Thursday, March 24, 2005

Book 12

"The Pleasure Of My Company" by Steve Martin

Yes, that Steve Martin and boy can he write. This book is the story of Daniel Pecan Cambridge, an extremely messed up individual who is a mass of crippling neuroses. These include the fact that he can't cross the street unless there are two opposing driveways, the lightbulbs on in his house at any one time must add up to 1125 watts and don't even ask about the photocopiers at Kwik Kopy. He is also, of course, something of a mathematical genius.

The story is mostly broken up into paragraph-sized chunks that read like stream of consciousness if that consciousness was wound tight enough to crack. It follows his journey through life, love and apartment hunting and is immensely readable. It also ends a little abruptly, and I can't help feeling that Mssr Martin had explored what he wanted to explore and so just wrapped up the book. Don't get me wrong, the ending is a satisfying one, but I think it could've been drawn out a little longer.

To resort to cliche, this book is funny, touching and enjoyable. As a character study, I don't think I've read anything better and I can't help feeling there's more than a little of Steve in Daniel.

Four neurotic savants out of five.


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