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Question: What is this author's name, last name 'Martin'?

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 7 Nov 2007 01:29 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 1:29 am UTC 

I'm trying to find the name of an author I discovered because his books were next to George R. R. Martin's at Hayden Library in ASU.  I am pretty sure his name was (something) R. R. Martin (First name maybe Steve or Steven?), but if that's not exactly right it must be extremely close because his books were on the same shelf as George R. R. Martin's.

Unfortunately, I can't recall any specific details about the books, other than that they were utterly bizzare collections of poems/stories which were usually in the second person and present tense ("You are walking down the street.  You see a man with a red hat who tells you about a secret castle")

I can find anything on google or wikipedia.  please help!




 7 Nov 2007 01:47 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 1:47 am UTC 

I seriously doubt this will help, but I remembered a few more details:

- there was one story about 'the little man on your shoulder, watching everything you do'.  That wasn't the exact phrase, but the phrase was repeated dozens of times
-most of the stories looped in on themselves, like you walk to a certain place to meet someone who tells you a story, and that story is about you walking somewhere to meet someone... paragraphs or pages at a time would get repeated this way, with only slight variations.
-not all stories were necessarily in the second person or present tense


David Sarokin 


 7 Nov 2007 02:05 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 2:05 am UTC 


First...very good name you chose for yourself.

Second, it's possible to access the Hayden Library online and look for books by call numbers, that is, according to their shelf arrangement in the library. 

There are quite a number of Martin's right next to George RR, including he of SNL fame, Steve Martin.  Here are two of his books as they appear in Google Books listings:

The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel By Steve Martin

PURE DRIVEL By Steve Martin

A fair amount of the book content is available at the above links.  To tell the truth, though, they don't quite sound right, from your description.

Some other books listed nearby (there are many!):


PS3563.A7239 A7 1983 
Fevre Dream / George R.R. Martin.

PS3563 .A72329 F5 1984
Final harbor : a novel / by David Martin

PS3563.A72355 B76 2005
Branwell : a novel / Douglas A. Martin

PS3563.A72376 L84 2000
 Luck : a novel / Eric Martin

PS3563.A72376 V57 2007
The virgin's guide to Mexico : a novel / by Eric B. Martin

PS3563.A7238 M64 2005 
Molly Anderson : the saga of a pioneer woman / Etta Pruitt Martin

PS3563.A724 E8 2005
Escape to the promised land / Herbert Woodward Martin

PS3563.A724 Z84 2004
Herbert Woodward Martin and the African American tradition in poetry

PS3563.A724346 P37 2000
Parabola : shorter fictions / Joe Martin

PS3563.A7293 P57 2003
The pleasure of my company : a novel / Steve Martin

PS3563.A7293 P87 1998
 Pure drivel / Steve Martin

PS3563.A7293 U53 2002
The underpants : a play / by Carl Sternheim ; adaptation by Steve Martin

Anything ring a bell?  Perhaps Parabloa, the Joe Martin book, as he sounds a bit of an absurdist:


Let me know what you think.



David Sarokin 


 7 Nov 2007 16:34 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 4:34 pm UTC 

The links to the Steve Martin books may not be working properly, but if not, a simple search on the title should bring up listings in Google Books and Amazon.com where you can "look over" the books themselves.





 7 Nov 2007 18:29 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 6:29 pm UTC 

When I read your description, the first thing that sprang into my mind was "Cruel Shoes," a bizarre and wonderful collection of stories and poems written by the actor/comedian Steve Martin.

The introduction to the book:

"You are walking down a country road. It is a quiet afternoon. You look up and far, far down the road you see someone walking toward you. You are surprised to have noticed someone so far away. But you keep walking, expecting nothing more than a friendly nod as you pass. He gets closer. You see he has bright orange hair. He is closer- a white satin suit spotted with colored dots. Closer-a painted white face and red lips. You and he are fifty yards apart. You, and a full-fledged clown holding a bicycle horn are twenty yards apart. You approach on the lonely country road. You nod. He honks and passes."

There are four pages of excerpts from an earlier, shorter version of "Cruel Shoes" here:


Does this ring a bell (or honk a clown horn)?


David Sarokin 


 7 Nov 2007 18:49 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 6:49 pm UTC 

It sure sounds like pinkfreud has found what you're looking for, though oddly, Cruel Shoes doesn't show up in the ASU library database with a call number that puts it near Steve Martin's other books, or near George RR Martin.

Go figure!




 7 Nov 2007 20:12 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 8:12 pm UTC 

pinkfreud and david, thanks for the tips, and good idea looking in the ASU catalog, unfortunately none of those are it...this is way more abstract/unfunny than the Steve Martin passage, and he was certainly not the author, though I'm amazed you found something written by him in the second person/present tense! 

I probably didn't give enough information to find this author... I think I'll just drive out to the ASU library and see if I can find it there, unless someone stumbles into it.


David Sarokin 


 7 Nov 2007 20:21 UTCWed 7 Nov 2007 - 8:21 pm UTC 


Thanks for the update, and good luck.

Before driving out, you might want to check out the books online.  Head to the ASU library call number search page:


and search on:


then do another search on:


That should show you just about everything that's on the shelves near the George RR Martin books.



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