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Book Report: Pure Drivel

I remember being surprised, ten years ago or so, when I came across a short Steve Martin piece in back of a New Yorker and it was funny. I hadn’t thought of Steve Martin as being funny in quite some time. I started looking for his pieces, and more often than not I enjoyed them. Then I stopped looking for them, or more accurately I stopped looking through the New Yorker at all, so I’m pretty sure that all of the bits in Pure Drivel were new to me.

As with Ian Frazier’s stuff, Your Humble Blogger thinks it’s better to read one a week or so than a whole slew of them in a row. Some of the bits were absolutely brilliant (including one whose title I don’t remember about a sudden shortage of period marks, which simultaneously would be utterly brilliant at a story reading and would totally not work at all without the reader/listener able to look at the punctuation), and some of them didn’t quite work for me. By the end of the thing, though, I was tired of the Steve Martin persona. He does have more than one, still, but the main one is the arrogant imbecile who thinks he is smart and popular, while constantly betraying not only his idiocy but the ways in which he is an object of contempt for everyone around him. It’s a funny persona, but it grates on me after a bit.

Still, with both Mr. Martin’s and Mr. Frazier’s short pieces, it turns out that Your Humble Blogger is not going to read them once a week in the New Yorker, so perhaps it’s unfair to complain about them being collected in a format I will read.

chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,

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