01 July 2009

Book Review: Shopgirl

I broke a record reading this book. I picked it up last night around 9 p.m. and finished it by 5 p.m. this afternoon. I do have to give Benny some massive props for taking a three-hour nap today. That certainly helped.

by Steve Martin (yes, the comedian) was a nice breath of fresh air after the dense and not-too-interesting The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Granted, Shopgirl is only 130 pages, so I can't really compare the two books in any way.

The book is set in early 2000 L.A. It focuses on Mirabelle, a 20-something artist who supports herself by working at the glove counter at Neiman's. By all accounts - her's included - she is not an interesting girl. She struggles with depression and immaturity. But she is beautiful and catches the eye of two men: Jeremy and Ray. Jeremy is a loser and Ray is a successful older man. She falls in love with Ray, but he is not looking for love. This is a story about Mirabelle maturing and plodding through a difficult time in her life. And I think Martin captures the frustrations of depression very well.

This novella is organized into short chapters that highlight the highlights of Mirabelle's life. It moves quickly. I won't divulge much of the plot because I would highly recommend reading this book. It's quick and entertaining. Shopgirl is also a movie (starring Steve Martin as Ray). I also remember thoroughly enjoying the movie.

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