Shopgirl

Steve Martin, Author Hyperion $25.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6658-8
Movie star Martin shone in the comic essays of last year's Pure Drivel--but can he write serious fiction? His debut novella gives fans a chance to find out. Shy, depressed, young, lonely and usually broke, Vermont-bred Mirabelle Butterfield sells gloves at the Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus (nobody ever buys); at night, she watches TV with her two cats. Martin's slight plot follows Mirabelle's search for love--or at least romance and companionship--with middle-aged Ray Porter, a womanizing Seattle millionaire who may, or may not, have hidden redeeming qualities. Also in and out of Mirabelle's life are a handful of supporting characters, all of them lonely and alienated, too. There's her father, a dysfunctional Vietnam vet; the laconic, unambitious Jeremy; and Mirabelle's promiscuous, body-obsessed co-worker Lisa. Detractors may call Martin's plot predictable, his characters stereotypes. Admirers may answer that--as in Douglas Coupland--these aren't stereotypes but modern archetypes, whose lives must be streamlined if they are to represent ours. Except for its love-hate relations with L.A., little about this book sounds much like Martin; its anxious, sometimes flat prose style can be affecting or disorienting, and belongs somewhere between Coupland and literary chroniclers of depression like Lydia Davis. Martin's first novel is finally neither a triumph nor a disaster: it's yet another of this intelligent performer's attempts to expand his range, and those who will buy it for the name on the cover could do a lot worse. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 163 pages - 978-0-7538-1283-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6378-9
Hardcover - 978-1-58724-012-6
Paperback - 130 pages
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-0666-3
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 978-0-7868-7165-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 144 pages - 978-0-7868-7162-9
Ebook - 144 pages - 978-0-7868-7164-3
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 144 pages - 978-0-7868-7161-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2449-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-9906-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-0667-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-5090-1
Paperback - 130 pages - 978-1-4013-0827-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 130 pages - 978-0-7868-9107-8
Ebook - 978-1-4013-8745-7
Ebook - 76 pages - 978-0-316-33233-0
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