Sunday, August 7, 2011

12 Books in 12 Months: A Book for Which You Have Already Seen the Movie

Book: Shopgirl
Author: Steve Martin

Image via Sasha & The Silverfish

We watched the 2005 film a while back and, to be honest, I didn't remember the story that well. The book brought it all back. However, in my mind's eye, I recast a few of the roles. Mirabelle (Clair Danes in the film) was played by Karen Gillian in my version (Amy Pond in Doctor Who). Lisa (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in the film) was played by Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris in Mad Men). On the other hand, it is impossible to imagine Ray Porter as anyone but Steve Martin.

I enjoyed the book. Martin offers an interesting view into the world of romantic relationships and the various roles men and women can play within them. I was a bit surprised by the lack of dialogue. If memory serves, the film was rather sparse in that regard as well. I know that writing dialogue is not easy but with all of Martin's experience in comedy, I think it's fair to expect something snappier. Martin deserves credit for creating vivid characters. He'd have done well to make them chattier.

Steve Martin is, of course, a mega-talented performer in multiple media. We watched PBS's "A Capitol Fourth" this year and I thought that Steep Canyon Rangers, Martin's bluegrass band, stole the show. Enjoy:

Watch the full episode. See more A Capitol Fourth.


I hope that you, too, will join the 12 Books in 12 Months challenge. Details are here.

If you'd care to join the challenge, please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me at Also, please tell me how and where I can follow your posts. Don't be shy about suggesting other categories, either. It is my intention to compile a new list of 12 once this one is completed. My only parameter is that no one should have to buy anything in order to complete the challenge - nothing beyond a library card required.

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