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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  35,916 ratings  ·  2,783 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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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,916 ratings  ·  2,783 reviews

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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. Everyon
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
Jul 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: chumps
Shelves: in-my-library
A haunting 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
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
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.


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
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
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, 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. ...more
Connie G
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. ...more
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
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
Mar 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Poignant is the word that comes to mind when I think of this small, well-written, melancholy little book. And who'd have thought it was written by one of SNL's "wild and crazy guys."

Read the book first, but also check out the movie-- I thought it was a pretty good adaptation (makes sense since the book was written by an actor).
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
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
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
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
I've had this book sitting on my shelf for years. No reason for never picking it up and reading it other than inertia, lack of being in the right mood, or who knows. But now that I've read it, I love it. It's a small little story of average people who live average lives, but Martin shows a deep insight into the workings of both the male and female mind. He delves into the juxtaposition of how a relationship looks from the male side and the female side, which are far different perspectives, and h ...more
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
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
"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
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
A romantic novel by Steve Martin. It's funny, but I think his earlier stuff is better. Cliche, I know, but in this case, the cliche is true. Martin's never been the same since he went into family films. ...more
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
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...
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 muc ...more
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
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
Laura Gembolis
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hubba hubba! I saw this on a book list, and did a double take when I saw the author was Steve Martin. I looked who it was, and sure enough, it was the actor! This book is highly sexual, and a bit raunchy. I did not know Steve had it in him!😘 It is not an amazing book, but for some one who is not primarily a writer, it is very impressive. The other good thing about it is that it is not formulaic, and the story is unique. I will definitely check out the movie that it was adapted into!
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, fiction
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
Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it
I don't know why, but I almost want to perceive the story of the relationship of Mirabelle and Ray Porter as the author's parable of all relationships between older men and younger women.

A shy young woman toils in relative obscurity, unseen and unappreciated by her contemporaries (men and women alike), still emotionally a child waiting to bloom; an older man takes notice of her and is able to appreciate her youth and freshness and need for someone to notice.

Of course, there's the sex; but furth
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
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Books2Movies Club: 2020/02 - Shopgirl 1 10 Feb 15, 2020 03:40AM  
Does anyone know the quote of what is said at the very end of the movie? 2 106 Aug 16, 2012 06:31AM  
class-less 3 65 Aug 16, 2012 06:30AM  

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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

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