similar (and who's gonna stop me). Each of these books weighs in at a squidge over 100 pages, with about 20 short essays that achieve absurdity mostly by putting banal material in exotic contexts, or vice-versa.Here's my ranking and synopsis of each of these books:Steve Martin's Pure Drivel is the funniest. Martin writes mostly as his Jerk character, a hyper-arrogant naïf whose self-assurance is wholly unjustified by his intelligence. So the first three chapters are (1) A Public Apology, about a politician prepping for his latest campaign by publicly acknowledging his past gaffes (a list that gets increasingly more ridiculous)… from prison; (2) Writing is Easy!, a hack's quid erat demonstrandum; and (3) Yes, in My Own Backyard, in which the author explains how he came to conclude that his birdbath was in fact a heretofore undiscovered sculpture by Raphael. Drivel is driven by wordplay, exhibiting Martin's appreciation of language for the sheer joy of its sound and also for its function as a logic machine. As to the former, there's a delightful chapter dedicated to introducing the sledgehammer to the beginning tool user. "The novice sledgehammerer (from the German sledgehammeramalamadingdong) must be familiar with a few terms," he writes at page 47, and then goes on to define "thunk," "clanker," stuff," "wang," and "smithereens," all to hilarious effect. The logic machine is deployed throughout. There's Writing is Easy!, of course, to which Martin adds a chapter from the vantage point of a pinched writer during a shortage forced to conserve his periods, along with the closing essay, a sort of salutation from the very words of the book as dictated by the spokesword "Underpants." ("Greetings. I'm scummy, and I'd like to mention that you are a lowlife.") Martin's distinct voice permeates his work, but anyone acquainted with the title essay of Ian Frazier's Coyote v. Acme knows him to be a gifted mimic. Most of Frazier's chapters spin off established conventions: (1) Coyote presents the plaintiff's product liability complaint against the Acme company for "personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering" suffered in the course of Wile E.'s work as a predator; (2) Line 46a is the IRS FAQ sheet explaining the newly-implemented regulation requiring taxpayers to choose between death and life as an assassin (inspired by the tagline to an action movie); and (3) Have You Ever is a standard questionnaire issued to prospective policyholders of an insurer who exclusively services soap opera characters (with item 6 under 'PERSONAL HEALTH' being, "Did you ever emerge from a coma as Tab Hunter?") Coyote's level of funny is up there with Martin, but the strength of its mimicry is also its primary flaw. At some point, reading stonefaced rip-offs of tedious genres grows tiresome. (That said, I can't end without quoting one of Frazier's literal takes on the comment, "she had a laugh that was like brandy by firelight" at page 28: "Slivovitz Old Plum. Lit match in the stuff between subway rails. 'A-hilk a-hilk a har har har hilk hilk hilk hilk hilk hilk hilk hilk.'" Ever so classy.)Woody Allen comes up last and, surprisingly, very much least in this nontrilogy. As a devotee of Side Effects, Without Feathers, and Woody Allen's standup routines (especially that bit about the moose), I found myself extremely disappointed with the look-at-me narcissism displayed in Mere Anarchy. Not unlike Martin (and what's with these first name comic surnames, Allen, Martin, Frazier?) Allen is a big fan of wordplay, only in Woody's case his love of vocabulary seems to be more about proving his erudition than indulging the joy of neologism or a well-turned phrase. So, in an otherwise rich fish-out-of-water scenario (a nebbish shopping for a high-tech suit), the cavalcade of increasingly ridiculous fabrics is constantly interrupted by obfuscating, unnatural banter such as: "Now, you come home and the ball and chain perceives the subtlest trace of Quelques Fleurs on your tattersall vest. Starting to have the epiphany? Next thing you know, either you're sweating to keep out of alimony jail or the immortal beloved goes ballistic and you wind up like one of those old Weegee photos with a suppurating excavation between the orbs." (page 31)This is not to criticize fine, fast-talking characters as humorous devices. Snake oil salespeople are a comedic staple; Monty Python loved them (think Eric Idle or John Cleese in various roles), but the joke is reliant in no small part on a foil who finds the patter every bit as confusing as the audience, if not more so. Yet when the rube's utterances are equally purple, as in page 27's "His invidious comparison with the clown's attire lodged in my bosom like a scorpion's tail, and I resolved to invest in a bespoke ensemble the moment my frequent-flier miles swelled to underwrite a trip abroad," then the florid language detracts rather than contributes to the jollity. The verbal tics permeate nearly every paragraph of the book, irrespective of who is speaking… at least up to page 63, at which point I quit on Allen. Nonsense is great when conveyed with a facsimile of sense; it leads to a Lewis Carroll kind of logical satire that pervades so much of Woody's other work. That's the sort of intellectual play I love to read, but here Woody's so busy filtering it all through his Thesaurus that the juice is lost.Woody Allen's entire output is proof that he could (like Ian Frazier) hysterically render an account book entry if he so chose. I just get the sense that he fails most often when he lets his ego gets in his way. Were he to leaven his work with even a smidge of Steve Martin's delicious humility, there'd be few kinks in his ouerve. After all, a cornerstone rule of comedy has it to get others to laugh, you must first be able to laugh at yourself.I mean, seriously.
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    In many ways Steve Martin could be considered a comedian for my parents' generation. By the time I started watching SNL in High School and college he had long since left the show (Norm MacDonald, Phil Hartman, and then eventually Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, and Jimmy Fallon were the stars when I was watching it most.) Also, I haven't seen that many of his movies. I was born in the '80's, so I missed most of his comedies when they first came out. The movies I recall seeing with him in the cast are fi In many ways Steve Martin could be considered a comedian for my parents' generation. By the time I started watching SNL in High School and college he had long since left the show (Norm MacDonald, Phil Hartman, and then eventually Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, and Jimmy Fallon were the stars when I was watching it most.) Also, I haven't seen that many of his movies. I was born in the '80's, so I missed most of his comedies when they first came out. The movies I recall seeing with him in the cast are films like, "The Pink Panther," and "The Father of the Bride."All of that doesn't really matter for this book though. It's just plain funny. Steve Martin is a hysterically funny man.Pure Drivel was published in 1998 by Hyperion. It's a small book that contains over 20 short stories and short essays. Many of them were first printed in "The New Yorker" or in "The New York Times Magazine". I assume the others were new when this book released. It's the type of book you could read in one sitting, but is probably best enjoyed in little chunks over the course of a week or two. I read three or four entries at a time, usually before going to bed. I often ended up laughing so hard that my wife would put her book down and say something like, "Okay, read it out loud already."Martin's humor is what I would call non sequitur comedy. It's the type of humor that's so over the top is stupidly funny. Here are the titles of some of my favorite essays, perhaps they'll explain what I mean better than I can:Mars Probe Finds KittensTimes Roman Font Announces Shortage of PeriodsThe Sledgehammer: How it WorksArtist Lost to ZoloftA note to the writers and authors reading this: At least three of the essays are about writing and writing-related humor is laced through the rest of them. As a wannabe author I know that writers like to read about other writers. I loved that Martin made writing the subject of so many of his jokes.This book was loaned to me by a friend at work (a guy at least 10 years older than me) who was moving his office. This particular friend is someone I regularly chat with about pop culture. In the process of cleaning his old office he found this book and said I had to read it. I'm so glad he did.One last note about this book, it's not too crass. I know that every time I write something like that it may make me sound like a real prude, but to be honest, I hate reading over the top cussing or sexual references in books. There's something about reading that makes that type of content hit me harder than when I see it in a movie. Though I think some of Martin's standup comedy contains a lot of that, this book wasn't too bad. For those of you looking for a rating I guessed I'd say it is a PG-13 book. It's cleaner than your average episode of SNL.Highly recommended for those (like me) who get a real kick out of the totally ridiculous.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    1.5 starsThere's no way I would've finished this had it been by any other author. I'm a big fan of Steve Martin (I could watch Planes, Trains & Automobiles over and over and over) and I figured this would be an enjoyable, humorous audiobook to listen to on my commute to work since he also narrates it. I don't know how to explain it but it just wasn't funny to me. I might've snorted in derision a couple of times but that was more in sarcastic solidarity when Martin was especially snarky. Seve 1.5 starsThere's no way I would've finished this had it been by any other author. I'm a big fan of Steve Martin (I could watch Planes, Trains & Automobiles over and over and over) and I figured this would be an enjoyable, humorous audiobook to listen to on my commute to work since he also narrates it. I don't know how to explain it but it just wasn't funny to me. I might've snorted in derision a couple of times but that was more in sarcastic solidarity when Martin was especially snarky. Several of the short stories/pieces were so focused on being ironic for irony's sake (like for art, man, don't you get it?) that it was just ridiculous. I've always thought that part of the art scene was beyond stupid and a waste of everyone's time so I definitely don't want to read stories about it. This just wasn't my cup of tea. Shopgirl was alright (I gave it 3 stars) and I still plan on reading some other work of Martin's, so I won't give up hope on his writing yet.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first foray into reading anything written by Steve Martin, and I must admit I am now on the hunt down for some more fiction as this book was fabulous. Overall this is a laugh out loud book of 23 short (some pieces are so short they could well be considered flash fiction) stories, and all of them without exception could well be considered literature of the absurd, i.e. "The Sledgehammer: How It Works"- which is exactly what the title suggests, and so much more. Another favorite piece w This is my first foray into reading anything written by Steve Martin, and I must admit I am now on the hunt down for some more fiction as this book was fabulous. Overall this is a laugh out loud book of 23 short (some pieces are so short they could well be considered flash fiction) stories, and all of them without exception could well be considered literature of the absurd, i.e. "The Sledgehammer: How It Works"- which is exactly what the title suggests, and so much more. Another favorite piece was the closing number, "A Word From the Words," wherein the words, letters, and even the question mark get the last "word" in as it were. Most of the tales are so absurd that they could truly be considered sublime.If you are a fan of Steve Martin's stand-up routines than grab this book post haste, as it lives on the same street as the best of his stand-up comedy, and loses nothing in being captured on the page- the genius of Steve Martin truly knows no bounds which this book proves over and over again (at least 23 times).
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  • Hayes
    January 1, 1970
    I love Steve Martin, but this book is mostly Drivel, with a capital D. One or two good pieces, the rest so severely dated that I didn't get the joke. Or perhaps I am so old that I don't remember the joke. Whatever.The two best pieces are: "Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periods": the whole piece is consequently written without full stops; and"Schrödinger's cat" (see Wiki article) where Martin presents us with other paradoxes such as Wittgenstein's Banana, Elvis's Charcoal Briquette, and I love Steve Martin, but this book is mostly Drivel, with a capital D. One or two good pieces, the rest so severely dated that I didn't get the joke. Or perhaps I am so old that I don't remember the joke. Whatever.The two best pieces are: "Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periods": the whole piece is consequently written without full stops; and"Schrödinger's cat" (see Wiki article) where Martin presents us with other paradoxes such as Wittgenstein's Banana, Elvis's Charcoal Briquette, and so on.
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  • Troy Blackford
    January 1, 1970
    This was a funny collection of essays and short pieces by Steve Martin. Everything from writing tips (on dialog: 'just dumb yourself down by 50 IQ points, and type') to imaginary medication warnings ('may contain bungee cords'), this book was pleasantly all-over-the-place in topics, but always amusing. From the shortage of periods that Times New Roman is currently experiencing, to a piece recommending sledgehammers to those who are afraid of new technology, I was laughing at all of the stuff in This was a funny collection of essays and short pieces by Steve Martin. Everything from writing tips (on dialog: 'just dumb yourself down by 50 IQ points, and type') to imaginary medication warnings ('may contain bungee cords'), this book was pleasantly all-over-the-place in topics, but always amusing. From the shortage of periods that Times New Roman is currently experiencing, to a piece recommending sledgehammers to those who are afraid of new technology, I was laughing at all of the stuff in this short but intelligent work.
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  • Eric Wallace
    January 1, 1970
    This collection of short stories is not his best work (The Pleasure of My Company would be hard to top), but nevertheless each piece is thoroughly in line with his delightful brand of "anti-humor". To give you an idea: several hours after reading the title story, it struck me as a far more thoughtful (and amusing) commentary on his own work than I had imagined while reading it.
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  • Mary Jane
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to this on CD, read by Steve Martin. I can see how some people would have trouble getting into this, since you really need to be in the right frame of mind to "get" Steve's humor in this one. Hearing him read it made a huge difference, I'm not sure I'd enjoy it as much if I read it myself.
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  • Teri
    January 1, 1970
    Witty, dry, ridiculousness of the talented Steve Martin! His observations of the banal life continues in all his works, with a last second intelligent uppercut, to drive in his point. He's definitely an original!
  • SarahTheUnready
    January 1, 1970
    Probably the most inspirational work of satire I have yet to read.
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    This book is funny! But, then again, I love Steve Martin. My favorite bit is "Sledgehammer."
  • Margie
    January 1, 1970
    These shorts come across almost like scripts for a Steve Martin comedy routine. They're very funny, but need to be read over the course of quite a length of time; too much at once lessens the humor.
  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    Steve Martin is my favorite comedian. He has the best mix of Nabokov jokes and underpants jokes.
  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    Good title for this book because it is a ton of drivel, and it went into my donation box as soon as I finished it. I jokingly told Dave his drivel is much more Ivory-soap-pure compared with this. Really most the pieces weren’t even amusing, let alone profound or funny. Unlike the plays of Martin I read recently I’ve had this volume for years (it’s a 1st Edition) and I think I tried to read this before and gave up after a few essays. But I’m glad I now finished it because the best piece was the l Good title for this book because it is a ton of drivel, and it went into my donation box as soon as I finished it. I jokingly told Dave his drivel is much more Ivory-soap-pure compared with this. Really most the pieces weren’t even amusing, let alone profound or funny. Unlike the plays of Martin I read recently I’ve had this volume for years (it’s a 1st Edition) and I think I tried to read this before and gave up after a few essays. But I’m glad I now finished it because the best piece was the last ‘A Word from the Words’ – it was witty and mostly intelligent but still not as good any one of the pieces in Sara Vowell’s books. I’ve always like Steve Martin’s screenplays and really liked ‘Shopgirl’ but after suffering through these last two tomes I don’t think I’ll pick up his latest novel though I’ve heard it’s good. If it were anything like ‘Mars Probe Finds Kittens’ or ‘Taping my Friends’ or ‘In Search of Willie Filipeno’ I’d hate it. Or if like ‘Bad Dog’ which started off promising and went… well ‘bad’ I’d be entirely disappointed. I’ll leave off Martin for now.
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  • Mangy Cat
    January 1, 1970
    About 2/3 of this collection of short stories IS pure drivel. The other third were witty, funny, and memorable. I enjoyed the ones about writing and writers, the “bad dog,” and the kittens on Mars. Most of the pieces were sort of wandering and randomly scattered with cleverness. Although, I have to say, wandering through the comedic mind of Steve Martin is an interesting endeavor all on its own.
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  • Michelle Spencer
    January 1, 1970
    I never know how to rate books of short stories. I loved some of them (“Side Effects;” “Schrödinger’s Cat;” “Taping My Friends;” “The Sledgehammer: How It Works” to name a few). Others I wasn’t crazy for. Others weren’t exactly my favorite stories but were a fun, well-executed concept (“Times New Roman Announces Shortage of Periods;” “A Word from the Words”).So it was a mixed bag. 3/5 seems good for that, right?
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  • Michael Simental
    January 1, 1970
    Most of this was a waste of time, though not very much time. However, there are a couple chapters that are absolutely brilliant. I’d give 1/10 of this book five stars.
  • Sally Mouzon
    January 1, 1970
    Aptly titled! Like much of his absurdist humor, this one is rather hit or miss, but there are definitely a few gems.
  • John of Canada
    January 1, 1970
    For all you readers,I definitely recommend Lolita at 50 and The Hundred Greatest Books That I've Read.Typical weird Steve Martin humour.3.5 stars
  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    My story with Steve Martin is kind of weird. Due to my age and the fact that I didn't grow up in the United States, I never really knew much about Steve Martin as a comedian. Growing up in Paraguay, I only knew him from the movies I sometimes caught on cable while channel surfing. These movies were usually subtitled or dubbed in Spanish, usually romantic comedies, usually light and fun. I thought of him as the cute (yes, I know, even as a 12-year old I was a weirdo) dude with white hair who was My story with Steve Martin is kind of weird. Due to my age and the fact that I didn't grow up in the United States, I never really knew much about Steve Martin as a comedian. Growing up in Paraguay, I only knew him from the movies I sometimes caught on cable while channel surfing. These movies were usually subtitled or dubbed in Spanish, usually romantic comedies, usually light and fun. I thought of him as the cute (yes, I know, even as a 12-year old I was a weirdo) dude with white hair who was pretty funny. Fast forward ten years, during which I didn't think or hear much from him, when I ended up living with a librarian who was a Steve Martin enthusiast. I had no idea he was also a writer, I had no idea he was actually a VERY GOOD writer. Which brings us to my current obsession with his books and movies. I loved Shopgirl (both the book and the movie), The Pleasure of My Company, and An Object of Beauty. This is the first book of his I read that is actually more of a comedian book. I can't say that I like it as much as the fiction he writes, but he is a very smart and funny guy. It wasn't laugh-out-loud funny but it was witty and charming and it made me like him even more.I have his memoir Born Standing Up lined up to be read next. Because I followed his career in the reverse order and my process is the opposite of everyone else's, I don't know that I will like his earlier stuff as much, but at least it will help some gaps in my knowledge of American popular culture. And yes, at age 30 I still think he is pretty cute! :)
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  • Denny
    January 1, 1970
    I am a Steve Martin fan. From his work on Saturday Night Live, to his movies, his stand-up, and his musicianship, I've enjoyed almost everything I've ever seen or heard by him. Not so Pure Drivel. Not once did I laugh out loud; in fact, I barely mustered one or two chuckles over the course of the whole audiobook. There were a couple of sketches that were decent, like the one about the shortage of periods in the Times Roman font, but for the most part it was a collection of exactly what the title I am a Steve Martin fan. From his work on Saturday Night Live, to his movies, his stand-up, and his musicianship, I've enjoyed almost everything I've ever seen or heard by him. Not so Pure Drivel. Not once did I laugh out loud; in fact, I barely mustered one or two chuckles over the course of the whole audiobook. There were a couple of sketches that were decent, like the one about the shortage of periods in the Times Roman font, but for the most part it was a collection of exactly what the title says it is. Disappointing.
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  • Richard Gartee
    January 1, 1970
    Comedian Steve Martin is also a prolific writer. This collection of short comedic essays appeared in the New Yorker and other publications. His written humor differs greatly from his sort of slapstick movie style. Sly, thought provoking, and sophisticated pieces such as Schrodinger's Cat, simultaneously amuse and boggle the mind.
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