Friday, December 07, 2007

Witty and Wise

Daniel Pecan Cambridge, the main character in comedian/actor/author Steve Martin's novella, The Pleasure of My Company, is a savant who cannot deal with the stresses of a job, can't cross a street unless one driveway is directly across from the opposing driveway, and cannot sleep unless the wattage in the overhead lights add up to a specific number. His world consists of his laborious trips to the Rite Aid, weekly visits from a student therapist named Clarissa, and an ongoing fascination with Elizabeth, a real-estate agent who he views from his apartment window. One day, the contained little world where this dysfunctional and very funny man lives, is thrown into chaos and the disorder, that Daniel fears, comes crashing in when he accidentally stumbles into the messy entanglements of Clarissa and her young son Teddy's life. Reluctantly, Daniel agrees to provide daycare for Teddy and finds Teddy the salve that draws Daniel, little by little, out of the neurotic niche he has made for himself. In this novella, Martin is far less manic than in his "wild and crazy" Saturday Night Live days. In The Pleasure of My Company, Martin is philosopher, poet and witty storyteller. For an additional bonus, this book is available in audio with Martin reading his own words.

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