Shopgirl by Steve Martin
Genres: Fiction, Novella
Maturity Rating: 5
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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 Jeremy.
Ouch, one-star? Sorry Steve. I wanted to love your book as much as I love your movies, but I just didn’t. The humor style was completely different than I’m used to seeing from you, and I didn’t connect with it at all.
The biggest problem with Shopgirl was that I found it vulgar. There’s not a lot of things about books/movies/stories that I absolutely cannot move past, but vulgarity is one of them. If vulgarity doesn’t bother you, especially purposeful vulgarity done to make a point about men, then you might enjoy this book more than I did.
But I didn’t really enjoy much of anything about this book. I found the characters uninteresting and cliche (again, probably done on purpose), and I found I didn’t care even a little what happened to them. This made the plot, obviously, irrelevant, but I found it boring as well. The writing contains very little dialogue, and the experience of reading this book was more like listening to a narrator tell it than experiencing it. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it better if I had listened to the narration in Steve Martin’s voice… Probably not.
I don’t give out one-star reviews very often, and I don’t want people to think this was a BAD book. It seemed to be written well-enough, especially if you like satire. I just didn’t enjoy it AT ALL and mostly spent the book looking forward to it being over.