Cover image for Pure drivel
Pure drivel
Martin, Steve, 1945-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : G.K. Hall, 1999.

Physical Description:
216 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3563.A7293 P87 1998B Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

On Order



Steve Martin's talent has always defied definition: an actor who's kept us riveted for 25 years, a razorsharp screenwriter, and an acclaimed playwright. In this hilarious collection of riffs, those who thought Martin's gifts were confined to the screen will discover that Martin is also a master of the written word. With a playwright's ear for dialogue, a keen sense of irony, and first-class comic ability, Pure Drivel will have readers crying with laughter.

Author Notes

Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas. He studied at Long Beach State College. He has acted in such films as The Jerk; Roxanne; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Bowfinger; Father of the Bride; Cheaper by the Dozen; and Shopgirl, which was adapted from a novel he wrote. He has won an Emmy for his comedy writing and Grammies for his comedy albums. He has made several appearances on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.

He has written several books including Shopgirl, Cruel Shoes, Pure Drivel, The Pleasure of My Company, and An Object of Beauty. He also wrote a play entitled Picasso at the Lapin Agile and a memoir entitled Born Standing Up. During the 1990s, he wrote various pieces for The New Yorker. In 2002, he adapted the Carl Sternheim play The Underpants, which ran Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company and in 2008, co-wrote and produced Traitor. In 2013 he published a memoir entitled Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life. This book tells the story of his beginnings as a magician and comedian at a young age and follows through his career lifetime.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Like Woody Allen, Martin expresses his intelligent, innovative, and self-conscious humor in many forms, including the written word. The short essays, conversations, and proclamations collected here are relayed in a slyly deadpan Valley voice that belies the coiled craziness of their content. Martin also brings his gift for comedic timing to these creations, setting a quirky beat that perfectly sets off their ironic wiles. The laugh-out-loud funniest pieces have a vivid physicality to them, such as "Side Effects," a hilarious takeoff on the precautions accompanying prescription drugs, while the most complex works offer witty commentary on the esotericism of science, the pretension of art, and the act of writing itself. The last gave rise to the delectable "Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periods," in which even the typography is amusing. Martin gets in some quick jabs at the absurdities of Washington, D.C., tells a tale from a dog's perspective, and pokes fun at Mensa, always crafting prose as notable for its meticulousness as for its drollery. And then he turns all but poetic in a piece about a "New York writer . . . forced to visit Los Angeles," a story that turns into a bittersweet and unexpectedly moving defense of his almost-beautiful, ever-hopeful city against its harshest critics. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

These short humor pieces, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker, represent a mixed bag. While actor/ comedian/writer Martin consistently comes up with clever lines, his conceits soar only about as often as they peter out. His opening offer, "A Public Apology," takes the politician's mea culpa to deadpan, ridiculous heights: "I had sex with a hundred-and-two-year old male turtle. It would be hard to argue that it was consensual." But the next piece, "Writing is Easy!" contains such clunkers as "Naked Belligerent Panties" as a recommended topic for up-and-coming writers. Martin's zones of inquiry include science, language, show biz and, of course, mating. Among the stand-outs: "Dear Amanda" recounts the belles lettres of mannerly stalker; "Taping My Friends" trips into a paranoid universe; "I Love Loosely" brings Lucy & Ricky to the "oral sex isn't sex debate;" and "Artist Lost to Zoloft" laments how pharmaceuticals affect the avant-garde. But the title piece (okay, it's just called "Drivel"), which concerns a duo linked by hyper-conscious irony, shows Martin straining for laughs. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

A Public Apologyp. 1
Writing Is Easy!p. 5
Yes, in My Own Backyardp. 13
Changes in the Memory after Fiftyp. 18
Mars Probe Finds Kittensp. 22
Dear Amandap. 26
Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periodsp. 30
Schrodinger's Catp. 34
Taping My Friendsp. 38
The Nature of Matter and Its Antecedentsp. 42
The Sledgehammer: How It Worksp. 46
The Paparazzi of Platop. 50
Side Effectsp. 54
Artist Lost to Zoloftp. 58
How I Joined Mensap. 62
Michael Jackson's Old Facep. 67
In Search of the Wily Filipinop. 70
Bad Dogp. 74
Hissy Fitp. 79
Drivelp. 86
I Love Looselyp. 90
Lolita at Fiftyp. 93
The Hundred Greatest Books That I've Readp. 100
Closurep. 106
The Y3K Bugp. 109
A Word from the Wordsp. 112