Pure Drivel

Pure Drivel

by Steve Martin

Paperback(1 PBK ED)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786885053
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 10/06/1999
Edition description: 1 PBK ED
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 854,283
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About 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.

Hometown:

Beverly Hills, California

Date of Birth:

August 14, 1945

Place of Birth:

Waco, Texas

Education:

Long Beach State College; University of California, Los Angeles

Read an Excerpt

A Public Apology

Looking out over the East River from my jail cell and still running for public office, I realize that I have taken several actions in my life for which I owe public apologies.

Once, I won a supermarket sweepstakes even though my brother's cousin was a box boy in that very store. I would like to apologize to Safeway Food, Inc., and its employees. I would like to apologize to my family, who have stood by me, and especially to my wife Karen. A wiser and more loyal spouse could not be found.

When I was twenty-one, I smoked marijuana every day for one year. I would like to apologize for the next fifteen years of anxiety attacks and drug-related phobias, including the feeling that when Ed Sullivan introduced Wayne and Shuster, he was actually signaling my parents that I was high. I would like to apologize to my wife Karen, who still believes in me, and to the Marijuana Growers Association of Napa Valley and its affiliates for any embarrassment I may have caused them. I would also like to mention a little incident that took place in the Holiday Inn in Ypsilanti, Michigan, during that same time. I was lying in bed in room 342 and began counting ceiling tiles. Since the room was square, it was an easy computation, taking no longer than the weekend. As Sunday evening rolled around, I began to compute how many imaginary ceiling tiles it would take to cover the walls and floor of my room. When I checked out of the hotel, I flippantly told the clerk that it would take twelve hundred ninety-four imaginary ceiling tiles to fill the entire room.

Two weeks later, while attempting to break the record for consecutive listenings to "American Pie," I realized that I had included the real tiles in my calculation of imaginary tiles; I should have subtracted them from my total. I would like to apologize to the staff of the Holiday Inn for any inconvenience I may have caused, to the wonderful people at Universal Ceiling Tile, to my wife Karen, and to my two children, whose growth is stunted.

Several years ago, in California, I ate my first clam and said it tasted "like a gonad dipped in motor oil." I would like to apologize to Bob 'n' Betty's Clam Fiesta, and especially to Bob, who I found out later only had one testicle. I would like to apologize to the waitress June and her affiliates, and the DePaul family dog, who suffered the contents of my nauseated stomach.

There are several incidents of sexual harassment I would like to apologize for:

In 1992, I was interviewing one Ms. Anna Floyd for a secretarial position, when my pants accidentally fell down around my ankles as I was coincidentally saying, "Ever seen one of these before?" Even though I was referring to my new Pocket Tape Memo Taker, I would like to apologize to Ms. Floyd for any grief this misunderstanding might have caused her. I would also like to apologize to the Pocket Tape people, to their affiliates, and to my family, who have stood by me. I would like to apologize also to International Hardwood Designs, whose floor my pants fell upon. I would especially like to apologize to my wife Karen, whose constant understanding fills me with humility.

Once, in Hawaii, I had sex with a hundred-and-two-year-old male turtle. It would be hard to argue that it was consensual. I would like to apologize to the turtle, his family, the Kahala Hilton Hotel, and the hundred or so diners at the Hilton's outdoor cafe. I would also like to apologize to my loyal wife Karen, who had to endure the subsequent news item in the "Also Noted" section of the Santa Barbara Women's Club Weekly.

In 1987, I attended a bar mitzvah in Manhattan while wearing white gabardine pants, white patent-leather slippers, a blue blazer with gold buttons, and a yachting cap. I would like to apologize to the Jewish people, the State of Israel, my family, who have stood by me, and my wife Karen, who has endured my seventeen affairs and three out-of-wedlock children.

I would also like to apologize to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for referring to its members as "colored people." My apology would not be complete if I didn't include my new wife, Nancy, who is of a pinkish tint, and our two children, who are white-colored.

Finally, I would like to apologize for spontaneously yelling the word "savages!" after losing six thousand dollars on a roulette spin at the Choctaw Nation Casino and Sports Book. When I was growing up, the usage of this word in our household closely approximated the Hawaiian aloha, and my use of it in the casino was meant to express "until we meet again."

Now on with the campaign!

Table of Contents

A Public Apology.....................................................1
Writing Is Easy!.....................................................5
Yes, in My Own Backyard.............................................13
Changes in the Memory after Fifty...................................18
Mars Probe Finds Kittens............................................22
Dear Amanda.........................................................26
Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periods......................30
Schrodinger's Cat...................................................34
Taping My Friends...................................................38
The Nature of Matter and Its Antecedents............................43
The Sledgehammer: How It Works......................................47
The Paparazzi of Plato..............................................51
Side Effects........................................................55
Artist Lost to Zoloft...............................................59
How I Joined Mensa..................................................63
Michael Jackson's Old Face..........................................68
In Search of the Wily Filipino......................................71
Bad Dog.............................................................75
Hissy Fit...........................................................80
Drivel..............................................................87
I Love Loosely......................................................91
Lolita at Fifty.....................................................94
A Word from the Words..............................................100

Customer Reviews

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Pure Drivel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the funniest book i have ever read. I would be reading this book in the middle of class and all of a sudden i would be laughing really hard! if you like steven martin you will like this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
usually i like steve martin's stuff a lot but was very disappointed when i listened to this book particularly since it had gotten such a high rating.. I did not think that it was that funny. I was in a hurry and i did not realize that they had the first two chapters here. big mistake.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, I'm sure you all are thinking... What is this book about?? Is this another lame stand-up book written by a comedian whose star shined brightest five years ago? No! Well, not really. This book is simply exactly what the title says, 'pure drivel.' You think, in reading some of the chapters, 'Oh now I see what the point of this book is...' But the great thing is, there IS no point! It's simply a book to sit back to in the dusky afternoon with a cool drink and read, simply to get a much needed lazy laugh. Even just skimming the titles of the chapters you will be forced into a gentle chuckle with names such as, 'Mars Probe Finds Kittens,' 'Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periods,' and 'Michael Jackson's Old Face.' I highly, and with a delightful smirk, recommend this book for anyone looking for a cheap laugh and a quirky anecdote. This book doesn't fall short of any expectations, it lands right on target with a charming mix of classic Martin wit and pure-as-the-morning-snow drivel.
Beckworth on LibraryThing 19 days ago
The name says it all. Pure Steve Martin.
skylersage on LibraryThing 19 days ago
In my opinion, I think Steve Martin - yes the actor - is a genius, a comic genius. He has written a collection of what I can only think to call essays on some of the strangest things and makes them all hilarious, outrageous and amazing. I believe he is one of the most underatted talents of our time. People think of him and think of The Jerk or doing the King Tut song and dismiss him as this light comedian, but pay attention to some of his other works and you will be amazed. And best of all, he doesn't take himself serious and obviously is having fun, especially with regard to his writing. Here is a bit from the beginning of the book, he starts with a number of apologies that had me rolling!"Once, in Hawaii, I had sex with a hundred-and-two-year-old male turtle. It would be hard to argue that it was consensual. I would like to apologize to the turtle, his family, the Kahala Hilton Hotel, and the hundred or so diners at the Hilton's outdoor cafe.""Finally, I would like to apologize for spontaneously yelling the word "savages!" after losing six thousand dollars on a roulette spin at the Choctaw Nation Casino and Sport Book. When I was growing up, the usage of this word in our household closely approximated the Hawaiian alho, and my use of it at the casino was meant to express "until we meet again."
AKNicholas on LibraryThing 19 days ago
This book is the funniest half hour or so you could possibly spend. The book is only 100 pages long. I read it on an airplane to pass the time and had to stop because I laughed so loud it was exceedingly conspicuous.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Pure Drivel is a collection of short, humorous essays, which are each about 3 to 5 pages long and vary on topic from reflecting on the writing process to joining Mensa. The humor is an absurd funny, not necessarily a laugh-out-loud funny. In some ways, the essays reminded me of David Sedaris¿s fiction, which I find funny but not as funny as his nonfiction works. This slim volume entertained me, but I enjoy Martin¿s more serious works better.
readheavily on LibraryThing 19 days ago
"... a meow of intergalactic proportions."
JohnnyMcNugget on LibraryThing 19 days ago
A collection of his essays for the New Yorker. A wonderfully quick read. While not all of them are golden, there are enough in there that you can re-read and enjoy again. I prefer this type of book much better than reading some comic's stand bit written onto paper. Steve Martin has a literary sense to him that not many comedians are gifted with.
JEldredge on LibraryThing 19 days ago
I read it twice, and I still don't know what it was about. It was Pure Drivel and it was amazingly funny. Steve Martin is still one of the greatest.
realbigcat on LibraryThing 19 days ago
I'm not a big fan of comedy books but I do like a multi-talented performer like Steve Martin. This is a short book and there is no traditional joke type humor but rather the zany, offbeat and thought provoking humor that defines Martin. Matin also writes fiction of which I have yet to read. So for this book I would say if your a Martin fan you will probably enjoy it.
wdwilson3 on LibraryThing 20 days ago
I listened to the audiobook version of Pure Drivel in my car, and I had to turn it off the CD player several times because I was laughing so hard it was impairing my driving. Like any collection of short humor pieces it's uneven, or perhaps a better way of saying it is that some pieces will strike a reader funny and some not so much. I loved the zaniness of 'Side Effects' and 'Schrodinger's Cat.'
roseytoes on LibraryThing 20 days ago
I must have been in a strange mood the first few times I thumbed through this: didn't find it funny. Later I picked it up again, and began reading from the beginning. I laughed out loud all the way through, and it still tickles my funnybone when I go back and thumb through it again.
indygo88 on LibraryThing 20 days ago
I guess I just don't "get" Steve Martin. I can give or take him in movies, I didn't care for his fiction, & I can't say that I cared much for this collection of stories either. I'm a bit surprised by the name of this collection, not because it's not apt, but because I think it begs for all sorts of pun-driven comments. Many people love this guy, and as a person I don't have anything against the man, but his writing is just underwhelming to me.
name99 on LibraryThing 20 days ago
A collection of short skits. Perhaps one third very funny, one third amusing, and one third a waste of time.
bookczuk on LibraryThing 20 days ago
I'm still having mixed thoughts about Steve Martin, author. Some of his stuff is laugh out loud funny, and others either does nothing for me or makes me feel vaguely unclean. But some of these were great. The man has an amazing mind, that's for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TiwandaP More than 1 year ago
Exactly as the title suggests this book is pure drivel; but drivel that will give you a good smirk or an out-right snort-giggle even on your worst day when you have declared to the rest of the world that you will never smile again. Only Steve Martin could get away with writing this and making money on it - Bravo, Steve!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great stuff that'll get a laugh even out of the painfully serious. The 50-year-old Lolita even thinks it's funny. A few quotes. 'But this guy was no ordinary guy, he was a red guy.' 'Think what you think, and stultify what you perambulate.' '48. Windows for Dummies. 49. Windows for Idiots. 50. Windows for the Subhuman.' This is hilarious stuff that just about everyone will get a kick out of...er, this?
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Pure Drivel,' in my estimation, is not as strong as Martin's earlier collection of short stories, 'Cruel Shoes.' Still, it's pure Martin, is packed with amusing moments and shouldn't be missed by anyone who appreciates his humor. Personal favorites include 'The 100 Greatest Books Ever Read,' 'Lolita at 50,' 'Closure' and 'A Word from the Words.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Steve Martin is hilarious, and this book is a must!.....well, not MUST must, but definately a must read, but......just buy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title is misleading. It should be 'Mostly Pure Drivel.' Steve Martin starts off strong. The first half-dozen or so pieces are laugh-out-loud brilliant. Then, as though he had run out of ideas but had a publication deadline to meet, he slides into humor so forced and abstract as to be not only unfunny but incomprehensible. If most of these pieces first appeared in The New Yorker, I am disappointed at the magazine's lowering its standards. I suspect that had the material been written by an unknown, someone other than Steve Martin, it might have been returned by publishers with letters of encouragement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
every story in this book made me laugh out loud. I've never read any book quite as funny as this. I think everyone should read it