From Steve Martin, one of our best-loved comedians, a fantastic new novel with an unforgettably weird, original and ultimately engaging character - Daniel Pecan Cambridge.
'Makes you laugh out loud' Sunday Telegraph
Daniel Cambridge is a thirty-three-year-old man who is slightly bewildered by life. He knows the exact wattage of the bulbs in his flat, and will panic if the wattage isn't kept constant. He can't cross the street unless two opposing driveways break the kerb. And he is exercised by the colour of hat worn by the local gas station attendant.
Such characteristics make it difficult for Daniel to find the right woman, but he's very keen on Elizabeth who's selling the flats across the street and Zandy who works in the local pharmacy (though he's yet to actually speak to her).
There's also the murder of Bob from downstairs. Daniel has an alibi but is still a suspect, and his agreeing to a TV reconstruction of the murder inquiry could well backfire. It might also jeopardise Daniel's chances of winning the Most Average American competition which he's entered (twice).
As one would expect from an actor and comedian of Martin's caliber, his reading perfectly captures the quirky, kind-hearted, neurotic personality of his protagonist, Daniel Pecan Cambridge. Martin reads with a precision and reverence for language that matches Daniel's own, and he eschews using distinct voices for his secondary characters. Indeed, the sole voice here is Daniel's, which suits the story's narrow focus. Daniel has a fear of eight-inch-high curbs, a need to have 1,125 watts burning in his Santa Monica apartment at all times, an inability to tell his true age and a crush on the real estate broker who shows apartments across the street (though he has never met her). He also may be the winner of a "Most Average American" contest. As his life is brushed by those around him his neighbor Brian, Brian's girlfriend, Philipa, student social worker Clarissa and her son, Teddy he gradually begins to overcome his own barriers and limitations. The humor in this tale is subtle, but Martin does a fine job of bringing it out and of lending his protagonist a smooth, personable voice that's easy on the ear and suitable for a Most Average American. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 15, 2003).
Currently 18% into a book I held such high hopes for. Definitely wouldn’t recommend :(