The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel

The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel

4.1 64
by Steve Martin

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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

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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.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Celebrated comedian and actor Steve Martin follows his critically acclaimed first novella, Shopgirl, with this endearing tale of a lonely, tic-ridden man who is transformed by the miracle of love from a passive spectator to an active participant in life. A slave to his obsessive-compulsive disorder, Daniel Pecan Cambridge is a young recluse whose lonely, pathologically structured existence is unexpectedly turned around by Clarissa, a psychiatry student and social worker who's been studying his complex peculiarities. When her abusive ex-husband tries to take away her son, Teddy, Daniel steps in to protect the boy. From this single, uncharacteristic moment of courage and involvement, Daniel soon grows to care deeply for Clarissa and Teddy, until they bothe become an essential part of his life.

With this second novella, Martin proves himself a master of the genre. He develops the relationship between Daniel and Clarissa slowly and carefully, exhibiting real affection for his flawed but lovable characters and combining vivid, realistic detail with imaginative and thoughtful ruminations on the nature of truth, society, and family. Insightful, rich, and subtly satirical, The Pleasure of My Company is a charming tale of love that will delight readers. Tom Piccirilli

Carole Goldberg
A charmingly funny and touchingly wistful story . . . [Martin] makes this flawed man believable and sympathetic, endearing even when exasperating.
Oakland Tribune
The Washington Post
… witty and well-tuned. — Louis Bayard
Kevin Sampsell
Martin's writing shows enormous depth and grace.
Denver Post
Publishers Weekly
A complex mix of wit, poignancy, and Martin's clear, great affection for his characters.
Kristine Huntley
Martin's trademark humor is guaranteed to have readers laughing hard.
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.
His Martin’s gifts for subtlety and slyness compare to those of the finest comic novelists.
Entertainment Weekly
A sweet, symmetrical story of love and ‘the quiet heart’.
Kirkus Review
A genuinely funny and surprisingly touching tale. As compassionate as it is funny.
Martin’s first novel, Shopgirl, was charming and clever, and his second is even more accomplished.
Library Journal
Martin’s characters are sweet, sad, and gently oddballs He is adept at painting vivid metaphors a pleasure to read.
Kirkus Reviews
The lighter side of obsessive-compulsive behavior. What a joy the novella is. It may not be the best deal out there in terms of dollars-per-page, but many authors would give better value if they realized they had only a long story's worth of material and stuck to it. Martin's second short fiction (after Shopgirl, 2000) is an impressively economical and yet by no means limited piece of light comedy. Although Daniel Cambridge doesn't have a job, he keeps himself pretty busy. See, Daniel is chock-full of obsessive little tics that would drive the ordinary person insane. For instance, the combined wattage of all the lights turned on his Santa Monica apartment at any one time must be 1125, and he often leaves his apartment (not stepping off curbs) for the sole purpose of satisfying his need to touch the corner of every copying machine at Kinko's. Daniel also has an elaborate fantasy life involving women he sees passing his window. Fortunately, his grandmother back in Texas sends him money every so often: "She is the one family member who understands that my insanity is benign and that my failure to hold a job is not due to laziness." As always in stories about a closed-off neurotic of this kind, the world in all its chaotic glory must come crashing into his life in multiple ways, first in Daniel's sputtering imaginary relationship with a local real-estate lady and then something much more tangible with Clarissa, his social worker. Although Martin succumbs to a banal plot choice later on, when his neurotic goes on a road trip, this is a genuinely funny and surprisingly touching tale. By letting Daniel speak for himself, the author enables the reader to experience his neuroses from the insideand 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. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM

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Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.62(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Steve Martin is a celebrated writer, actor, and performer. His film credits include Father of the Bride, Parenthood and The Spanish Prisoner, as well as Roxanne, L.A. Story, and Bowfinger, for which he also wrote the screenplays. He's won Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for comedy albums. In addition to a play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, he has written a bestselling collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, and a bestselling novella, Shopgirl. His work appears frequently in The New Yorker and The New York Times. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Brief Biography

Beverly Hills, California
Date of Birth:
August 14, 1945
Place of Birth:
Waco, Texas
Long Beach State College; University of California, Los Angeles

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