12.12.2009

Pure Drivel / Steve Martin : 3 of 5

Since I've enjoyed everything I've read by Steve Martin lately, I looked around on PaperBack Swap and found a few more short books to get. Pure Drivel is a collection of short essays, many of which appeared in The New Yorker magazine, and most of these are much more in line with Steve's usual off-the-wall humor, but with a definite literary flair. Some of the essays are only a couple pages, so this book reads very quickly, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Every now and then an essay will cross over from the comedy world and become a moving, beautiful piece, which is the case with Hissy Fit, by far my favorite of the collection. The way Steve writes so lovingly about the city of Los Angeles is incredible - he finds meaning in the simplest details and weaves it into poetry. I also really enjoyed Bad Dog, which is told from the dog's point of view as it struggles to resist the urge to bark at the FedEx man, and the lengthy description of how the bark begins to rise in the dog's throat is just amazing! Of course, there are several essays that are just sheer nonsense, but clever and funny at the same time. One of these is Schrodinger's Cat, which begins by explaining the famous quantum mechanics paradox, and then goes on with a bunch of hilarious "similar" situations with names like "Chef Boyardee's Bungee Cord"! While I would recommend Steve Martin's novels over this collection any day, Pure Drivel is still great for a quick, intelligent laugh.

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