Cover image for The pleasure of my company : a novella
Title:
The pleasure of my company : a novella
Author:
Martin, Steve, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
163 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780786869213
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

From the bestselling author of Shopgirl comes the tender story of a troubled man who finds love, and life, in the most unexpected place.

Daniel resides in his Santa Monica apartment, living much of his life as a bystander: He watches from his window as the world goes by, and his only relationships seem to be with people who barely know he exists. He passes the time idly filling out contest applications, counting ceiling tiles, and estimating the wattage of light bulbs.

It is through Daniel's growing attachment to Clarissa, and to Teddy, that he finally gains the courage to begin to engage the world outside, and in doing so, he discovers love, and life, in the most surprising places.

Filled with his trademark humor, tenderness, and out and out hilarious wordplay, The Pleasure of My Company is a tour de force sure to delight all of Steve Martin's fans.


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 3

Booklist Review

Martin's first novel, Shopgirl (2000), was charming and clever, and his second is even more accomplished. Daniel Pecan Cambridge (his middle name is taken from his grandmother's successful pecan farm in Texas) is at odds with the world. He can only cross the street at driveways that are directly opposite each other, he must have an exact amount of light wattage in his apartment at all times, and he longingly watches a beautiful pharmacy clerk and a sexy realtor from afar. A psychiatry student named Clarissa visits him twice a week, trying to get to the root of his many phobias and quirks, but he holds her at a distance because she tells him nothing about her personal life. He knows she's somehow connected to the little boy and the woman he sees outside his apartment during their sessions. It turns out the little boy is Clarissa's son, Teddy, and one day, when Clarissa's ex-husband tries to take Teddy from her, Daniel literally throws himself over the boy and suddenly finds himself drawn into their lives. Daniel grows increasingly attached to them and realizes that his phobias might have to take a backseat to the people in his life. Martin's trademark humor is guaranteed to have readers laughing hard, but there is also a great deal of sweetness here and a real affection for his characters. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Martin's first novella, Shopgirl (2000), was a revelation, a compassionate yet cool, meticulously crafted tale of a young woman's affair with an older, successful man not what most readers were expecting from the famed comic actor and author of Pure Drivel. Martin's second novella continues the enjoyment, offering another story with a conscience, one funnier than Shopgirl but put together just as smartly, if very differently. Martin forgoes the distanced omniscient narration of Shopgirl by plunking readers into the head of one the odder yet more charming protagonists in recent fiction, Daniel Pecan Cambridge, a gentle soul suffering from a mild mix of autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Daniel, 33, lives in a rundown Santa Monica apartment, his life constricted by an armor of defensive habit (all the lightbulbs in his apartment must equal 1,125 watts; he can't step over curbs so can cross streets only where two opposing driveways align, etc.), his dull days punctuated only by imagined romances and visits by his student social worker, lovely and kind Clarissa. Daniel's ways (a product of child abuse, Martin shows with subtlety) are challenged when Clarissa and her infant son, Teddy, move in to escape an abusive husband; when Daniel wins a contest as "Most Average American" and must give a speech to claim the $5,000 prize; and when his beloved grandmother dies, sending him on a road trip of discovery back home. This novella is a delight, embodying a satisfying story arc, a jeweler's eye for detail, intelligent pacing and a clean, sturdy prose style. What's most remarkable about it, though, is its tenderness, a complex mix of wit, poignancy and Martin's clear, great affection for his characters. Many readers are going to love this brief, big-hearted book. Agent, Esther Newberg. 250,000 first printing; major ad/promo, including Today Show appearance. (Oct. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Daniel Pecan Cambridge is a complicated loner with more than his share of compulsions: he can only cross a street where two driveways align on each side, and the light bulbs in his Santa Monica apartment must always deliver 1,125 watts of light. From his window, Daniel watches a local real estate woman, imagining a love affair that never gets off the ground. A social work intern named Clarissa visits him twice a week, trying to get to the root of his quirks and obsessions. Aside from counting ceiling tiles and engineering "magic squares" (mathematical puzzles enjoyed by Benjamin Franklin) to ward off panic attacks, Daniel endures a solitary existence that is only interrupted by intermittent letters and checks from his loving grandmother and trips to the pharmacy where he silently admires Zandy, the beautiful clerk. His life dramatically shifts when his grandmother dies and Clarissa and her son, Teddy, move in with Daniel to avoid her abusive ex-husband. In spite of Daniel's idiosyncrasies, he has an everyman quality that will touch the hearts of anyone who has never been perfect, popular, or confident. Martin does a superb job reading his own work; highly recommended for all public library collections.-Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.