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Shopgirl by Steve Martin
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Shopgirl (2000)

by Steve Martin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,072992,006 (3.49)76
Mirabelle works as a shop assistant in the glove department at Niemans, LA's finest store; she also draws darkly gothic pictures at night. Adrift in the world and lonely, her situation is not improved by the fact that hardly anyone buys the kind of gloves that Niemans sell, so she spends most of her day leaning on the counter staring into empty space. There are two men in her life - Jeremy, a man who stencils amplifiers for a living, and Mr Ray Porter, an older man and millionaire who applies logic to relationships, and is serially confused and disappointed. In this exquisitely self-contained novel, Steve Martin touches on the surface horrors of LA - the false noses, lips, breasts and people - without exaggeration or explicitly playing for laughs. It's insightful, dark, funny and tender.… (more)
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» See also 76 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Not particularly witty or insightful. Boring. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
couldn't shake the notion that this story was just some man's fantasy and somehow this man chose to write about the female experience of dating, mental illness, and maturing, and chalked it up to be daddy issues
( )
  cortneycassidy | Feb 14, 2020 |
I fairly enjoyed this book. It follows a young woman who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus. She has a brief affair with a person her own age but it seems to be going nowhere. Then she meets a much older man who gives her pretty much everything she could want. As much as it tries to be a love story between these two it just never seems to happen. In the end she becomes reacquainted with the younger man closer to her age who it seems has gone through a complete transformation. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Feb 2, 2020 |
Well, I started this yesterday, and finished it today. Admittedly it isn't terribly long, but a two day read is still indicative of enjoyment for me! I watched the film over the weekend, and then read the book this week. I was afraid to do it in the reverse, but I liked them both very much! (Steve Martin may not have been the best choice for Ray Porter...but I didn't think he was bad, King.)

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to some degree. I guess I hadn't realized Mr. Martin's multi-talentedness. But, there were moments of real brilliance in there! "He doesn't understand the subtleties of slights and pains, that it is not the big events that hurt the most but rather the smallest questionable shift in tone at the end of a spoken word that can plow most deeply into the heart." Perceptively true, and poignantly moving. His obvious sense of humor pops in now and then as well. I should have been disappointed if it hadn't!

I related over much to Mirabelle's character at times, maybe that is why I like it so much? The Andrew Wyeth mention was the clincher though.

Thanks King, this is now counted amongst my favorites...the book and the film! ( )
  Amelia1989 | Jun 10, 2019 |
Shopgirl tells the story of Mirabelle Buttersfield, a girl in her late twenties who works behind the counter of Nieman's selling gloves. Only nobody much buys gloves from the store. Throughout the course of the novel, Mirabelle is fleshed out into a character whose moods are as desolate as the shop which in she works. She is courted by Ray Porter, a much older man, and through the course of her relationship with him she and Ray both begin to learn more about themselves and how to relate to others.

While Steve Martin is known for his comedy, the humor in the book (and there is some) is minimal. The novella's strength lies within the observations of human interactions and the inner workings that dictate the day to day life. What has emerged from Steve Martin's first dive into fiction is a surprisingly smart, thoughtful, and philosophical story about the nature of human relationships.

( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
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For Allyson
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When you work in the glove department at Neiman's, you are selling things that nobody buys anymore.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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