So Many Steves: Afternoons with Steve Martin

Pushkin Industries. May 2023. 2:46 hrs. ISBN 9798985080216. $32. MEMOIR
New Yorker writer Gopnik (A Thousand Small Sanities) invites listeners to join him in the Manhattan apartment of his friend, actor Martin, for excerpts from their yearlong series of recorded conversations. From magician to movie star, and from comedian to art collector, Martin has no shortage of selves; Gopnik explores why it is that he continues to acquire and then abandon so many skill sets. With background banjo, shuffling papers, city sounds, and the crackling of comedy recordings, this audio experience is so immersive that listeners can easily imagine they are there with Gopnik, watching his friend walk to the shelf for a book or being interrupted by a phone call from Martin Short. As they are longtime acquaintances, their interaction has an organic flow and friendliness that is engaging and inimitable. This listen is a brief but beguiling blend of shooting-the-breeze and biography.
VERDICT Will appeal to listeners seeking a candid, creative conversation that offers intriguing insight into celebrity and self. Recommended for fans of Martin’s wit and wisecracks.
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