An Object of Beauty

An Object of Beauty

A Novel

Book - 2010
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"Steve Martin's latest novel examines the glamour and the subterfuge of the fine art world in New York City"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., c2010.
ISBN: 9780446573641
Characteristics: 295 p. :,col. ill. ;,24 cm.


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daymakerdave Feb 15, 2011

This is the first book I've read by the legend of comedy. This book goes deep into the world of high-end art dealing in New York from the 90's to present. As an artist I found it fascinating but not exactly compelling. The characters are average and the plot isn't exactly riveting, but all in all... Read More »

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Jun 14, 2016

Not my favorite Steve Martin book, it did have some interesting observations on the art world and the value of art. I do like how he writes of a picture that water is the earth and the moon is our dreams and the moonlight shining on the water is Art. That image will stay with me long after the characters fade.

Sep 12, 2014

I enjoyed two other books written by Steve Martin but this one just dragged a little bit. It's taken me a couple of weeks to get through it, partially because I only read on the bus and during my lunch breaks and also because there is less dialogue and too much description of what a person looks like or is wearing.

Jul 21, 2013

I was quite surprised at how good a novel this was, and so unlike the comedian that we all know. Martin has written an extremely well written and entertaining novel. Even if you aren't into art (which would include me), I think you will enjoy this book. I would recommend this to anyone and would give it a B plus or A minus.

Aug 02, 2012

This book provided some mildly interesting comments on art. The characters' downfall is due to the economic context, not their individual failings.

Mar 05, 2012

Such a fun, easy read! My book selected "An Object of Beauty" and I could not have been more happy with the choice. I usually struggle finishing books within a one month window, but I finished this within a week because I found Martin's writing to be funny and sexy. I was not a huge fan of the ending, but would still recommend the book.

Jan 23, 2012

Well - this is an interesting, skillfull work. I loved several of the plot resolutions ( eg the ISG theft ) As a novelist, you are turning into a contender, Steve Martin!

BPLNextBestAdults Jan 05, 2012

Steve Martin; comedian, actor, musician and now novelist! This is Steve Martin’s first full length book. He has written 2 novellas Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, as well as his autobiography Born Standing Up. He is a skilled writer and is very knowledgeable about art.

Object of Beauty is written in voice of the narrator Daniel Chester French Franks, an arts journalist in New York City. It follows the career of his college friend, Lacey Yeager, beginning in the 1990s when she is a 20 something Art History graduate who has just landed her first job in the basement at Sotheby’s auction house. We follow the ups and down of Lacey’s career over a number of years and she gains more experience and tries to make some money with art. The New York City art world is undergoing great changes as it goes through good times, a recession and 9/11.

This is an entertaining read which gives the reader insight into the New York City art world. Included are 22 full colour reproductions of works which the story featured in the story including Le Mondaine by James Tissot and Flowers by Andy Warhol.

May 03, 2011

If you're a lover of the art world, especially the buying/selling of art, this book may be more up your alley. For me, I couldn't get into the story. I felt too distant from the characters. I didn't care at all about the main character, Lacey. The plot skimmed through events like 9/11 and the stock market crash, when I feel the author could have ran with them and added a lot more interest and feeling to the story. It cared mostly about art, and less so about story/characters/flow of plot.

Apr 24, 2011

The simple, unadorned style of writing contrast the elaborate, extravagant subject of the world of fine art. It is well written but the plot reads like a bad teen novel, complete with fairly 2-D characters. As an novice to the world of high end art, I think the little pictures help draw me into that world, but still not enough to arrest me. Not brilliant but not bad for a summer read.

Mar 05, 2011

Lacey Yeager is a young ambitious woman working in the New York art world in the last 20 years. You see what it takes to make it and lose it. It's all told by her college friend, an art critic, Daniel.

The book contains illustrations of many pieces collected, bought and sold, so there's no need to look them up as you sometimes have to do in books about art! Steve Martin has written another entertaining little book.

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HelenTeri Jul 28, 2011

The downtown men were tolerable because Lacey always viewed them as short term. The uptown men were intolerable because they were presenting themselves as long term. And there was always something fishy about them. She knew what a struggling artist was, she knew what a deejay was. But what was someone in finance? Her worst dates were those on which the other party tried to explain what he did, which was usually prefaced by "This is really boring, but..." and then the explanation would be reeled out in detail. Once, Lacey responded, "You lied when you said it was boring. You should have said it was beyond boring."

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