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1. Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
2. Late for School
3. An Object of Beauty: A Novel
5. The Underpants
6. Pure Drivel
7. Picasso at the Lapin Agile and
8. Cruel Shoes
9. The Alphabet from A to Y With
10. Shopgirl: A Novella
11. Heavy Hitter Selling: How Successful
12. The Jerk (Fotonovel)
13. Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology:
14. The Crow: Book of Tablature: New
15. {Late for School [With CD (Audio)]}LATE
16. Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion,
17. Shopgirl
18. Cruel Shoes
19. Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven

1. Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
by Steve Martin
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-09-02)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416553657
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the midseventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."

Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been awriter. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times -- the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.Amazon.com Review
At age 10, Steve Martin got a job selling guidebooks at the newly opened Disneyland. In the decade that followed, he worked in Disney's magic shop, print shop, and theater, and developed his own magic/comedy act. By age 20, studying poetry and philosophy on the side, he was performing a dozen times a week, most often at the Disney rival, Knott's Berry Farm.Obsession is a substitute for talent, he has said, and Steve Martin's focus and daring--his sheer tenacity--are truly stunning. He writes about making the very tough decision to sacrifice everything not original in his act, and about lucking into a job writing for The Smothers Brothers Show. He writes about mentors, girlfriends, his complex relationship with his parents and sister, and about some of his great peers in comedy--Dan Ackroyd, Lorne Michaels, Carl Reiner, Johnny Carson. He writes about fear, anxiety and loneliness. And he writes about how he figured out what worked on stage.

This book is a memoir, but it is also an illuminating guidebook to stand-up from one of our two or three greatest comedians. Though Martin is reticent about his personal life, he is also stunningly deft, and manages to give readers a feeling of intimacy and candor. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs collected by Martin, this book is instantly compelling visually and a spectacularly good read.

Amazon.com Exclusive
Three Bonus Deleted Passages from Steve Martin's Born Standing Up

On Returning to Disneyland
Ten years later, after the Beatles, drugs, and Vietnam had changed the entire tenor of American life, I returned to the magic shop at Disneyland and stood as a stranger. As I looked around the eerily familiar room another first came over me, a previously unknown emotion, one that was to have a curious force over me for the rest my life: the longing tug of nostalgia.Looking at the counter where I pitched Svengali Decks and the Incredible Shrinking Die, I was awash with the recollection of indelible nights where the sky was blown open by fireworks and big band sounds drifted through trees strung with fairy lights. I remembered my youth, when every moment was crisply present, when heartbreak and joy replaced each other quickly, fully and without trauma.Even now when I visit Disneyland, I am steeped in melancholy, because a corporation has preserved my nostalgia impeccably.Every nail and screw is the same, and Disneyland looks as new now as it did then.The paint is fresh, and the only wear allowed is faux.In fact, only I have changed.In the dream-like world of childhood memories, so often vague and imprecise, Disneyland remains for me not only vivid in memory, but vivid in fact.

On Meeting Diane Hall
During the day, I attended Santa Ana Junior College, taking drama classes and pursuing an unexpected interest in English poetry from Donne to Eliot.I would occasionally assist on a college stage production--never appearing in one--as a member of the crew.Years later I was looking through a box of memorabilia and noticed a silk-screened playbill of the musical Carousel, May, 1964, which listed me as a stagehand.The lead actress was Diane Hall.Something connected and I remembered that Diane Keaton's name was once Hall, (hence, Annie Hall). I confirmed with her that she was in that production.Neither of us remembers meeting the other, yet we must have worked in proximity. More evidence that I was a wallflower.Decades later, we ended up "making love" on the floor of a movie set on Father of the Bride.

On the Kennedy Assassination
One Friday in 1963, I had finished a class and was about to drive to Knott's Berry Farm for the afternoon shows when I saw a clump of agitated students across the campus.I asked someone what was going on."They're saying that the president's been shot."

I drove across town to Knott's and punched radio buttons.I could hear the scheduled programs clicking off and being replaced by live broadcasts.Assassination seemed so ancient and inconceivable, I was sure that someone would soon correct the erroneous report.President Kennedy died that day and I didn't know that news could be taken so personally by a nation.Sitting backstage, watching the Birdcage's black-and-white TV drone out the increasingly grave report, we were all mute. We assumed the performance that night would be canceled, but as show time neared, word came down that we were going on.We couldn't fathom why; we believed no one would show up, much less enjoy us.I still can't explain the psychology, why the very full house that night was able to roar with laughter.The obvious must be correct: our silly show was providing some kind of balm that soothed the ache.

In 2003 I hosted the Oscars on the particular weekend that the United States invaded Iraq.The news was grim and just hours before the show I flipped on the TV and saw a report, subsequently proven false, that our captive soldiers were being beheaded.I quickly turned the TV off, sick.I knew, from my experience forty years earlier with the Kennedy assassination, what my job was, and I harbored a secret knowledge that the audience would laugh.I also felt that soldiers who might be watching would be tuning in to see the Oscars and all its hoopla, not a cheerless comedian doing what he doesn’t do best.I decided to acknowledge the circumstances early in the show and then get on with the jokes.The academy had announced that the show would "cut back on the glitz." I walked out for the opening monologue, took a look around the stage at the dazzling, swirling staircases, mirrored curtains and polished floor, and simply said, "I'm glad they cut back on the glitz."It got a laugh of relief and the show could go on.

More from Steve Martin

The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!


The Pleasure of My Company

Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays

Pure Drivel

Praise for Born Standing Up
"[A] lean, incisive new book about the trajectory of [Martin's] life in comedy...Born Standing Up does a sharp-witted job of breaking down the step-by-step process that brought Steve Martin from Disneyland, where he spent his version of a Dickensian childhood as a schoolboy employee, to both the pinnacle of stardom and the brink of disaster...tightly focused...Born Standing Up is a surprising book: smart, serious, heartfelt and confessional without being maudlin." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." --Jerry Seinfeld, GQ

"The writing is evocative, unflinching and cool. When Martin takes a scalpel to his life, what you feel is the precision of the surgeon more than the primal scream of the unanaesthetized patient...Born Standing Up is neither fanfare nor confession. It gives off a vibe of rigorous honesty. With lots of laughs." --Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

"A spare, unexpectedly resonant remembrance of things past…Martin's one true subject is the evolution of his comedy--the transcendent moments...A smart, gentlemanly, modest book…winning." --Jeff Giles, Entertainment Weekly, EW Pick: A

"A charming memoir tracking what the great comic characterizes as his 'war years.' Martin offers an eloquent and exacting account... [and] approaches his subjects with generosity, warmth and integrity." --Kirkus Reviews

"Sure to delight fans and create new ones." --Laura Mathews, Good Housekeeping

"What fun to discover the humble beginnings of some of his iconic personas...inspiring." --Rachel Rosenblit, Elle

"The archetypical story of the underdog's rise and a particularly American story...beautifully written, honest, engaging, and quietly brave." --Frederic Tuten, Bomb Magazine

"Son, you have an ob-leek sense of humor." --Elvis Presley

... Read more

Customer Reviews (262)

5-0 out of 5 stars Anatomy of a funny man
Steve Martin's memoir recounts how he developed his unique style of comedy, the many years it took for him to perfect it, his rise to superstardom, and his subsequent disillusionment with fame.

I was a kid during Martin's heyday in standup.A new comedy album from him was as eagerly awaited as a fresh release from one of my favorite rock bands.I remember my disappointment and confusion when he announced that he was quitting standup.It's fascinating to read about what he was experiencing and thinking during that time; his decision becomes perfectly understandable.This book is a very focused look at Martin and, while he is very revealing about himself, don't expect many juicy tidbits about topics such as his relationship with Bernadette Peters.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great read
I'm not usually a non-fiction reader, but I really enjoyed this book.Totally interesting.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Always Wild and Crazy
Steve Martin's style of standup comedy has always been somewhat of an acquired taste.One eventually got it, or he did not, and I admit that I was one of those who did not.I figured out quickly enough what Martin was trying to do; that was not the issue.It was simply that his style of standup silliness more bored than entertained me.His stage act had a limited shelf life for most people, meaning that its popularity would peak and begin to decline relatively quickly - something that Martin, in fact, addresses directly in "Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life."

Hearing Martin explain in great detail how he came up with his material, and how difficult it was for him to write enough of it to fill even a twenty-minute performance, did not make the gags any funnier to me."Born Standing Up" did, however, make me better appreciate Martin's comic vision and how hard he worked to find his eventual success.Steve Martin beat the odds to become one of the funniest men in Hollywood and this memoir, beginning with his childhood and ending at the point he gave up standup for good for a movie career, tells exactly how he did that.

Steve Martin was born in Texas but moved to California when his aspiring-actor father moved the family there.Just a few years later, Disneyland would open within two miles of the Martin home and ten-year-old Steve would become one of Mr. Disney's earliest employees.He would spend several years working in the theme park, most importantly in the magic shop where he developed his love for magic and the magic act he would eventually use to break into "show business."

In "Born Standing Up," Steve Martin takes a serious look at how he became the Hollywood star he is today.He details the dysfunctional relationship he had with his father, his days as a semi-professional magician, his experiences as a young television comedy writer, his move to standup, his relationship with Saturday Night Live, and finally, his transition into movies. Along the way, he reminisces about old friends, including high school buddies who founded the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and some of women he was involved with during those years - including his chaste and short-lived pursuit of Linda Ronstadt.

Martin reads the audio version of "Born Standing Up" himself, but his reading is surprisingly dispassionate and dry at times.He also provides several short banjo interludes as breaks between distinct sections of the book.This one will appeal especially to Steve Martin fans and "nuts and bolts" comedy fans interested in how Martin's material developed over the years.

4-0 out of 5 stars Understated yet informative
This was a very low key Steve Martin explaining how he became a comedian and why he chose that particular style of comedy.Left me wanting a little more but then again, this was about his career as a comedian and did not cover his movie career.Maybe there's a sequel in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Comic!!
This audio book was an excellent experience for a Steve Martin fan. I have adored this man from the first time I heard his stand up act in the 70s. Who can better tell his story but the man who lived through it? If you are a Steve Martin fan, this is a must listen. If you are interested in humor and how we process it, this is a must for you as well. ... Read more

2. Late for School
by Steve Martin
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2010-09-08)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$9.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446557021
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Getting to school has never been quite this difficult--or hilarious. Celebrated writer and performer Steve Martin and dynamic artist C. F. Payne (illustrator of John Lithgow's children's books) have teamed up to tell a story of the adventure, danger, and laughs of the journey to school. Enclosed with the book is a CD of Martin on banjo and vocals, singing the book's story with a bluegrass twist. 

Undoubtedly a new classic for readers of all ages, Late to School is the perfect gift to be read--and listened to--again and again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read for all ages
Very enjoyable work by a man of many talents.Great read for all ages, just fun! Buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Too cute
I teach elementary music, and I'm going to use this story to start my bluegrass unit. It has great vocabulary and wonderful illustrations!

4-0 out of 5 stars Make sure you listen to this as you read it!
I have been a fan of Steve Martin for as long as I can remember. Whether it was "happy feet" or his part in "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" I found him not only extremely funny but extremely talented as well. He had an extremely sucessful comedy career, and extremely successful acting career and an extremely successful music career. So, when I heard that he had become an author (a few years ago) it didn't really surprise me. I mean, is there anything this man can't do?

I was offered the chance to review Late for School and I jumped at the chance.Not only is it written by one of my favorite people, but is a kids book as well.So, I grabbed my 5 and 6 year old girls and we sat down and read the story.They liked it but when I told them I was going to put in the CD that came with the book so they could sing along that really got their interest.What a great idea - my 5 year old hasn't stopped singing pieces of it since...and they both haven't stopped begging me to play it, over, and over, and over again.Maybe I shouldn't have been so anxious to review this one, lol!But seriously, the story is really cute but when put to song it really comes to life.And the illustrations are fabulous!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I saw Steve Martin and his band on GMA yesterday, the song is great and although I haven't seen the book yet, the clever and funny lyrics can only be enhanced by C.F. Payne's illustrations.(C.F. Payne did the illustrations on the back cover of Reader's Digest for years.I really miss them.)Genius; both of them.I understand that the book includes a CD of Steve Martin singing and playing the song on Banjo as well as an instrumental version that kids can use to put on a show of their own.

5-0 out of 5 stars adorable!
Got to see this Live! Steve martin and his band was fantastic. My kids were laughing at the music and at the pictures. Love, love, love this story. Very entertaining! 8 thumbs up (me, Josiah, Caelan, and Gabriel.) LOL. ... Read more

3. An Object of Beauty: A Novel
by Steve Martin
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-11-23)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$16.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446573647
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today. ... Read more

by Steve Martin
Paperback: 176 Pages (2004-10-06)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$3.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0012BR8DI
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Luther is a thirty-eight year old compulsive-obsessive.

He knows the exact wattage of the bulbs in his flat, and will panic if this wattage isn't kept constant. This makes it difficult if a woman wants the lights out in the bedroom. He can't cross the street unless two opposing driveways break the kerb.

Such characteristics make it difficult for Luther to find the right woman, but he's very keen on Elizabeth who's selling the flats across the street and Zandy who works in the local pharmacy (though he's yet to actually speak to her).

There's also the murder of Bob from downstairs. Luther has an alibi but is still a suspect, and his agreeing to a TV reconstruction of the murder inquiry could not only backfire, but maybe reveal who really did it.

In Luther Steve Martin has created a highly original, memorable character and THE PLEASURE OF MY COMPANY will extend his unique writing gifts to an even wider audience.Amazon.com Review
Readers expecting something zany, something crudely humorous from Steve Martin's second novel, The Pleasure of My Company, will discover much greater riches. While the book has a sense of humor, Martin moves everywhere with a gentler, lighter touch in this elegant little fiction that verges on the profound and poetic.

Daniel Pecan Cambridge is the narrator and central consciousness of the novel (actually a novella). Daniel, an ex-Hewlett-Packard communiqué encoder, is a savant whose closely proscribed world is bounded on every side by neuroses and obsessions. He cannot cross the street except at driveways symmetrically opposed to each, and he cannot sleep unless the wattage of the active light bulbs in his apartment sums to 1,125. Daniel's starved social life is punctuated by twice-weekly visits from a young therapist in training, Clarissa; by his prescription pick-ups from a Rite Aid pharmacist, Zandy; and by his "casual" meetings with the bleach-blond real estate agent, Elizabeth, who is struggling to sell apartments across the street. But Daniel's dysfunctional routines are shattered one day when he becomes entangled in the chaos of Clarissa's life as a single mother. Taking care of Clarissa's tiny son, Teddy, Daniel begins to emerge from the safety of logic, magic squares, and obsessive counting.

Martin's craftsmanship is remarkable. The tightly packed novella paints rich portraits with restraint and balance, including nothing extraneous to Daniel's world. The book does not try for pyrotechnics but is contented with a Zen-like simplicity in both prose and plot. Avoiding the crushing bleakness of much contemporary fiction, Martin insists through Daniel--a man haunted by horrors of his own making--that there is possibility for compassion, that broken lives can actually be healed. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Customer Reviews (167)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve Genius
This book was great, couldn't pu uit down.Eccentric characters, interesting things going on with character development, and oh yeah... it's funny.Steve Martin is a fantastic writer and I enjoy all he has done."Pure Drivel", "Cruel Shoes". "Shop Girl" and "The Pleasure of My Company" are all top notch.The novellas have something different of course than his purely comedic books, there is heart and humor, and human elements that combine for entertaining art and great story telling.

5-0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book!
I have read Shop girl and I like Steve Martin as a writer.The book is a short fast read.I love his character development and who doesn't like a happy ending.Hope I didn't ruin it.Get is you'll love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasure of my company by Steve Martin
This book is very clever, written from the perspective of the inner-workings of a guy with something like Asperger's Syndrome.Its short, made me laugh out loud several times, and he uses unbelievably creative language.

4-0 out of 5 stars A charming pleasure
I picked this up on a whim at the public library - and loved ever second of it. I don't know exactly if it's that I think I'm stuck in my head the way Daniel is, but I'm fine with that. Daniel's relationships are nearly the most real I've ever encountered in a book. I quickly got past the mental image of Mr. Martin as I listened - his voice is now both that of Mr. Martin AND of Daniel. It's refreshing to read the first person account of a rather marginalized family member.

3-0 out of 5 stars Waiting
The book was ordered almost 2 weeks ago to be sent from Atlanta, to Atlanta.But it hasn't arrived yet.The order says it has 4 more days to arrive.I will comment again when it arrives. ... Read more

5. The Underpants
by Steve Martin
Paperback: 160 Pages (2002-11-20)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$5.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786888245
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
heobald Maske has an unusual problem: his wife's underpants won't stay on. One Sunday morning they fall to her ankles right in the middle of town-a public scandal! Mortified, Theo swears to keep her at home until she can find some less unruly undies. Amid this chaos he's trying to rent a room in their flat. The prospective lodgers have some underlying surprises of their own.In The Underpants, Steve Martin brings his comic genius and sophisticated literary style to Carl Sternheim's classic 1910 farce. His hilarious new version was staged by Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, and opened in March '02 on Off-Broadway to critical acclaim. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, quick read!
Steve Martin is such a marvelous writer. This was such a quick & entertaining read. Lots of LOLs!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fame is fleeting when there is a clothing malfunction...
The Underpants is Steve Martin's interpretation of a play written by German playwright Carl Sternheim in the early 1900s.

Louise, stretching on her tiptoes to get a better view of the King, has her underpants drop to the floor.Her husband, Theo, is scandalized, but the story revolves around the other men who witnessed this event, who try hard to get Louise to provide a second performance in her own home.

This is a comedy piece, through and through, although there are hints of the times with anti-Semitism ("That's Cohen with a K"), disparate gender roles, and sexual repression.Given the publicity associated with "wardrobe malfunctions" today, the story reflects culture's continuing interest in those "brief peeks" (pun intended).

I think it would be a blast to see this play in production.I missed my chance during the 2002-03 season of the Manoa Valley Theatre.And now that I've read the screenplay, I can sense that it would have been a hoot.

The Underpants, published in 2002 by Hyperion, is an attractive and well-constructed book, and it will give you a good sense of what to expect in a performance.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Underpants
I wanted this book for a class and received it within 3 days...speedy delivery! Hilarious adaptation of a older German play written by Carl Sternheim. I really enjoyed reading and acting out scenes from this show.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best play I have ever read
If you're like me you stopped reading plays after high school or college english, and for good reason, they stunk.This remake by Steve Martin is well written and quite funny so buy it without fear, and perhaps put on a play for your friends and family.Well maybe not that, but if you were to choose a play for adults this would be it.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Thank God your sluttishness has had no consequences."
While Louise Maske is waiting for the king to pass by in Dusseldorf, 1910, the fastener on her underpants releases, and they fall about her ankles in public.In a matter of seconds, she has grabbed them and hidden them, and she expects that few, if any, people have noticed.Her husband Theo, however, a government clerk, is furious and fears that he may be fired from his job for her gaffe.

Adapting Carl Sternheim'ssociopolitical farce from 1910 into a wildly burlesque romp appealing to a modern audience, actor/writer Steve Martin drops Sternheim's dated political satire and stresses instead the absurdity of instant fame and the unexpected opportunities it presents to people such as Louise Maske.The result might be termed an "anti-bedroom" farce, since the various sexual pairings and recombinations of characters which develop during this play, some of them devoutly wished for, remain outside the bedroom.

The Maskes have an extra bedroom in their apartment, and they quickly find themselves almost overrun with candidates who want to rent it after Louise's "episode."Versati, a poet, sees Louise as his muse, and he is anxious to have an affair with her (and she, with him), but after she rents the room to him, she discovers that Theo has also rented it to the sickly Benjamin Cohen, a barber who is willing to walk a long distance to his job, just so he can be in the presence of Louise.The room is subdivided, with each person paying almost full rent.In subsequent action, Louise's friend Gertrude gives Louise sexual advice while she also creates a newer, more beautiful set of undergarments for Louise.Two new characters appear, and several new opportunities for liaisons arise.

The humor is bold and full of sexual innuendo as the verbal jousting takes place, Theo remaining ignorant of the intentions of the renters (and Louise), while engaging in attempts at extracurricular cavorting of his own.The many double entendres, the opportunities for the actors to wink at the audience and use humorous gestures, the talking at cross-purposes, and the use of metaphor by one character to speak suggestively to another while leaving a third person in the dark, all add to the humor of this ribald farce.As the characters attempt to obey their innermost urges, the motif of the Loch Ness monster appears and repeats--"All is calm on the surface, but watch out for what's underneath.That's where the danger lies. Under.Underpants."An amusing comedy with obvious humor.nMary Whipple
... Read more

6. Pure Drivel
by Steve Martin
Paperback: 128 Pages (1999-10-06)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$3.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000GY78DM
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Steve Martin's talent has always defied definition: an actor who's kept us riveted for over 25 years, a razor-sharp screenwriter, an acclaimed playwright. In this ingeniously funny collection of humorous riffs, those who thought Martin's gifts were confined to the screen will discover what readers of The New Yorker magazine already know: that Martin is a master of the written word.

Hilariously funny and intelligent in their skewering of the topic at hand, the audiobook's pieces, some of which first appeared in The New Yorker, feature Martin at his finest.

With a playwright's ear for dialogue, a sense of irony only Steve Martin could muster, and a first-class comic ability to perfectly time the punch line, Pure Drivel will have listeners crying with laughter, and marveling at the fact that in addition to all of his many talents, Steve Martin is also a superb writer.Amazon.com Review
Don't listen to Steve Martin read this hysterical compilationof his most absurdly funny writings if you're recovering fromabdominal surgery or have taken a vow of silence. Martin's brilliant,juxtaposed wordplay, sly commentary, and hilarious observations aredelivered with such a droll wit that only a dead person will avoidunabashed laughter. Genius is in the ear of the beholder and Martin'smetronomic timing allows each sentence to unravel perfectly. Hisdeadpan delivery is often clever enough to make you laugh twice at thesame line and makes it clear why he has enjoyed such remarkablesuccess as an actor, screenwriter, playwright, and author. (Runningtime: two hours, two cassettes) --George Laney ... Read more

Customer Reviews (161)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Absurdist Fun
This is my first foray into reading anything written by Steve Martin, and I must admit I am now on the hunt down for some more fiction as this book was fabulous.

Overall this is a laugh out loud book of 23 short (some pieces are so short they could well be considered flash fiction) stories, and all of them without exception could well be considered literature of the absurd, i.e. "The Sledgehammer: How It Works"- which is exactly what the title suggests, and so much more. Another favorite piece was the closing number, "A Word From the Words," wherein the words, letters, and even the question mark get the last "word" in as it were. Most of the tales are so absurd that they could truly be considered sublime.

If you are a fan of Steve Martin's stand-up routines than grab this book post haste, as it lives on the same street as the best of his stand-up comedy, and loses nothing in being captured on the page- the genius of Steve Martin truly knows no bounds which this book proves over and over again (at least 23 times).

4-0 out of 5 stars Good mambo-fruit peddler for the mind
At its heart, Pure Drivel is a selection of absurd short stories, some of them verging on flash fiction. I particularly enjoyed the closing pieces about the shortage of periods in Times New Roman (the most loathed font ever), "Bad Dog" and "Side Effects."

I listened to this one, rather than read it, and I feel like it was the right banana.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pure Drivel is Pure Drivel
Normally I can't get enough of Steve Martin. I love his movies (Roxanne is my all-time favorite) and have enjoyed his previous books and tapes. But I found "Pure Drivel" to be completely sub-standard. In fact, I stopped after listening to only three tracks. Maybe it gets better, but I was so disappointed that I didn't haven't have the enthusiasm to continue.

Harvey Jacobs
(Still a fan but a little chastened)

1-0 out of 5 stars Title accurate
I purchased this item because I saw a clip of one story in the book.That clip was the only worthwhile portion of the book.The title of the book is extremely accurate.Just proves a celebrity can get anything publised.I wonder if he had to pay to have it published?

2-0 out of 5 stars Title rings true for some of the stories
I have read Steve Martins other books and throughly enjoyed them. In looking for a new book I came across this. After reading the reviews I was a bit hesitant about getting the book, but his others were good so this one can't be bad (right?). Well, I read about 3 of the stories and then skimmed over the rest. It is not that it was bad, just not entertaining. Nothing held my attention, I fouond my thoughts wandering midway thru his sentences. So, if you enjoyed his other books I would head to the library for this one. ... Read more

7. Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays
by Steve Martin
Paperback: 160 Pages (1997-08-07)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$4.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802135234
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Steve Martin is one of America's most treasured actors, having appeared in some of the most popular moves of our time. He is also an accomplished screenwriter who has in the past few years turned his hand to writing plays. The results, collected here, hilariously explore serious questions of love, happiness and the meaning of life; they are rich with equal parts of pain and slapstick humour, torment and wit.Amazon.com Review
Ever wonder what it would have been like if wild and crazySteve Martin had written an episode of "The Twilight Zone"? Well,wonder no more. The zany actor/comedian made playwright rookie of theyear with this, the script of his first comedy, set in a bar in 1904Paris. Two of the regulars, twentysomethings Pablo Picasso and AlbertEinstein, argue about the art of physics and the physics of art asthey try to impress and bed a pretty girl. And then thespace/time/culture continuum ruptures, and they're joined by a figurefrom the future who seems to be . . . Elvis Presley! Read for yourselfwhy the show's been done Off-Broadway and at regionals around thecountry. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Four plays by Steve Martin
This slim book contains the screenplays for "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" [the Lapin Agile is a cabaret in Paris], "The Zig-Zag Woman," "Patter for the Floating Lady," and "Wasp."

The longer play is "Picasso at the Lapin Agile."I've not seen this performed, so the screenplay allows me to flesh out the story with my imagination.Consider a cabaret in its "off" hours; no more than a bar.You have your regulars, and in pops a young Albert Einstein, fresh from imagining the organizational rules for the Universe.Later, Pablo Picasso shows up, fresh from a sexual conquest.Finally, a stranger shows up (Elvis) to bring words of wisdom to all.

I can see that good actors would have fun with this.

"The Zig-Zag Woman" begins with this great pick-up line:"It's really nice the way your head is separated from your body like that" (p. 83).And, no, this isn't about sadist murderers!It's one of those magic illusions.

One of the characters ("Young Man") has an epiphany:"Every emotion is consumed by its opposite.Every ounce of pleasure is balanced by an equal amount of disaster.Generosity breeds contempt; power breeds weakness.Agony leads to a greater appreciation of bliss.You love your friends, they start dying; when your friends start dying, you take more chances with your own life.Every ache you feel makes its inverse more possible.And that is the ecology of joy and pain" (p. 91).Very Steve Martin!

In "Wasp" (not named after an insect), you explore a strange family with just enough recognizable elements to make people squirm.As the Dad explains Heaven: "Son, it's seventeen miles above the Earth.You enter through clouds.behind the clouds, there are thirteen golden steps leading to a vestibule.Inside the vestibule is Saint Peter.next to the vestibule are gates twenty-seven feet high.They are solid gold but with an off-center hinge for easy opening" (p. 119).Thank God for details!

Subtle, complex plays.I'd like to see them performed by competent actors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Since I had ordered the book and it arrived in mint condition, I was very satisfied.

5-0 out of 5 stars Picasso at the Lapin Agile
This is a play worth having and definitely, worth seeing, if you have that opportunity. It is clever, it is deep, it's about fun and a very wonderful premise, being, what would happen if these characters from the past, found their way to a cafe, and could converse together. Einstein and Picasso! And more... There are surprises and certainly time collapses and we do as well, in laughter and thought. It's a Bravo performance and a play worth having. It's also about art, being more than, art full (artful).

4-0 out of 5 stars Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Very interesting treatment of Picasso, Einstein, and "the man on the street".Amusing dialogue illustrates views on each particular discipline (science and art) and inserts a spirituality to Einstein's character.Interesting that Picasso's dialogue doesn't seem to be as spiritual - but more carnal.And later in the play -to insert the surprise character of Elvis (unidentified) - and that character's insightful views - and bounce them off the artist's and scientist's conversations.

Didn't enjoy the Zig Zag Woman as much.Need to read it again.I'm certain I missed something.

Didn't know Steve Martin had such depth!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps, better seen than read (3.5*s)
As a play this work would probably be pretty entertaining; as a book, it is less so. In a play dialog is everything. From a book, more is expected than dialog: narration, context, character development and thinking, some adherence to reality, etc.

Einstein and Picasso meeting in a bar before they are well-known is an interesting concept. There is no need to respect reputations. Einstein in called a pip-squeak immediately, which is excused because the speaker is French. Picasso's is chided throughout for his fixation on the color blue and bedding women. In one scene, Einstein and Picasso jab at each other over the relevance of their drawings done on the spot as a challenge: a few lines by Picasso, a formula by Einstein, resulting in Einstein being called a fake and Picasso an idiot savant. There is continual banter concerning meaning, randomness, nature of space and time, and the future. The injection of Elvis Presley corroborates the irrelevance of classic time concepts.

The dialog is snappy, frivolous, silly, ironic, quirky, smart, and absurd - over all fun and quick moving. There is no doubt that the play gives the author a platform for his irreverence concerning such matters as religion, celebrity, and the relativity and absurdity of life in the twentieth century, referred to as the age of regret.

PS. This review is concerned with the first play only. The other three are more or less throw-ins.
... Read more

8. Cruel Shoes
by Steve Martin
Hardcover: 128 Pages (1982-02)
list price: US$1.98 -- used & new: US$168.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517330806
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smart, Surreal, Steve Martin
Steve Martin is one of the most intelligent humor writers of our time, and also a great writer in his own respect. Cruel Shoes is a series of very short vignettes, much more random and subtle than even his (random, subtle) later stuff. It's a comedy classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most entertaining drivel, ever!!
Cruel Shoes
I loved this book so much in high school that my friend, Cheryl Dunn and I traveled nowhere without it. On our many trips to the mall, she would read passages aloud while I drove my red VW Beetle, doubled over laughing or quoting passages right along with her. My favorites are The Gift of the Magi Indian Giver, The Diarrhea Gardens of El Camino Real and The Cathedral at Chartres. I have pretty much memorized these. It is as funny today as it was thirty years ago. I don't remember which vignette this came from but if I responded, "Yup, yup, gol" she would know exactly what I meant and where it came from. This is a stick-to-your-funny bone kind of book. I love you, Steve Martin!

4-0 out of 5 stars Looking at the evolution of Steve Martin through his writings...
One of the things I liked about Steve Martin's recent autobiography (Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life) is that it "filled in the gaps" of the Steve Martin phenomenon.I grew up with Martin, from his appearances on Saturday Night Live (the first five years), to his many appearances on the Johnny Carson Show (remember the world's biggest joke?), his concerts on college campuses, his acting in The Jerk and Roxanne, and, eventually, to his writing.I'm certain Cruel Shoes is the first book authored by Martin that I read.Others, including Shopgirl and Pure Drivel, followed.

He is a very talented person.

I've probably told the "Cruel Shoes" title story twenty times, when the conversation came round to the strange shoes women sometimes wear."Look... the cruel shoes!," is not an uncommon expression in our family, particularly when somebody stumbles because (why else) they are wearing, "the cruel shoes."

This is a small book with short stories and poems.There is a complexity to many of the stories that requires rumination.


"Dr. Fitzkee's Lucky Astrology Diet

The problem with the diets of today is that most women who do achieve that magic weight, seventy-six pounds, are still fat.Dr. Fitzkee's Lucky Astrology Diet is a sure-fire method of reducing with the added luxury that you never feel hungry.Here's how the diet works:

Foods Allowed.
First Month: one egg.
Second month: a raisin.
Third month:pumpkin pie with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

If after the third month you haven't gotten to your dream weight, try lopping off parts of your body until those scales tip just right for you" (p. 100-1).

"What To Say When The Ducks Show Up

I, for one, am going to know what to say when the ducks show up.I've made a list of phrases, and although I don't know which one to use yet, they are all good enough in case they showed up tomorrow.Many people won't know what to say when the ducks show up, but I will.Maybe I'll say, 'oh ducks, oh ducks, oh ducks,' or just 'ducks wonderful ducks!'I practice these sayings every day, and even though the ducks haven't come yet, when they do, I'll know what to say" (p. 103).

"The Nervous Father

'Daddy, where did I come from?'

'Uh...uh...Well, Tommy, well, it seems...well...Why, Why out of the garbage can, son.The garbage man comes and throws you in the garbage can and Mommy goes out and gets you.You see, the garbage men pick you up at the creampuff, cherry gingerbread house run by the angels with the puppy faces, and the North Star wonder men with the magic seeds tiptoe 'round the huckleberry tree.'

'Well, where did the clock-radio come from?'

'Oh... Same place'" (p. 106).

Like I said... ruminate.Thensay "ouch."Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
You have to put all logic aside when you read this book. Steve Martin is not known for logic, he is famous for being so hilarious. Now once you put your normal brain aside, read this book. It is truly brilliant and hilarious. I picked this up at a local book store for 5 bucks, and I was glad I got it. This is a really good read and a must have for any Steve Martin fan!

4-0 out of 5 stars Pictures of Martin and text written in the typical absurd style of Steve Martin
This book contains a lot of pictures of Martin at a typewriter looking sad, disillusioned and suffering from a creative crisis. It also contains a series of short pieces written in the usual absurd Martin style. The title comes from a clerk at a shoe store who coaxes people into buying "cruel shoes", shoes so bad that they make your feet bleed.
Sometimes even the titles are absurd, as in "Sex Crazed Love Goddesses" which is a story about a boy going to the store to buy stamps. There is nothing other than that in the story. "The Boring Leading the Bored" is about a meeting of logicians and metaphysicists where things go extremely wrong. Absurd and occasionally hilarious in the Martin style, this is a comedy book unlike any other.
... Read more

9. The Alphabet from A to Y With Bonus Letter Z!
by Steve Martin, Roz Chast
Hardcover: 64 Pages (2007-10-23)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$3.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385516622
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The acclaimed entertainer and bestselling author Steve Martin and the wildly clever New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast team up in a weird, wonderful excursion through the alphabet.

The ABCs have never had it so good. Created by two of today’s wittiest, most imaginative minds, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! is a sheer delight from A to Z. In twenty-six alliterative couplets, Steve Martin conjures up much more than mere apples and zebras. Instead we meet Horace the hare, whose hairdo hides hunchbacks, and Ollie the owl, who owed Owen an oboe. Roz Chast contributes the perfect visual settings for Martin’s zany two-liners. Her instantly recognizable drawings are packed with humorous touches both broad and subtle.

Each rereading—and there will be many—delivers new delights and discoveries. There, hidden behind Bad Baby Bubbleducks, is a framed picture of a beatnik holding balloons; and the letter C finds clunky Clarissa all clingy and clueless adrift in a landscape cluttered with images ranging from a curiously comfortable clown to Chuck’s Chili stand. A smart, laugh-inducing introduction to the alphabet for young children, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! will also enchant adults with its matchless mix of the sophisticated and the silly.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, fun read for adults and 3-year-olds on up
Really funny book.I don't think it's really an alphabet teaching tool, but it's wildly interesting to my three-year-old because it's so offbeat and funny.Lots of questions and discussions when we read this book.Younger than 3 and they might just be too confused to be interested.Really nice that the adults can enjoy reading it too.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT book!
My not-quite-3-yr-old LOVES this book!She calls it the "Letter Z" book, and has memorized it all, so she "reads" it to us now.I laughed SO hard when I first realized that she'd memorized it - you haven't lived until you've heard your 2-yr-old "read" about "Old Ollie the Owl" buying "oysters at Osgood's in SoHo"!Yes, the language is a bit advanced for toddlers, but the cartoons are goofy and incorporate lots of items that also begin with the letter for that page, and the alliterative couplets are helpful pronunciation practice. It's a fun teaching tool, and just a delightful book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Garbage.
See review title.But seriously.It's awful.Children wouldn't know what a decent portion of the words he uses means.At times, it didn't even make sense to me... just incoherent sentences.

3-0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this book
I love Steve Martin and I love the books he writes for adults.I bought this book without having read it first, and now I wish I had not.This book is definitely not for a child just learning their ABC's--the reason that I bought it (for my 2-1/2 year old).The words are too complex, and the illustrations are not what I would consider kid-friendly.By the time you find an age group that would "get" the humor in the book, and have an attention span long enough to really look at all the illustrations, these kids are well beyond wanting to read books about the alphabet, because they have already mastered it. (The illustration's captions really are complex, and use a lot words relating to the letter they correspond with, but young children will not "get" most of the humor that is intended.)I grew tired of reading all the little side-bar comments that went with the pictures after the letter "M".It just took too long to explain all the meanings of the words(to my 6 year old), and he began to lose interest.The bright spot to the book, is that the author does use unusual words for each letter, so if you are looking for something other than the standard fare like "A is for apple, and ant and airplane...", you will find it refreshing. I am not sure what age group Mr. Martin was targeting, but I think that it misses the mark at just about all age levels.I would recommend getting the book from your library first to see what kind of interest your child has in it, before investing in your own copy.I wish that I had.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better for adults than children
I purchased this book for my son (he's 7 months old but I started building out a library).I can't evaluate how funny he will think the book is - but having read it - I think its probably funnier for an adult who is familiar with Steve Martin as a comic.My husband and I enjoyed it! ... Read more

10. Shopgirl: A Novella
by Steve Martin
Mass Market Paperback: 144 Pages (2006-09-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$0.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786891076
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

One of our country's most acclaimed and beloved entertainers, Steve Martin has written a novella that is unexpectedly perceptive about relationships and life. Martin is profoundly wise when it comes to the inner workings of the human heart.

Mirabelle is the "shopgirl" of the title, a young woman, beautiful in a wallflowerish kind of way, who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus "selling things that nobody buys anymore..."

Slightly lost, slightly off-kilter, very shy, Mirabelle charms because of all that she is not: not glamorous, not aggressive, not self-aggrandizing. Still there is something about her that is irresistible.

Mirabelle captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy businessman almost twice her age. As they tentatively embark on a relationship, they both struggle to decipher the language of love -- with consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Filled with the kind of witty, discerning observations that have brought Steve Martin critical success, Shopgirl is a work of disarming tenderness.Amazon.com Review
Steve Martin's first foray into fiction is as assured as it is surprising. Set in Los Angeles, its fascination with the surreal body fascism of the upper classes feels like the comedian's familiar territory, but the shopgirl of the book's title may surprise his fans. Mirabelle works in the glove department of Neiman's, "selling things that nobody buys any more." Spending her days waiting for customers to appear, Mirabelle "looks like a puppy standing on its hind legs, and the two brown dots of her eyes, set in the china plate of her face, make her seem very cute and noticeable." Lonely and vulnerable, she passes her evenings taking prescription drugs and drawing "dead things," while pursuing an on-off relationship with the hopeless Jeremy, who possesses "a slouch so extreme that he appears to have left his skeleton at home." Then Mr. Ray Porter steps into Mirabelle's life. He is much older, rich, successful, divorced, and selfish, desiring her "without obligation." Complicating the picture is Mirabelle's voracious rival, her fellow Neiman's employee Lisa, who uses sex "for attracting and discarding men."

The mutual incomprehension, psychological damage, and sheer vacuity practiced by all four of Martin's characters sees Shopgirl veer rather uncomfortably between a comedy of manners and a much darker work. There are some startling passages of description and interior monologue, but the characters are often rather hazy types. Martin tries too hard in his attempt to write a psychologically intense novel about West Coast anomie, but Shopgirl is still an enjoyable, if rather light, read. --Jerry Brotton ... Read more

Customer Reviews (420)

2-0 out of 5 stars Seriously?
I bought this book because I like Steve Martin movies and the reviews raved about this.When I got the book, I thought it was going to be a quick read.I was wrong.It took me about a week to get through it.The writing was elementary and, well, blah - much like the characters.I was a bit confused about Mirabelle's personalty and unclear about the Dad's friend role.Also, Ray Porter was sleeping with someone who he came to think of as a daughter...??A bit disturbing....I never laughed, not even cracked a smile.Maybe I just don't get the dark comedy.
I liked the ending because it was finally over.Sorry Steve Martin!

3-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and disturbing
I received this book as a gift from a family member who knows I've been a Steve Martin fan for my entire adult life (I remember listening to his first LP, "Let's Get Small," as a college student).Based on the cover description, I expected "Shopgirl" to be a sweet, light, romantic story.Boy, was I wrong.

"Shopgirl" is a dark and unsettling story of the relationship between several damaged, dysfunctional inhabitants of Los Angeles.Mirabelle, the main character, is a lonely, enigmatic woman with few friends.She is romanced by an emotionally-distant millionaire named Ray Porter; though seemingly generous and well-intentioned, Porter is using Mirabelle rather heartlessly and brutally.It is impossible to ignore the similarities between Porter and Martin himself.This book makes an interesting companion to Martin's autobiography, "Born Standing Up," in which he comes off as a very sad, lonely man.

There are some moments of genuine humor (mostly involving a third character, the socially-inept Jeremy) and Martin's descriptions of the L.A.'s wealthy upper class and their rarefied world are spot-on.He is clearly a talented writer and every page contains some striking turn of phrase or fascinating social observation.Nevertheless, the whole mood of the story is grim and disturbing, and portends a writing career for Martin that will likely disappoint fans of his zany comedy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating...
Shopgirl was surprisingly captivating to me and just what I needed in a read at the time having just finished an 800 page book.I read Shopgirl over about a 4 day period and looked forward to getting back into Mirabelle's world - for some reason I can't explain. Maybe I saw how her world at Neiman's was just as lonely and exiled as her world in her apartment. She's an interesting girl - unambitious yet bored in her Neiman job in the glove department yet when need be has a sense of humor and is bright. Yet, she is a bit naive and not quite equipped to deal with life's disappointments yet tries in her own way to overcome her own limitations.Her pain during her periods of depression is so real I could just about reach out and touch it. Steve Martin did a great job in reeling me into her world along with Ray and Jeremy's.The lustful scenes are tastefully done but I won't look at Steve Martin ever again as that goofy "wild and crazy guy" from SNL. He's proven himself to be a rather accomplished writer who has deep insight into the hearts of the lonely and horny. I highly recommend this book and was very pleased with the ending - it was exactly what I would have hoped for Mirabelle.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
Shopgirl is a five star novella. The characters are so incredibly developed and described that I felt as though I knew them personally. Mirabelle suffers from depression, works at the glove counter while daydreaming about working the perfume counter and is unlucky at love. One day Ray Porter stops at her counter to buy some gloves and ends up with Mirabelle's heart. From the start of this relationship, I wanted to warn her against him, "he's just using you!"

I was hooked from the very beginning and wasn't able to put this little book down. Even when I was finished reading, I sat with the book in my lap and thought about Mirabelle and how in real life we would probably be friends.

3-0 out of 5 stars Grim, dark ... Sorry, Steve
A very dark little book about the rituals of dating in the 21st century. I found it difficult to relate to any of the main characters, but maybe I'm just to old to "get it." Mirabelle - the title character - is more to be pitied than admired. And "Mr. Ray Porter" seems nearly alien in the way he relates to women - a machine-like predator of sorts. While Martin tries to convey that both characters are still works-in-progress, still "becoming," they don't quite reach a level where you can actually like them or identify with them. Even Mirabelle's struggle with clinical depression doesn't make her a sympathetic character. I have always liked Martin as an entertainer, and also enjoyed his recent memoir (also a bit dark in parts), but, while Martin's writing is good enough, this novella simply remained a bit too grim to be an enjoyable read. - Tim Bazzett, author of SOLDIER BOY: AT PLAY IN THE ASA ... Read more

11. Heavy Hitter Selling: How Successful Salespeople Use Language and Intuition to Persuade Customers to Buy
by Steve W. Martin
Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-04-07)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471787000
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
What separates ordinary salespeople from Heavy Hitters?

The best salespeople are those "Heavy Hitters" who are able to use human nature, language, and intuition to build trusting relationships with customers and persuade them to buy. Based on his proven and effective sales program, author Steve Martin's Heavy Hitter Selling explains how you too can achieve and maintain that high level of sales success. Using real-world case studies, examples, and exercises, Martin provides the psychological, physical, and language-based tactics you need to turn yourself into a Heavy Hitter.

Inside, you'll find proven guidance and expert tips on:

  • Understanding how people think and communicate
  • Finding the right words at the right time
  • Predicting a customer's behavior and influencing his thoughts
  • Building customer rapport and understanding their motivations
  • Persuading both the customer's rational mind and his emotional subconscious side

"Like other sales books published recently, this one stresses the importance of human behavior. But unlike the others, it puts an emphasis on language. Salespeople could well benefit by exploring scientific models of language. Practical exercises make the book useful for everyone."
Harvard Business School Review

"This well-written, insightful book will give you ideas and strategies you can use to influence and persuade customers in any market."
—Brian Tracy, author, Million Dollar Habits

"Traditional selling focuses on product, price, and competition and misses the most important reason people buy-people and emotion. Heavy Hitter Selling offers a different perspective that is valuable in understanding how to win."
—Jay Fulcher, President and COO, Agile Software

"Heavy Hitter Selling is different-[a book that] will help you make lots of money."
—Gerald D. Cohen, CEO, Information Builders, Inc. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heavy Hitter Selling
I have been in sales for over ten years and been the best of the best. This book helped me become even better!

4-0 out of 5 stars A compleat manual on salesmanship
This is by far one of the most compleat salesmanship book I ever read. Helpful, especically those parts on the use of words. It really stands the test of time, as I just found that the first version might have been published by Wiley as early as in 1980. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.

The words we speak truly define who we are. However, since we are talking all the time, we underestimate the complexity of communication and take the process for granted. pg 1

You can think of the customers's personality as being much like the ocean. Without the aid of diving equipment, your view is limited to the surface. pg 273

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent no nonsense book
The book is to the point and direct.Either we belong to the Heavy Hitter Club and have to have a certain mindset, or we don't.It's that simple.I've enjoyed every page of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heavy Hitter Hits the Mark
All successful sales people, it seems, are constantly looking at "how to" books to improve what they do.Heavy Hitter Selling takes the "how to" to the next level by analyzing clients and customers and then providing practical ways to deal with lots of personalities.Steve Martin also deals with other practical issue like prioritizing deals and eliminating losers early in the process and providing more time to deal with the winning deals.I found it faciinating and worth a second to pick up what I missed the first time around

4-0 out of 5 stars Heavy Hitter Selling
This book was interesting and easy to read (for those of you that may be intimidated by the 350 pages). I'll be trying out Mr. Martin's techniques on my upcoming sales calls. If you are in sales this book should give you a refreshing boost and a new way to look at the relationships you are building with your customers and why. Steve is also a great public speaker to have for your upcoming sales training. He tailors his message and works hard to interact directly with as many people as possible. ... Read more

12. The Jerk (Fotonovel)
by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, Michael Elias
 Paperback: 142 Pages (1979-11)
list price: US$2.25
Isbn: 0446925233
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (155)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This movie is hysterical. Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters - I'm picking out a thermos for you!

5-0 out of 5 stars He hates these cans!
Great movie in my "opinion". The picture quality is better than dvd, but your not going to drop your jaw and have tears coming from your eyes due to the cinematography.More than likely if your into this movie, you make fun of people who use the term cinematography. I bought this because I have an HD player and it was just as cheap as the DVD. The quality beats regular DVD so I got a bargain.

1-0 out of 5 stars Embarrassing and stupid
Good parts: That really is Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry playing music at the beginning and the end of the movie.Seriously awesome.

Bad parts: Pretty much everything else.Silly and surreal, yes, but funny, no.Moronic and embarrassing, and clearly a vehicle intended to show Steve Martin at his most frenetic.He's much better in his later, toned-down movies that actually rely on humor and not just stupidity, trawling for cheap laughs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Its all I need
That's all I need is this video.That's all I need, is this video and these phone books, that's all I need.

5-0 out of 5 stars DVD- The Jerk
Ihad the tape - and wanted a more permanent copy!
Love it ! ... Read more

13. Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology: How to Penetrate the C-level Executive Suite and Convince Company Leaders to Buy
by Steve W. Martin
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2009-09-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0979796121
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The biggest challenge facing salespeople today is securing meetings with C-level executives and convincing them to buy. Based upon extensive interviews with more than 500 C-level executives, Steve Martin's Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology will help you understand how C-level executives think, how they communicate, and how to adapt your use of language to match executive decision makers'. Martin provides language-based strategies that enable your message to rise above your competitors' and impactful psychological suggestions that compel executives to take action. Inside, you will find expert advice on these topics:

Strategies and tactics to penetrate the C -level executive's office

What to say, do, and present in face-to-face meetings with C-level executives

Building rapport using sales linguistics, the study of how the customer's mind uses and interprets language

Understanding and anticipating how the C-level mind-set impacts organizational politics and complex decision making

Extensive real-world examples, illustrations, and exercises help you apply the techniques immediately. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sales Linguistics Guide for C-Level Sales
Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology is one of the few books that is written for experienced salespeople who have sold for many years. It takes a completely different approach than most books have about selling to C-level Executives. Martin advises you to bolster your arguments not only using logic and reason, but more importantly, by understanding the language you need to use to influence the politics and psychology of C-level executive decisionmaking.Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology is the first book I know of about "Sales Linguistics" which is the neuroscience of how the customers use language. The book provides some fascinating and practical examples as well. Chapter 6 on constructing e-mails to senior executives is an absolute must-read. Overall, a great book that holds your attention with lots of interesting exercises to help you learn how to influence C-level Executives.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any businessman who is moving in to playing with the big boys
When dealing with more figures than you have fingers, there's a lot more thinking to sales. "Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology: How to Penetrate the C-Level Executive Suite and Convince Company Leaders to Buy" is a guide for salesmen who are trying to crack those six or seven figure deals and want to wrap their mind behind the thoughts of company leaders who don't want to be parted with that money. With sales tactics unique to this level of business, Steve W. Martin gives readers invaluable advice with plenty of real world examples and ideas. "Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology" is a must for any businessman who is moving in to playing with the big boys.

5-0 out of 5 stars Is this "Good to Great" for Sales Professionals???
On very rare occasions, a book comes along that causes us to see a topic in a completely new light.A seemingly innocuous book is so loaded with insight and practical wisdom, that the reader will never look at a subject the same way again. "Good to Great" is probably the best example we've seen in recent years.

I think "Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology" may deliver that same type of impact for senior enterprise sales professionals.The book begins with a somewhat outrageous first sentence; "There is no such thing as reality."Steve Martin begins building a foundation, and it doesn't take long to understand what he means regarding the C-Level Executive.Each succesive chapter adds more insight.Some of the concepts seem a little esoteric at first, but by the end of the book I was amazed at how each section built into a cohesive and logical finish.One of the best side benefits of the book is the understanding you will gain of your own company.

This book is easy to read, the concepts are clear, and nearly every page is loaded with an amazing array of practical insight.This is one of those books I plan to re-read every year.Read this book and don't be surprised when your understanding of C-Level executives is changed forever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beat the competition by getting to the decision-makers first
What would it be worth to discover the Holy Grail for success in the world of complex sales? All I can say is for the price of an average dinner tab for one, you can purchase a legitimate treasure map that will bring you immediate results if you follow the directions in this book. Although this book may challenge the beginner, the sales pro looking for ways to beat the competition by getting to the decision-makers first will find this book invaluable. Not just a book of "sales theory" but a practical and proven set of executable steps that will lead you to where you must be in the toughest sales environment that our profession has faced in a generation. I can say without hesitation that the ideas in this book have put me in the executive suite of several prospects that I never thought I would get the chance to compete for and win.I'm sold.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Hits It Out of the Park
Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology is the latest installment in Steve W. Martin's Heavy Hitter book series.I have read his other books and this one continues in that strong tradition of extremely useful and practical sales wisdom to help win your customers' hearts and minds.

I work in marketing and work with a lot of sales people and a lot of customers.I wish every sales person at my company would read this book and read it sooner rather than later.And if you are in marketing, this book will help you understand the mind of an executive and what makes successful sales people tick.In the end, it will make you more successful in conversations with your sales teams and your customers.

Martin lays out "9 C's" of successfully penetrating the C-suite in an organized and logical manner with plenty of exercises to make you think and stories to keep you engaged.If you are in sales and regularly sell to executives, this book is a must read in today's business world.If you are in marketing, this book is a fantastic tool to make you more successful in your day-to-day activities with sales teams and customers. ... Read more

14. The Crow: Book of Tablature: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo (Homespun Tapes)
by Steve Martin, Tony Trischka
Paperback: 42 Pages (2009-07-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159773277X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Steve Martin is a comedian, novelist, screenwriter, actor and many other things, but his first love is the banjo. His recent hit CD, The Crow, features 15 original tunes in both clawhammer and Scruggs style. This book of tablature, accurately transcribed by Tony Trischka, is a great learning tool for aspiring players. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great songbook!
As promised, an endless font of entertainment. Steve Martin is our banjo daddy! Love it!!! Get the CD too!!!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Basic tablature for the intermediate player
However, more time could have been spent TOTALLY tabbing out the tunes. I was somewhat dissappointed, when on attempting to play the LEAD song, 'Daddy played the banjo'. It was more 'backup', having left out the entire Main break. So, folks, don't expect a detail tab layout. just basic stuff. Tony Trischka is a great talent, he could have done better on the tabs. Buy the CD because its one of the best bluegrass and clawhammer assemblage for 2009.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve Martin on Banjo is great
I've always enjoyed Steve Martin's banjo playing and now on this album, you get a great variety of good banjo music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money!
I ordered this book for my son and I since we both play and we were very pleased with the ease of how the songs are laid out.If you love this album and want to learn how to play the songs look no further!Quick ship too!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Totally Addictive CD!
I have a new respect for Steve Martin as a musician. He's just amazing. There isn't a boring track on this CD and it is "truly wonderful" but even better than advertised. I am learning clawhammer banjo and was very impressed that he has attained mastery of both three finger and clawhammer styles. His compositions are highly inventive and don't sound like regurgitated reworkings of old pieces. The CD is very well orchestrated, and some sections (for example "The Crow") are reminiscent of Aaron Copland's magical ability to capture the concept of arid spaciousnees with music.

I luckly discovered the CD by listening to files on Banjo Newsletter's website and previewed "The Crow" there. If you like banjo, whether bluegrass or clawhammer, do yourself a favor: buy this CD! If you play, certainly don't pass up the opportunity to get the tablature along with it. ... Read more

15. {Late for School [With CD (Audio)]}LATE FOR SCHOOL [WITH CD (AUDIO)] BY MARTIN, STEVE[Hardcover]on 08 Sep -2010
Hardcover: Pages (2010-09-08)
-- used & new: US$17.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0041XOQPW
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16. Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality
by Steve Allen, Martin Gardner
Hardcover: 464 Pages (1990-09)
list price: US$34.98 -- used & new: US$12.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879756381
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality" took form when Allen began his own exploration of the Bible, marking passages that struck him as extraordinarily beautiful, or those that were profoundly confusing. Spellbound by the very mystery of it, he perceived that much of the text leads directly to controversy. And, he urges, it is of greater importance now than ever before that all Americans be conversant with the Bible, partly because of those who would use Scriptures as a weapon to force their views on others. Allen presents his ideas as a series of alphabetically arranged essays on characters, events, and books of the Scriptures, as well as on such controversial topics as abortion, anti-Semitism, capital punishment, death, evolution, and original sin. He draws on the expertise of biblical scholars, theologians, and philosophers to demonstrate that fundamentalist assumptions about the reliability and authenticity of the Bible as the inviolable Word of God simply have no rational or factual basis. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful effort to understand religion
Mr. Allen did something few of us have done. To understandChristianity, he went to the source -- the Bible.He read it carefully and applied the same level of critical inquiry that one should apply when reading any book.The results were illuminating.

Among the reviews I've read, I found Mr. James O. Ditt's review revealing.His unhappiness with Mr. Allen's book reminded me of Mark Twain's words:

"When you know a man's religious complexion, you know what sort of books he reads when he wants some more light, and what sort of books he avoids, lest by accident he get more light than he wants." (Ira D. Cardiff, "What Great Men Think of Religion")

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance.
I don't think anyone could read this book and not come to the conclusion that Steve Allen was one of the most all-around intelligent and talented public figures of the 20th century.He was truly a worldly scholar.What's more amazing to me is Allen's methodology, relying largely on his own readings and observations from Gideon's Bibles in hotel rooms while on the road.

Allen has long been a man of clear social, moral, and political conscience.He goes to great lengths in this book to keep from confusing the separate aspects of his thought except where it is applicable, and does so to a wonderful effect.His explanations of Biblical persons, places and passages, their history and deeper meanings are written in the truest glory of a rational spirituality the world has yet to realize.Furthermore, his analysis of social issues supposedly stemming from the Bible shows his ability to handle controversial topics carefully while not pulling punches with adversarial positions.

Never once did I feel like I was not dealing with a scholar on these subjects.The decades of work Allen has put into clarifying his own thoughts in these matters shines like a light tower over a dark, foggy sea.This, to my eyes, is the greatest book of its type since Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason," and in many ways it's better.It not only illuminates what a genius he really was, but also how simple and necessary critical thought is to every one of us.

And to the reviewer who gave this book one star, it is sadly obvious that you did *not* read this book at all.The foreword and introduction alone state that Allen was raised in a strict Irish-Catholic household, was a Catholic until his early 30s when he was excommunicated for his second marriage, and thereafter attended Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles with his wife Jayne and their son.He even makes quite clear in the book that non-belief, to him, is more irrational than belief.But then again, 'twill always be the scholars first who are rooted out as heretics.

If you've ever had questions about the teachings and record of Christianity but still maintain your faith, this book comes to you as highly recommended as possible.It tears down walls and builds spirits.

4-0 out of 5 stars good reading for open minds, critical for closed ones
Steve Allen and Martin Gardner have done a marvleous job pointing out some of the more obvious and egregious examples of problems in the bible, the religious tome embraced by practitioners of the christian religion and viewed as unerring word of god by some particularly fundamentalist practitioners.It is strongly encouraged reading for anyone gullible enough to believe the word of Jerry Falwell and his ilk.One reviewer asked "why bother" writing such a book so critical of the bible?The answer is clear: one need only see the cost in human and environmental harm done by fundamentalists in the name of their religions. They harm not only themselves, their families, and their children.They harm us all, therefore it is critical that their unquestioning faith be doused with cold water such as this book from time to time.Bravo!

1-0 out of 5 stars Just in Passing
While walking out of the local library recently, this book was on a
display table "Check these out", and I did. I am really
sorry I did because I believe the contents of his book from cover to
cover are pure nonsense and jibberish....I could not bring myself to
read too much of it word for word, but I did scan most of the
subjects. I often wonder, why do people, such as him, go to such
lengths to heap scathing criticism on the Bible? Why waste the time
and energy? Here is a person of self-designated average intelligence
(a poor attempt at humility - but really a lie), but above average
industry, who supposedly spent several years between shows, writing
songs, etc, trashing the Bible. Why? Perhaps deep down, he thinks it
might be true? His understanding or misunderstanding of a
straightforward, face value reading of Scripture is astounding. I
don't believe he has ever read any part of the Bible with the
slightest intent of understanding any of it or trying to get anything
positive out of it. His basic belief in the "fact of
evolution" is probably his underlying error.... I suppose he does
not know that it has never been shown that evolution has ever
occurred, and that the whole evolutionary house of cards is about to
come tumbling down? He does an awful lot of name calling throughout
his drivel: uninformed, simple, fundamentalist, uneducated, etc, etc,
etc. He should look in the mirror! I should think he would be
embarrassed to realize that he has put his thoughts (biases) down on
paper and published for all to see his monumental stupidity and
ignorance. Has he not read Phillip Johnson, William Dembski, Michael
Behe, Michael Denton, and others?.... He denies all essential doctrine
of the Bible: a recent creation, the fall, the flood, the dispersion
of mankind from Babel as a result of the confusion of language, the
Messiah, who Jesus was/is, the diety of Christ, His death on the
cross, His resurrection, things to come, all of it! Why bother? To
what end? There must be a significant reason why he spent so much time
and effort into his version of destroying Scripture. What could it be?
His mind is really closed, something he frequently accuses others of
being. If I had this book dirtying up my library, it would be there as
an outstanding example of narrow-minded ignorance, faulty logic and
reasoning, and plain dishonesty. He knows nothing of true science....

5-0 out of 5 stars Religion
Steve Allen has certainly done his homework on this one! An outstanding work of thought provoking and sensible material. Steve's best work yet. ... Read more

17. Shopgirl
by Steve Martin
Paperback: 220 Pages (2001-06-21)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$1.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0753812835
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Mirabelle works as a shop assistant in the glove department at Niemans, L.A.'s finest store; she also draws darkly gothic pictures at night. Adrift in the world and lonely, her situation is not improved by the fact that hardly anyone buys the kind of gloves that Niemans sell so she spends most of her day leaning on the counter staring into empty space. There are two men in her life - Jeremy, a man who stencils amplifiers for a living, and Mr Ray Porter, an older man and millionaire who applies logic to relationships, and is serially confused and disappointed. In this exquisitely self-contained novel, Steve Martin touches on the surface horrors of L.A. - the false noses, lips, breasts and people - without exaggeration or explicitly playing for laughs. It's insightful, dark, funny and tender Shopgirlis an incredibly strong piece of fiction. ... Read more

18. Cruel Shoes
by Steve Martin
Hardcover: 128 Pages (1979)

Asin: B001Q5I9G0
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19. Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Cialdini
Paperback: 272 Pages (2009-12-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416576142
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Small changes can make a big difference in your powers of persuasion

What one word can you start using today to increase your persuasiveness by more than fifty percent?

Which item of stationery can dramatically increase people's responses to your requests?

How can you win over your rivals by inconveniencing them?

Why does knowing that so many dentists are named Dennis improve your persuasive prowess?

Every day we face the challenge of persuading others to do what we want. But what makes people say yes to our requests? Persuasion is not only an art, it is also a science, and researchers who study it have uncovered a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction. Based on more than sixty years of research into the psychology of persuasion, Yes! reveals fifty simple but remarkably effective strategies that will make you much more persuasive at work and in your personal life, too.

Co-written by the world's most quoted expert on influence, Professor Robert Cialdini, Yes! presents dozens of surprising discoveries from the science of persuasion in short, enjoyable, and insightful chapters that you can apply immediately to become a more effective persuader. Why did a sign pointing out the problem of vandalism in the Petrified Forest National Park actually increase the theft of pieces of petrified wood? Why did sales of jam multiply tenfold when consumers were offered many fewer flavors? Why did people prefer a Mercedes immediately after giving reasons why they prefer a BMW? What simple message on cards left in hotel rooms greatly increased the number of people who behaved in environmentally friendly ways?

Often counterintuitive, the findings presented in Yes! will steer you away from common pitfalls while empowering you with little known but proven wisdom.

Whether you are in advertising, marketing, management, on sales, or just curious about how to be more influential in everyday life, Yes! shows how making small, scientifically proven changes to your approach can have a dramatic effect on your persuasive powers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (125)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book on persuasion
I loved every single word in this book. Although I already knew some of the principles discussed, many were indeed very new and what's most important to me... scientifically proven. After testing one of the techniques (the sticky note) I was blown away by this simple method of getting people to actually do what you ask of them.

I'm now using this method everywhere, online and offline on any written promotion.

Thank you, you wrote a great work.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great introspective
Short, concise chapters each with a solid argument followed by a few examples.To be honest, I haven't finished it yet as there's no gripping plot to make it a real page-turner.But each chapter proves an excellent point, clarifies the decision making process, & helps the reader understand various ways to be persuasive (or not be taken in by others trying to be persuasive).I highly recommend what I've read thus far, and should finish it up this week.Certainly a book to read with a highlighter nearby so you can mark the key points and then use the book as a reference in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read It If You Want To Be Persuasive!
I loved this book and it definitely gives the reader 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive!It also gives you examples of how effective these methods are, using real examples and it then explains the psychological aspects behind their effecitiveness.It is a helpful resource and an exciting, as well as entertaining read.

Terry M. Drake, LSW, NBCCH
Author of Live Happily, Ever After... Now!

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is awesome!
Of all the books on persuasion that I have read, including many by this author, this one is my favorite.
If you want to improve your persuasion skills, look no further than Yes! It is packed with valuable information, and is entertaining to read! Buy it, keep it handy, and refer to it, often!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good.
The thing that a like the most of this book is that every of the 50 ways are proven by social scientist. They show how they proved it with real experiments and how to applied them to the daily basis. I am very happy whit it... ... Read more

 Unknown Binding: Pages (1978)

Asin: B0041CQ4E4
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