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

Martin is such a keen observer...

Having majored in Comparative Literature at a well-known university, I admit to being something of a literary snob. I had uncertain expectations for this novella by an actor. I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed by this well-paced, original story. First of all, the narrative itself is an inventive twist on a conventional love triangle. In fact, it is not really a love triangle at all, but rather the simultaneous story of three intersecting lovers. Secondly, Mr. Martin enriches the tale by weaving in all sorts of precise and humorous observations on daily life, depression, relationships, love, ambition, inertia, and human eccentricities. Some reviewers have said Mr. Martin did not do a good job at expressing and developing the female point of view. Quite the contrary, I was amazed at how well he seemed to be able to crawl into the female psyche. All the characters, with the possible exception of Lisa, were interesting, well-rounded, and real. I cared about them. I don't understand how people can say this book was depressing. Yes, there are moments of despair, but the end is so uplifting (without being trite and "Hollywoodesque") and the story is all about people lifting themselves up, learning to take control of their lives. How is that depressing? Plus some of the laugh-out-loud funny moments (like Lisa's capture of 'Ray') really balance the sadder moments in the book. I also felt that Mr. Martin was an excellent reader (and I have listened to hundreds of audio books). My only complaint is that the last quarter of the book read a bit like an epilogue. It was as if Mr. Martin was on a deadline or trying to meet a page limit, so he summarized the action in a sort of play-by-play rather than really writing the end of the book. I would have loved to read more of his wonderful prose, injected as it was with clever turns of phrase, interesting bon mots, and believable streams of consciousness.
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- Courtney

Book Details

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