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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Book Review: Shopgirl - Steve Martin

Read for the Book to Movie Challenge.

Interesting little book.

The story centers around Mirabelle, a shop girl in the LA Neimans, and her relationship with Ray Porter, a much older man. At its heart, the book is about transitions. It’s clear from the beginning that this is a relationship that was never meant to last, and Mirabelle and Ray both become different people by the time their relationship ends.

It was interesting reading this book, knowing that it was written by Steve Martin, because it’s not a book I would have expected to come from him. This book is not a laugh a minute comedy. In addition, the subject is superficially one that would be handled in a chick lit book, though it was immediately clear it was written from a masculine perspective.

I definitely liked this book. There was something very wistful about the tone, and I was very interested in seeing how Mirabelle would progress through the story. She was definitely the most real character - everyone else was simply there to help her move through to the next stage of her life.

I’m very interested in seeing the movie version of this novella, to see how it translates to the screen. There’s something tenuous about everyone's existence in the novella; they’re only partially formed (an important point to the story, for various reasons), and I’d be interested to see what a screenwriter and director would make of this material.

7 comments:

Callista said...

It doesn't really sound like a book I would read although I must agree that it doesn't sound like something you would expect from Steve Martin either.

I've added a link to your review to the Book to Movie listing.

Megan said...

Yeah, I'm not sure it's anything I would have read either, had my boyfriend not called my attention to it. Though I'm glad I did.

Eva said...

I saw the movie, and I really loved it. However, I'm not sure that I'd read the novella, since Steve Martin was in charge of both.

Do you plan to see the movie?

Megan said...

I'm going to get it added to our Netflix list, but I'm not sure where it'll end up in priority, so who knows when I'll actually get to watch it.

Nymeth said...

This is one of those rare cases in which I think I enjoyed the movie better than the book. Maybe it wasn't because I didn't like Steve Martin's writing all that much. But that doesn't mean I didn't also enjoy the book.

The movie is a pretty faithful adaptation, even though they changed the ending for some reason. But I only found that later, because I read the book after I'd watched it.

Pattie said...

I read this one too!
http://freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com/2007/09/book-to-movie-2-shopgirl.html
Here's my review of both book & movie.

Zonda said...

Such a special book!