Steve Martin’s Shopgirl

“Her penalty is that the men she attracts with her current package see her only from a primitive part of their brains, the childish part that likes shiny objects that make noise when rattled.”

That struck me funny since it was only a few years ago that my kids’ eyes were drawn to shiny objects – so true! I’ve never heard a woman dressing to be a plaything described this way. Using the word “package” is perfect since it focuses on the exterior. In this passage from Martin’s novella, he paints a full picture of this character who lives in image-conscious Los Angeles adding that at thirty-two she doesn’t know about forty “and she is unprepared for the time when she will actually have to know something in order to have people listen to her.”

Martin is a perceptive writer. Perhaps the best humor comes from people who are keen observers of human nature, as Martin is. It’s a witty and engaging book; have you read any of his writing?

2 Comments

  • JP
    March 20, 2008 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Steve Martin is a genius and a national treasure. The post office should put him on a stamp.

    I haven’t read the Shopgirl book but the movie was intriguing. Martin does a good job playing himself. I may need to read the book now after reading a snippet of his prose.

  • Anonymous
    March 20, 2008 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read Martin’s book but I love this sentence.
    To me it says a lot about maturity. I’d like to think we learn to see people as more than just their exterior “package”. I agree with jp. Martin’s a national treasure.

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