Book Reviews of Shopgirl

Shopgirl
Shopgirl
Author: Steve Martin
ISBN-13: 9780786885688
ISBN-10: 0786885688
Publication Date: 9/5/2001
Pages: 130
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 366

3.4 stars, based on 366 ratings
Publisher: Theia
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

51 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Shopgirl on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I read this book after I saw the movie. Oh, how I wish I hadn't. Steve Martin is a genious! This book has such eloquent observations and economy of phrasing...it's as if each sentence is a bite of the most delicious thing you've ever eaten, and you just don't want to finish chewing it. I can't say enough about how much I loved this book. Timeless themes, modern sensibilities, and beautiful writing: what more could a modern reader want from a modern novel?
reviewed Shopgirl on
Helpful Score: 8
I read this book after seeing the movie, looking for an explanation of some questions I had after seeing it. It did a good job answering my questions.

I was surprised and impressed by Steve Martin as a writer. It was an engaging read, written smartly with eloquent passages. I consider myself to have a broad and extensive vocabulary, but I found three words I had to look up. Pleasantly surprising for someone with a love of words :)

Overall, a bittersweet story, though -- with a good dose of truth and a great look into a man's psyche.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is a very sweet, very readable little book. I love the tone of the writing--almost like a fairy tale.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The book is short enough that I thought I could burn through it in a couple of days. Not so - I kept falling asleep, so it took almost a week. I was bored and couldn't connect with either of the characters. I felt sorry for Mirabelle, but thought the rest of 'em could use personality overhauls of the Get-a-Clue type.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Who knew Steve Martin was such an amazing author! His inner monologue is better than many people's speeches.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Not action packed, but a good read that really looks at the minds and emotional sides of the characters. I found myself enjoying it more and more each character became more concrete.
reviewed Shopgirl on
Helpful Score: 3
I blow air kisses to this novella. So light and lovely, airy and fine.

The movie is actually equally as good.

Steve Martin? Who knew!
reviewed Shopgirl on + 103 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Surprisingly good. Quick read. Not very light-hearted but rings with truth. I enjoyed it.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
...a winsome fairytale.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I love Steve Martin's style - although nothing like shopgirl herself, I felt like I was inside her head and could feel what she was feeling. He runs quickly through parts that deserve a quick explaination and takes the time to explain others that are worth reading every word to get into the characters and relationship dynamics. I heard that the movie was good as well and can see Clair Daines in the lead role...very excited to see it...
reviewed Shopgirl on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Yes, that Steve Martin â he's an author AND an actor. I wonder, in reading this book, if he saw himself playing the âolder manâ lead. I have heard rumors that he, in life, played the role of the ingénue â I assume strung along by an older woman before he knew which end was up.
There are specific statements in the book that were alluded to in the movie. Hence the book is clearer. While the movie tries to lead the audience to the same level of understanding, the book is specific.
It's a small book and a quick read. I wonder if seeing the movie first made it better or not.
I DO recommend it.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Simple read... if you saw the movie then you will enjoy the book as well.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great, fun read.
reviewed Shopgirl on
Helpful Score: 1
Cute story by Steve Martin.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting characters, quirky and well-developed. Humorous at times, but not the Steve Martin type of humor you see in his comedy routines.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very quick read, of course, better than the movie.
reviewed Shopgirl on
Helpful Score: 1
This is a great book. I read it one afternoon. The story line is not particularly gripping but the emotions that are portrayed so well draw you in.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Steve Martin is a man of many talents. This is a poignant book about a girl just getting along. I highly recommend it.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Cute story, better than the movie. I pictured Steve Martin as the lead character the entire time. Quick, light read for a weekend.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 58 more book reviews
Quirky little book about a stagnant, depressed young woman, Mirabelle, as she tries to navigate her life, understand her past, and look to a future. She begins a relationship with an older, richer man, Mr. Ray Porter who, in many ways, is just as lost as she. I found this book to be more sexual than I thought it would be... not too graphic though. I did enjoy the story and character development... it's description of Mirabelle's depression is poignant.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 8 more book reviews
Well worth reading, beautifully and lovingly written.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 5 more book reviews
A beautiful little book with heartbreaking characters. The story focuses on Mirabelle ("see beauty"), a depressed waif who works in the little-used glove department at a big department store. In her spare time, she talks to her cat and draws beautiful, brooding portraits that she keeps to herself. She meets Ray Porter who comes to her counter and has her select a pair of gloves for "a woman" that end up being herself. ("Ray" being a mathematical term, and "Porter" -- someone who guards a doorway -- to himself? Someone who carries baggage?) Their relationship is based on mutual attraction, longing for connection, and mostly what doesn't get said between the two of them. As you'd expect, there are clever moments of humor. A nice read with a hopeful ending.
reviewed Shopgirl on
Delightful novella about a very well drawn female protagonist.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 5 more book reviews
Quick read, I enjoyed it.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 10 more book reviews
Steve Martin is a man of many talents and he can now add incredible writer to his list. A love story for anyone who's felt lost during their life.
reviewed Shopgirl on
A quick read, I read this on a two hour plane ride. Well written and interesting.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 161 more book reviews
It was a pretty good read, but throughout the whole thing I kept thinking "ewww Steven Martin can have a dirty mind sometimes!" :-P It was about a young woman who was trying to figure out who she is, her former (later current) boyfriend who was a slacker and found himself after landing a great job, and the older man in her life who doesn't know what kind of relationship he wants with her.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 73 more book reviews
Funny, short read. 130 pages
reviewed Shopgirl on + 9 more book reviews
An interesting, artistic read
reviewed Shopgirl on + 103 more book reviews
Like all of Martin's characters Mirabelle has problems but you can't help but be sympathetic and charmed. 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 . . .

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.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 84 more book reviews
Lovely, lovely story in Steve Martin's sensitive and insightful way.
Fast read and very rewarding!
reviewed Shopgirl on + 40 more book reviews
A short, sweet, touching novella. Steve Martin is a stylish and intelligent writer.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 131 more book reviews
Very good. A real quick read. Great summer book!
reviewed Shopgirl on + 8 more book reviews
Nicely written, but it felt like a very intentional framework for making into a screenplay. Mirabelle was genuine, but Ray was a little too aloof to be believable.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 9 more book reviews
Steve Martin may be a funny comedian but I'm not fond of his book. Writing didn't seem to flow...
reviewed Shopgirl on + 15 more book reviews
I was really impressed by this book, which may have come at least a little for not expecting much, especially anything deep. But there was a lot of complication in this little book. While he breaks the "show don't tell" mandate of creative writing classes, I liked his style of writing. Though I felt the ending was missing...something...the rest of the book more than makes up for it.
reviewed Shopgirl on
Not exactly the finest example of literature, but mildly interesting.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 29 more book reviews
Good, fun read. Enjoyed the story.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 9 more book reviews
Steve Martin's touching story. Quick read.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 19 more book reviews
Entertaining read!
reviewed Shopgirl on
I was very disappointed - I just could not sympathize/empathize with these characters. Maybe it's just me - I've heard other people loved it.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 63 more book reviews
Mirabelli is the "shopgirl" of the title, a young beautiful woman in a wallflowerish kind of way, who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus. Mirabelle captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy businessman twice her age. As they tentatively embark on a relationship, they struggle to decipher the language of love and consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Filled with witty discerning observations.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 59 more book reviews
Very well written (keep the Webster's handy!), a little dark, some unresolved lines in the plot, but overall enjoyable.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 35 more book reviews
Interesting human story. A little sad, but I enjoyed it.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 38 more book reviews
Mirabelle works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus and attracts the attention of an older gentleman who can introduce her to the finer things in life, though not necessarily 'happily ever after,'as well as that of a young man her own age who is more awkward and unsure than Mirabelle herself. While I enjoyed the book, I was more intrigued by Steve Martin's ability to create characters that seem so real and true. No one is really a hero here. Each character has very likeable and unlikeable moments. A great read.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 78 more book reviews
Steve Martin's first foray into fiction is as assured as it is surprising. Set in Los Angeles, its fascination with the surreal body fascism of the upper classes feels like the comedian's familiar territory, but the shopgirl of the book's title may surprise his fans. Mirabelle works in the glove department of Neiman's, "selling things that nobody buys any more." Spending her days waiting for customers to appear, Mirabelle "looks like a puppy standing on its hind legs, and the two brown dots of her eyes, set in the china plate of her face, make her seem very cute and noticeable." Lonely and vulnerable, she passes her evenings taking prescription drugs and drawing "dead things," while pursuing an on-off relationship with the hopeless Jeremy, who possesses "a slouch so extreme that he appears to have left his skeleton at home." Then Mr. Ray Porter steps into Mirabelle's life. He is much older, rich, successful, divorced, and selfish, desiring her "without obligation." Complicating the picture is Mirabelle's voracious rival, her fellow Neiman's employee Lisa, who uses sex "for attracting and discarding men."

The mutual incomprehension, psychological damage, and sheer vacuity practiced by all four of Martin's characters sees Shopgirl veer rather uncomfortably between a comedy of manners and a much darker work. There are some startling passages of description and interior monologue, but the characters are often rather hazy types. Martin tries too hard in his attempt to write a psychologically intense novel about West Coast anomie, but Shopgirl is still an enjoyable, if rather light, read.
reviewed Shopgirl on
A beautiful book, very internal. Much better than the movie!
reviewed Shopgirl on + 62 more book reviews
I saw the film, read the book, and thought the book was excellent. A very sexy read.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 167 more book reviews
This is my favorite novella and movie of all time. I loved the story, the characters, from the first sentence to the last. Its a quick read, and one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. I could relate to the main character on so many levels. I think everyone should read this!
reviewed Shopgirl on + 175 more book reviews
I never knew Steve Martin to be an author until I came across this little novella in a book sale and got to talking to the librarian about it. Like the comedian, it was a pretty sharp and witty read. Perfect for a day in the park.
reviewed Shopgirl on + 55 more book reviews
Also registered on bookcrossing.

This was an okay story, not very memorable though.