Shopgirl

  • by Steve Martin
  • Narrated by Steve Martin
  • 3 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the country's most acclaimed and beloved entertainers, Steve Martin has written a novella that is unexpectedly perceptive about relationships and life. Martin is profoundly wise when it comes to the inner workings of the human heart.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.

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What the Critics Say



Grammy Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album
"Martin's elegant, bleak, desolatingly sad first novella is in every sense his most serious work to date." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loved it

This was my first audible book to listen to and I am now hooked. I loved this book so much that I bought the bound version for 11 of my friends and relatives for Christmas, however I believe they may not enjoy it as much as I since they won't be fortunate enought to "hear" the author read it. I would love to see more from Steve Martin, as writer or narrator.

The only negative is that the book seems to end in the middle of Mirabelle's of a sub-plot. It was such a strange spot to stop that I thought my player was broken our hadn't downloaded the entire book. If I had been "reading" the book I would have anticipated how close I was to the end, but with audio you never really know, and this book did not end well. Still I enjoyed it a great deal, perhaps there will be a sequeal, to pick up where this one strangely stops.
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- Julie Rosenthal

slight

I know that I should have done a better job of managing my expectations when I settled into my car to listen to Steve Martin's "Shopgirl." Over the years, I have admired how the author has managed to keep a strong following while at the same time continuing to push into more "mature" projects. That said, I found myself a bit disappointed by the story of Mirabelle the Shopgirl.

Mirabelle is the saleswoman at the counter of the glove department of Nieman Marcus. Mirabelle is a small-town girl fighting depression and loneliness in Los Angeles. She is in her mid-twenties, feeling her way through her post-college awkwardness in a city that doesn't know what to do with a shy artist from Vermont.

We follow Mirabelle through two romantic relationships. One with a wealthy businessman and another with a slacker in the guitar amplifier business. The meat of the book is found in the inner-thoughts of the characters who are all feeling their way through the politics of sex, commitment, love, and relationships. Interestingly, I found that the descriptions of the thoughts of the secondary characters were more fully explored than those of the main character. I suspect that the thoughts of the male characters came more easily to the author. Somehow, I found the thoughts of the shop-girl herself to be largely caricatures of what men think that women are probably thinking. I'd be interested to hear the comments of women that have read this book.

I doubt that I would have even considered this book had it not been for my familiarity of Steve Martin. That being said, it was a nice non-challenging book to listen to while commuting. Don't come expecting the Steve Martin of The Three Amigos. Don't come expecting the Steve martin of The Spanish Prisoner either.
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- Bob

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2000
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio