Summary and book reviews of The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

The Pleasure of My Company

By Steve Martin

The Pleasure of My Company
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2003,
    163 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2004,
    163 pages.

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Book 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.

Excerpt
The Pleasure of My Company

Tuesdays and Fridays are big days for me. At least at 2 p.m.

At 2 p.m. Clarissa comes. She talks to me for exactly forty-five minutes, but she's not a full shrink; she's a student shrink. So officially she's a visitor and her eyes are green. She brings a little gift bag each time, sometimes with packaged muffins, or phone cards, all of which I assume are donated. She asks me how I am, and she always remembers something from last time that she can follow up on this time. If I told her that I planned to call my mother with the new phone card, she remembers to ask how the call went. Problematic for me, because when I say I'm going to call my mother I am lying, as my mother has been dead--is it six years now? Problematic for her, because Clarissa knows my mother is dead and feels she has to humor me. I know I'm lying and not fooling her, and she thinks I'm crazy and fooling myself. I like this little fib because it connects us at a much deeper level...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

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 is its tenderness, a complex mix of wit, poignancy and Martin's clear, great affection for his characters.

Library Journal - Christine Perkins

Martin is adept at painting vivid metaphors; scenes where Daniel thwarts Clarissa's attempts to analyze him are particularly deft. A pleasure to read.

Kirkus Reviews

By letting Daniel speak for himself, the author enables the reader to experience his neuroses from the inside and to witness them as the strangely reassuring, though assuredly life-limiting, rituals that they are. As compassionate as it is funny, and never overstays its welcome.

Booklist

Martin’s first novel, Shopgirl, was charming and clever, and his second is even more accomplished.

Kristine Huntley - Booklist

Martin's trademark humor is guaranteed to have readers laughing hard.

Entertainment Weekly

A sweet, symmetrical story of love and 'the quiet heart'.

New York Times Book Review

A few of the episodes build to moments of hilarity, and Martin’s gift for comedic metaphor is uniquely his own.

People

Martin’s gifts for subtlety and slyness compare to those of the finest comic novelists.

Reader Reviews
Shelly

Gets you thinking
When you dream at night and your mind makes up these odd scenarios in your head it seems normal, but Daniel makes them up in the daytime about bystanders and people who frequent into his life. He overcomes many things that trap him into that world ...   Read More

Robert Natale

Most disappointing-----particularly after the promise held by his last effort. This was pap---pure and simple. So very trite, so very obvious, so very contrived. You'll be let down.

Adelle

This book was wonderful. I laughed so hard so many times. I felt the emotions of Daniel. He was sweet, funny, strange - All in one. I was truly sad that this book had to end...

Everyone needs to read this book!

Scott Wampler

THE PLEASURE OF MY COMPANY, Steve Martin's second almost-full-length novel, is even better than the one that preceded it, SHOPGIRL. It tells the story of a man whose sicknesses and psychological conditions render him paralyzed against leaving his ...   Read More

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