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Shopgirl

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  33,570 Ratings  ·  2,610 Reviews
Lonely, depressed, Vermont transplant Mirabelle Buttersfield, who sells expensive evening gloves nobody ever buys at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills and spends her evenings watching television with her two cats. She attempts to forge a relationship with middle-aged, womanizing, Seattle millionaire Ray Porter while being pursued by socially inept and unambitious slacker Jere ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Hachette Books
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Bill Conrad Shopgirl was very well written and i really wanted to like it. My issue with the book was the overall plot. It followed a non-remarkable young woman…moreShopgirl was very well written and i really wanted to like it. My issue with the book was the overall plot. It followed a non-remarkable young woman through a her life. Not many surprises.(less)
Brenten Mirabelle is about 26 or so if I remember correctly. She 3 or 4 years out of college.

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Jason Koivu
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Welcome to Steve Martin's gallery of portraits!

The subject is the vacuous LA social scene.

First up and the focal point of the show: Mirabelle Buttersfield

Miss Buttersfield is a wallflower coming into her own. She works at a high-end clothing store. Her thoughts on romance and relationships are juvenile.


Next we have a brief study on Jeremy.

He begins as a slacker an evolves into a more successful bit of trite pomposity. His thoughts on romance and relationships are juvenile.


The next subject is
...more
Shannon
Jan 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: boring people
Edit: Goodreads just showed me the following quote from Steve Martin: “Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way.” Heh. I'm gonna go ahead and add that to my review here. Also, I am totes against GIFs/pics in goodreads reviews usually (because USE YOUR WORDS) but I will make an exception (b/c RuPaul and Visage):


OH, what an utterly FASCINATING look into the totally important and equally fascinating stereotypes regarding heterosexual sexual relationships. Everyone
...more
T G
Jul 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: chumps
Shelves: in-my-library
A haunting tale...in that I am still haunted by Martin's borderline misogynistic caricatures of women (and what he thinks we do in public restrooms (page 101)). He writes like a child who got a thesaurus for Christmas but has never read a great book, or been allowed to use the f-word, or met a woman, owned a pair of testicles (page 18), or employed an editor.

Don't believe me? Check out how he named his main character: Mirabelle Buttersfield. No one is named Mirabelle Buttersfield! Unless the au
...more
Shaindel
May 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Steve Martin fans, novella fans, people with emotions :-)
I read this book out of curiosity because I'd always wondered what kind of writer Steve Martin is. (I mean, I'd used his quote "I think I did pretty well, considering all I started out with was a bunch of blank paper" for YEARS in writing classes, at the tops of syllabi, etc. I could at least see what he'd done with that blank paper.)

I was pleasantly surprised. I *really* liked this novella. It was the right size for the story. I think too often writers cram a lot into a short story or stretch o
...more
Laura
Sep 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Steve Martin, how I love you.

But please, please, please don't write anything ever again.

Kisses,
Laura

PS: Please stop being in movies involving the words "dozen" or "bride" in the title. K thanx.

PPS: Also, if you specifically note on one page that your character does not have a couch, only a FUTON OH MY GOD HOW CLICHED IS THAT, as a really lazy way of saying she "isn't grown up yet," and then later say that a visitor to the character's apartment never saw her cat as it HID UNDER THE COUCH, serious
...more
Theresa Abney
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
"She knows that she needs new friends but introductions are hard to come by when your natural state is shyness." p.4

"However, Jeremy does have one outstanding quality. He likes her. And this quality in a person makes them infinitely interesting to the person being liked." p.8

"She is offering herself to him on the outside chance that he will hold her afterward. She feels very practical about this and vows not to feel bad if things don't work out. After all, she tells herself, she isn't really inv
...more
Nikki
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, xoxo, moody-blues
The story wants to be deep. It wants to paint a delicate picture of the world and wow you with its simple truths. It wants to sing straight into your heart, but it doesn't realize that it's tone deaf and, well, stupid. The only thing you can really do is pat it on the head and say, "Poor thing," and then maybe give it a piece of pie because its life will be filled with nothing but disappointment.
Connie
Mirabelle works at a boring job in the dressy glove department at Neiman Marcus, selling a product that few people stop to buy. The shy artistic woman longs for more in her life, and needs to feel loved. But the dating scene in LA is superficial and cutthroat, and she often makes unwise choices. It's hard to believe she is twenty-eight years old since she acts much younger. The novella is bittersweet and darkly humorous as Mirabelle looks for genuine love and happiness.
Antigone
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
One imagines, easily, that Steve Martin has done some hard time in fine department stores. Perhaps he was with Bernadette Peters or Victoria Tennant, or any of the many beautiful women he's been known to escort around town; afternoon strolls that clearly included revolving doors and escalators, a hint of rich perfume in the air, the light refrain of piped-in piano, and a rack of Armani couture that called to his lady with its siren song. He has been parked, one imagines, several times in one of ...more
Jesse
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Steve Martin is surprisingly adept at prose. A master of the comedic genre, Mr. Martin manages without pretentiousness to imbue the story of a slightly imbalanced shopgirl, Mirabelle, a veritable everyday girl with little to do of anything, with a mirth and understanding that undercuts all of his celebrity and stand-up.

Mirabelle meets both a fledgling creature Jeremy and a middle-aged millionaire Ray Porter. The short novella explores with a flat, unflinching, and sometimes almost dull eye the c
...more
Lissa
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it
I picked up Shopgirl at the Strand for $4.95. I had heard of it vaguely as the movie with Steven Martin in it as an adaptation of the book Steve Martin wrote. I purchased it as a book that I could take with me on vacation and have it be ultimately disposable. Sometimes this trick backfires on me as I end up really liking a book and toting it home with me regardless of my original intentions. This is not one of those times.

Shopgirl tells the story of depressed, artist Mirabelle who works behind
...more
Amber
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Mirabelle works as a Glove clerk at the Neiman's department store in the mall in L.A. . While she is fighting off depression and questioning her self-worth, two men pursue and lust after her: a slacker named Jeremy and a rich playboy millionaire named Mr. Ray Porter. Can Mirabelle find out who loves her before she gets hurt? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was the first ever book that I have read by comedian/actor Steve Martin. It was a funny and sad read. One of the parts that made me la
...more
Evan
The eponymous 28-year-old shopgirl of this book, Mirabelle, works in the stultifyingly dull job of selling gloves at Neiman's in Beverly Hills and yearns for love but isn't sure how to go about it, accepting what she can get, including the affections a well-to-do 50-year-old traveling businessman. Even though he should know better, he wants to play both ends against the middle; hurt on all sides is inevitable. There's plenty of arrested development to go around; the 50-year-old knows as little a ...more
Flora
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Bored, I checked this out of the library one day, and I have to say, I found it surprisingly affecting. It's easy to sneer at Steve Martin for being a lit-pretender, but this wasn't a pretentious book in the least. It's a melancholy (not depressive), wise, and well-drawn portrait of a young woman in a sad, tender, no-strings-attached relationship with a wealthy older man who cares for her, but does not love her, and while this may sound banal, there's something extraordinary about this ability o ...more
Kelly
"Just three months later, it happens to Ray...a 45-year-old woman ...touches his heart and then breaks it flat. It is then Ray's turn to experience Mirabelle's despair, to see its walls and colors. Only then does he realize what he has done to Mirabelle, how wanting a square inch of her and nor all of her has damaged them both."

That's about the best quote I can pick to illustrate what this novel is like. This falls under those quietly heartbreaking pieces that I like. It's not amazing or ground
...more
Don
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a strange little novella and in my opinion kind of wonderful. This is not a comedy, not a novelization of Roxanne or anything like that but rather a more serious take on two lovers, one older, one younger. The story is told in three acts, but little else in this book -- not the characters, not the way events unfold -- feels Hollywoodized.

Martin's narratological approach is refreshing, more Victorian than contemporary. The narrator continually intrudes into the story, explaining each cha
...more
Jessica
Jan 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ack. In his zeal, perhaps, to convince the world
that he's a serious author, Steve Martin writes a really, really terrible book. Kindly, one might call it spare, modern, zen-like; honestly, one might call it artificial, pretentious, and boring as hell. Its a coming of age novella about one emotionally crippled shopgirl named Mirabelle and her dalliances with a flake named Jeremy and a pompous older guy with the personality of a paper plate, named Ray Porter. Poor, artistic, dumb glove-selling Mir
...more
Diane
Apr 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like words
Recommended to Diane by: Co-worker
This book was a surprise to me, loaned for on-the-plane reading after I'd finished the book I'd brought on the trip.

I had low expectations of the writing and the story. Both were pleasant surprises. Written in almost elegant prose, the characters in their small lives unfold. Vignettes of their lives are neat and complete, stacking on top of and inside one another, until the chain of experiences moves each character to a different place. It may seem insignificant or that the characters just drift
...more
Lynx
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
I was in absolute awe while reading this at Steve Martins beautifully written prose and at how well he captured not one but two extremely different types of women. I cannot recommend this novella enough. Excuse me while I go search for his other books...
Bark
I read and really enjoyed Martin's The Pleasure of my Company a few years ago. It was quirky and sweet and I found it very funny in parts. I was hoping for more of the same with Shopgirl when I stumbled across this unabridged audio but for some reason it's not working for me.

At all.

I'm finding myself bored and annoyed. It's about a 28 year old woman who works in a shop selling "gloves no one wants to buy" and lives like a newly graduated college student. She's lonely and shy and wants to meet a
...more
EJ
Jul 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
I love Steve Martin. <---This was how I was going to begin this review. Cushioning the harsh criticism with true admiration. Before I continued ...after that first line I decided I was much too harsh and I went into other goodreads reviews of this book to see how close my opinion was with the general public...and I found what I had predicted I would find. A whole bunch of people who loved his book. In between those admirers i found a few, who like me, love his work and want to make known how ...more
Rebecca
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Allison, Ellen S., Tamara
I re-read this during the snowstorm and liked it almost as much as the first time. I have not seen the movie, because it can't be as good as the book. I have not written down any favorite quotes, because I would have basically been transcribing the book. The novella is short and the story is quiet, with only three (maybe four) main characters. I've probably never identified with an adult character as much as I do Mirabelle (even though she suffers from clinical depression and I do not). How Stev ...more
Gerry
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shopgirl may be thin, but it's not light. Some might think that Martin, in his debut novella, would go for the easy laughs of his earlier books, Cruel Shoes and Pure Drivel. Instead he draws a stunningly lifelike portrait of a young woman, Mirabelle, and the two suitors who don't so much win her heart as force it to change alliances.

There's humor--how could there not be--but it's found in characters and not situations. This is not a book populated by props who stumble into ridiculous circumstanc
...more
Adam
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: coming-of-age, humor
I decided to read Shopgirl for two reasons. The first is I just finished Steve Martin's autobiography Born Standing Up, which I really enjoyed. Based on that experience, I was curious to see what Steve Martin's fiction would be like. The second is my wife gave Shopgirl glowing reviews and recommended it to me. She rated Shopgirl "5 Stars" and told me that it is one of her favorite books. She described the book as, "quirky, but funny". I don't think the book is either.

I read another review of Sh
...more
Tina Rae
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: steve martin film fans
How can a movie that seemed so horrible and so sad be such an amazing book when the novel and screen play were written by the same person? Shouldn't they be, i don't know.. the same? It just doesn't make sense. Anyway, this was a wonderful book. Yes, it made me cry just as much as the movie did but the book was just so much better. The book leaves you more at peace with the ending. The movie just throws the ending at you and expects you to accept it. Thankfully, my favorite movie line was in the ...more
Jennifer
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2002, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
It's a story about loneliness. The people are pretty messed up and the environment (Los Angeles) is straight up consumerism at it's worse. And despite the loneliness and the crass consumerism, the characters still strive for connections.
Corey
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not surprising that this is funny but that it is not 'Steve Martin' funny. Instead it's subtle, wry, sensuous, observant and delicately nuanced. Martin writes well about romance and is insightful about both his male and female characters. He also made it into a movie with these strengths.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2007
I saw the movie (based on this book) last year sometime, so I knew what to expect in terms of plot and characters. But I wish I'd read this before watching the movie, because I would have understood - not all the characters better, but Ray Porter in particular, who doesn't come off so well in the movie.

Shopgirl is about a young woman, Mirabelle, who works in the glove department of Neiman's - which means she rarely ever sees a customer. She's an artist, and takes medication for depression. She
...more
Dawn Michelle
Jan 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Recommended to Dawn Michelle by: Saw the movie first
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Does anyone know the quote of what is said at the very end of the movie? 2 95 Aug 16, 2012 02:31PM  
class-less 3 63 Aug 16, 2012 02:30PM  
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Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician, and composer. He was raised in Southern California in a Baptist family, where his early influences were working at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm and working magic and comedy acts at these and other smaller venues in the area. His ascent to fame picked up when he became a writer for the Smothers ...more
More about Steve Martin
“It's pain that changes our lives.” 492 likes
“...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.” 293 likes
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