Shopgirl – “Not Wild and Crazy”

August 14, 2014



by Steve Martin

Print Length: 130 pages

Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (July 1, 2001)

Paperback Price: $ 4.78

Buy from Amazon. Click Here: Shopgirl: A Novella

I recently read a book of Conversations with Steve Martin. After the exhausting Introduction (these were interviews printed in the media at different stages of his career), I didn’t know if I needed more.

But the chapters did prove interesting. In each he comments on what is happening in his life. From stand-up comic to actor/director, to writer. It made me glad I was not famous and didn’t have to live up to any particular expectations.

At the library, putting a hold on some of his essays from the New Yorker I picked up a copy of his book, Shopgirl. If I read it before It had given up on it before completing it.

In it he wrote more like a philosopher than a novelist, but given my interest in his life I found things I had not seen before. The female narrator works at a glove counter in a fancy department store but she is an artist and goes to gallery receptions (Martin is also known for his art collection). She meets an older man and we get both his and her conflicting ideas.

Given Martin’s personal life and his relationship with younger women, this is insightful if not particularly dramatic. It made me think. I also watched a DVD of LA Story which featured his wife at the time. It seemed dated. A better movie is Altman’s The Player.

The book I put on hold was Pure Drivel. It isn’t, of course, but with Steve Martin, maybe with anyone reading (or writing) books, there is a hint of loneliness. Not having conversations. A fear of being alone.

2 out of 5_edited-1




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