Book Review: Born Standing Up

9:44 AM Sunday, April 25, 2010

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Steve Martin's journey into comedy is funny and inspiring. Through the narrative of his struggle to the top of comedy, anyone on a creative path will be able to draw insight from his thoughts and experiences.

In the book, Steve (not a ghostwriter, and it shows) chronicles his journey from small boy to big time comedian to movie star. I was surprised mostly by the amount of time and thought (did you know he majored in philosophy?) his journey took.

Family relationships make a major impact on the rising star, both in good and bad ways. The book is full of touching and tragic moments were we can see the life behind the man and his unique comic persona.

Most of all, what I took from the book was that the path to your dreams is not usually a short one. Thought, planning, practice, persistence, and old-fashioned hard work cannot be circumvented. Failures happen. Rejection happens. Depression happens. Self-doubt happens. And all of it is ok. Get through it and move on.

The only thing that disappointed me about this book was its rapid ending. After a detailed account of the early years of the 60's and 70's, which included stories on not only his professional but also his personal life, the book races through the 80's and 90's with much less detail. Was this because of it's more recent nature or because there is less to learn from the success then the struggle to get there? Only Mr. Martin knows. I would have liked the last 20 years to be as detailed as the rest.  Then again, maybe that's just not what the book was suppose to be about.

My favorite bit of insight: "There is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration."

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  1. I listened to this memoir and enjoyed it very much. I was amazed to hear about his journey. Very inspirational!Nice review, Julie!

    Kathleen A. Ryan

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