Mirabelle is the "shopgirl" of the title, a young woman, beautiful in a wallflowerish kind of way, who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus "Selling things that nobody buys anymore..."
Slightly lost but not off-kilter, very shy, Mirabelle charms because of all that she is not: not glamorous, not aggressive, not self-aggrandizing. Still there is something about her that is irresistible.
Mirabelle captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy businessman almost twice her age. As they tentatively embark on a relationship, they both struggle to decipher the language of love - with consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Filled with the kind of witty, discerning observations that have brought Martin critical success, Shopgirl is a work of disarming tenderness.
Don't miss Steve Martin, Christopher Buckley, and other humorists discussing their craft at the New Yorker Festival.
©2000 Steve Martin, All Rights Reserved; (P)2000 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All Rights Reserved, AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"Martin's elegant, bleak, desolatingly sad first novella is in every sense his most serious work to date." (The New York Times Book Review)
I actually read Steve MArtin's second novella before this and it is it's own author's recommendation. This story is so well told and insightful that you are sure you know these characters have in fact been these characters at different periods in your life. I loved it so much that I worked out longer than usual so as not to have to push the "off" button on my IPOD.
For anybody who has ever had an intergenerational relationship or tried to think they could love a woman incompletely, this story will have the ring of truth. I have had these feelings and committed the same mistakes in my life with similar results. I loved this book so much. Last night, I saw the movie with the same title. It was just as good as the book and cast SO well. But, I missed the detail and narrative that added the depth to the book.
The book was horrible, but the many passionate love scenes are quite hillarious. I don't think Martin was actually trying to be funny when he wrote and read those scenes, but they really had me rolling. There is often an element of comic relief present when a man attempts to describe a woman's passion, but Martin's efforts are over the top. For you ladies who think that men must be stupid because they only think about one thing but yet still manage to not understand it at all, here's your proof. Listen to this book and go ahead and gloat.
Wow! Steve Martin is a polished literary novelist. Who knew? The story is delightfully excruciating and impossible to put down. A modern day love story that has something to teach all of us about ourselves.
Steve Martin is brilliant at directing attention towards the small events that we glance over. Unfortunately, this talent also creates a liability: a book that has more value for its quirky insights than its characters, plot, or deeper meaning. While "Shopgirl" is an endlessly fascinating foray into the depths of Beverly Hills, and all the psychosis that exists there, the journey ends before you have a chance to be drawn to any of the characters in a meaningful way.
Don't get me wrong. This book is well worth listening too... but only because it isn't worth the time to read it. If you are having any difficutly making your choice, go read War and Peace, but listen to Shopgirl.
I first read An Object of Beauty and really loved the story. I then decided to read Shopgirl and was much less impressed. The story was not as interesting and not a lot happened throughout the plot. The characters were boring and the audiobook was very short.
you've got to love S.M. He wrote it, he reads it, he brings it alive. He even knows woman. And I don't believe many men can write from inside a woman's brain.
A better story. A believable story, with believe-able characters.
Empty characters. I could care less about them.
Steve is a great actor and reader. He does a good job, and I love to hear his voice.
Once you move away from LA you realize relationships are not meant to be like this & therefore this book is not entertaining. But, this is a slice of LA, probably one that Steve has experienced & he/his pals thought funny made into a movie. That???s all it takes in LA, a ???celebrity??? with an idea???you get it. 2 ?? stars at the most. That???s because the protagonist slams the ???steve??? character, in my view.
Steve Martin's writing unlike his stand up comedy always seems to have a depressing and sad undertone. Yet I still enjoy it, its very real and he has a way of explaining the sadness in every day life. This is yet another one of those books that follow this pattern but I will always want to read them.
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