This is the second book I've read by Steve Martin. I thought Shopgirl was beautiful & poetic. The Pleasure of My Company is a close second. It took me a little bit to get through the first pages but once I did, it greatly intrigued me. The main character is complex, yet very human.
An interesting look into the life of a man challenged by his own psyche and striving to expand his small world if only one step off the curb at a time ~ Steve Martin is an interesting author who's writing is unlike any other ~ he revels in writing the vulnerable underbelly of a character and as always, can make you laugh out loud. I loved Shop Girl and I really enjoyed The Pleasure of My Company.
Steve Martin may be widely known as an actor, but he has the soul of a writer. After reading Shopgirl (and having my spirit sufficiently rocked by it) I knew I had to find another novella written by him to see if it was a fluke.
The Pleasure of My Company is, again, a wonderful piece. The protagonist, Daniel, is a man of many obsessions. He is very much trapped by himself and his obsessions that restrict crossing the street and sleeping and everything else in his life. Martin is a master of characterization, continually proving that he can build believable and complex characters that people WANT to read about. To watch Daniel interact with the world and people around him is a treat, not only because he is funny in his quirkiness, but because he is a sympathetic character that you find yourself genuinely rooting for. When you close the book, I promise you will do so with a smile.
This novella is beautiful in its effortless simplicity; it is poignant and witty. It remains the only book that I have bought multiple copies of just to send around to friends.
Great portrayal of a character disabled by neurotic and compulsive behavior, much more satisfying than "The Incident of the Dog..." in that regard. Poignant and bittersweet, but in with a plausible happy ending. I have been a fan of Martin's writing long before "Shopgirl" (anybody else remember "Cruel Shoes"?) and he never disappoints!
Took my a little while to get into the book but I think that the beginning pace was important to understanding the main character. Martin writes very well which made me persevere. By the end, I loved the main character and really enjoyed the book's conclusion.
Steve Martin is a funny man, on screen or in print.
His unreliable narrator isn't completely unreliable. He knows he has OCD and a variety of phobias, but he isn't sure how to get outside his own apartment to improve his life. He subsists on disability checks and gifts from his grandmother. But the few people in his life and a series of strange events draw him out into the bigger world.
Enjoyable story about a "nice guy" with some interesting quirks. Steve Martin does a good job making the main character accessible, instead of thinking "wow, what a wierd guy" I instead wanted him to succeed and be happy.
I really enjoyed this book. although i thought the whole time it was going to have a sad ,dark ending that was going to make me cry but i was very surprised...and thoroughly enjoyed it. The book is about a man in his early thirties who has issues mental alphabetizing and understanding simple things without putting them in a logical order..he spends his life walking from place to place, but only if he does not have to step off a curb to get there. When a unlikely relationship occurs and his whole life gets thrown off balance. However, he doesnt want anyone to know about his mental handicaps and keeps his struggles with in. Its a very sweet book and im glad it didnt end on a sad note.
Though you're never quite sure which mental maladies the main character truly identifies with (possibly all), you're always entertained by Steve Martin's ability to draw a complete, human & intimate picture of him - & the other characters who bring color to his life & challenge him (mostly unwittingly) to be & do more than simply identify with his illness(es). This was quick, fantastic reading - almost too much so. Once I was done, I wanted to read it again. The guy grows on you!!! It didn't hurt that I was intimately familiar w/the setting, but I think anyone can enjoy this book - if they enjoy a great twist of phrase, honest dialogue & the notion of getting inside someone else's head.