Steve Martin, Author, Steve Martin, Read by, Author, Read by , read by the author. Hyperion Audiobooks $25.98 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4013-9753-1

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). (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 10/01/2003
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