The Pleasure of My Company

By Steve Martin

Steve Martin has a real way with words. His first novel, Shopgirl, had a sort of whimsical, lyric quality to the writing that I liked rather a lot. The problem was that the style had the effect of distancing me from the characters. I think Martin has solved that shortcoming in The Pleasure of My Company. It has the same sensitivity, the same dry humor, but it also manages to keep me very close to the main character. It's a very quick read, and the plot is rather sparse, but the character is rich enough to provide substance to the book. The story revolves around Daniel Cambridge and his host of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. But Martin is a skillful enough writer to help you see the person underneath the neuroses. I found myself becoming very attached to the characters in this book, despite the fact that it was so short. Interestingly enough, for most of the book I was able to hear Martin's voice in the prose; this is one of only a handful of books that have ever done that to me. It actually made the book seem more personal, almost conversational. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

Started: 9/19/2004 | Finished: 9/21/2004

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