Steve Martin's fame goes before him - he is already internationally recognised as one of the greatest of the modern comic actors Pure Drivel and Shopgirl are both New York Times bestsellers Published to coincide with new hardback, The Pleasure of My Company Steve Martin has received Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for comedy albums 'Martin is a gorgeous writer capable of being at once melancholy and tart, achingly innocent and astonishingly ironic. He is a master at revealing the surreal poetry in pure drivel' Elle
Steve Martin is a successful actor and writer.
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.)