- 104 p. ; 22 cm.
- Contents: A Public Apology -- Writing Is Easy! -- Yes, in My Own Backyard -- Changes in the Memory after Fifty -- Mars Probe Finds Kittens -- Dear Amanda -- Times Roman Font Announces Shortage of Periods -- Schrodinger's Cat -- Taping My Friends -- The Nature of Matter and Its Antecedents -- The Sledgehammer: How It Works -- The Paparazzi of Plato -- Side Effects -- Artist Lost to Zoloft -- How I Joined Mensa -- Michael Jackson's Old Face -- In Search of the Wily Filipino -- Bad Dog -- Hissy Fit -- Drivel -- I Love Loosely -- Lolita at Fifty -- A Word from the Words.From a piece sending up the logistics of celebrity ("The Nature of Matter and Its Antecedents") to a story that is half love letter to Los Angeles and half satiric portrait of a New York writer writing about L. A. ("Hissy Fit"), the book's pieces, some of which first appeared in The New Yorker, are both hilariously funny and intelligent in their skewering of the topic at hand. With unparalleled literary ventriloquism. Martin imagines what Walter Matthau's face could tell about how we reveal ourselves to the world, who Lolita might be now, and what goes through the head of a "bad dog." In perhaps the funniest and most quintessentially Steve Martin piece, "Writing Is Easy," Martin explains, among other things, how writers in Czechoslovakia might come up with more depressing material than L.A. writers.Summary: In this ingeniously funny collection of humorous riffs, those who thought Steve Martin's gifts were confined to the screen will discover what readers of The New Yorker magazine already know: that Martin is a master of the written word.