An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

An Object of Beauty

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1...

Details An Object of Beauty

TitleAn Object of Beauty
Release DateNov 23rd, 2010
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
GenreFiction, Art, Contemporary, Novels

Reviews An Object of Beauty

  • Kelly
    About three-quarters of the way through this, I decided this book reminded me of something. The question of what it was started to bother me more than actual questions arising from the novel. At first, I thought it must be its resemblance to other novels written by smart men about fascinating, terrifying women they cannot either understand or, despite numerous injuries, quite break free of. The women where one can never completely decide if they ...
  • Diane
    This novel is gorgeous, both in prose and in presentation.An Object of Beauty is the story of Lacey Yeager, a young woman who is determined to succeed in the New York art world. Lacey can be cunning and manipulative, working her way up from the basement of Sotheby's to owning her own gallery, and at times it felt wrong to be rooting for her, because she could be so cold. Her story is told by Daniel, a friend and art writer, who is quietly jealous...
  • Mon
    Here's the million dollar question:Without googling the respective of the below artworks, what do you think is the similarity between them? First off, paintings!Now sculptures. Ok I'm tired, I originally planned to do an installation, mixed media art comparison as well. Like I said, TIRED. Ready? For the paintings, the first one is Renoir's Le Moulin de la Galette, and the second one de Kooning's Woman 3. ...
  • Danny
    As a giant Steve Martin fan, and one who loved his novels "Shopgirl" and "The Pleasure of My Company," I found his newest novel absolutely disappointing.Taking place in the stuffy New York City world of fine art collecting and dealing, "An Object of Beauty" follows Lacey Yeager through her nearly two-decade career in Manhattan. The result is rather dull. While Martin's writing is well done, the story itself is forgettable in just about every way....
  • Betsy Robinson
    This is a compelling character portrait in the guise of an art caper, that simultaneously delivers a rich cultural history of the art world and its zoo of bombastic players in the competitive sport of collecting and selling. An Object of Beauty recounts the dramatic vicissitudes from the late 1990s to the recession, and does it with such an artistic hand that you might miss the depth of knowledge that weaves this story together. The story is told...
  • Shorty
    what an amazing novel. Martin wrote with a beautifully prosaic voice, and kept me spellbound throughout. I highly recommend this novel, if not for the characters, story line, or art history lesson, then for the pictures, which I loved him adding. It sure saved me time from Googling them online, in order to refresh my memory.Martin's descriptions of the art, and the era, were more than apt; they were precise and unerring. He knew the art world lik...
  • Michael
    This is a tale which renders a fascinating portrait of the inside world of art dealers in New York City in the 90s as shown through the trajectory of young Lacey as she starts as a poorly paid intern at Sotheby’s auction house and works her way up to running her own gallery. I found the read fun in the same way as “The Devil Wears Prada” was for the fashion industry. I liked the collision and collusion of art as a creative wonder and art as...
  • TL
    Picked this up at my library where they had 'blind date with a book' by the front door. Each one had the first lines of the book printed on the card. ---The opening paragraph for this one caught my eye right away:I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet I worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to ever write about anything else." Our narrator Daniel is a 'friend' o...
  • Claire M.
    Given my limited amount of money, I always read a ton of reviews (NOT on amazon) before I buy a book, so it was with some measure of disappointment that I noticed that Steve Martin's latest had a number of very mixed reviews, with the majority of them being negative. I bought it anyway. I loved Shopgirl and found his autobiography riveting, so I plonked down some money for the hardcover.I find myself agreeing with the majority of these reviewers....
  • Brian
    The working title for this could have easily been N.Y. Story, which is a little bit of a surprise from the very-Californian Steve Martin. The book is a tour through close to two recent decades of NYC life, as seen through the prism of the city's art world. At times it seems like the art history lessons and plot/character bits were written separately and spliced together, but more often than not they hang together well enough. The book is a quick,...
  • Melanie
    I would give this 2.5 stars if possible but rounded up to three. I came soooo close to abandoning this one. For the first half I felt like there wasn't much plot. It's a story about a woman living in NYC involved in the business of buying and selling art. She is not a likeable person. Very narcissistic. In the second half the story picked up a bit. Very interesting learning about the art world (there are some pictures of the artwork mentioned in ...
  • Patrick
    I picked this audiobook up on a whim, and really, really ended up really enjoying it. In my opinion, the writing was really top-notch. The language was clever and witty and lean. The story is charming and insightful, and subtle. It's character-focused, without being the sort of self-indulgent literary thing that I really dislike. The story itself centers around several characters who work in the New York art world. I don't know anything about art...
  • Vonia
    I admit that I did not like this at first. In retrospect, it had a lot to do with me expecting something else entirely, given the author and his other works. I have to say Steve Martin impresses me in new ways all the time. His other fiction was so wonderful, I expected more of the same. Whereas it is more of the same, in that it is great fiction with well developed characters, humor, insight, etcetera, there is a not insignificant difference her...
  • Gail
    Reading Steve Martin's new book is a pleasure best reserved for someone with an interest in art. Someone who can tell a Cezanne from a de Kooning. Not familiar with either? A Pollack from a Picasso, then, at the very least. Being an art lover myself, I was quickly wrapped up in a storyline that, along the way, seemed less concerned with the outcome of its main character as in cluing readers in to the inner workings of the art industry (high-stake...
  • Blair
    This third novel by comedian and actor Steve Martin boasts a great opening line, which I found impossible to resist:I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet I worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to ever write about anything else.The narrator is Daniel, an art writer in 1990s New York. However, he is a largely featureless figure, with his narrative (as the above...
  • Mary Ronan Drew
    At the Academy Awards they always introduce the winners as “multi-talented.” Normally that means they can walk and chew gum at the same time. But in the case of Steve Martin, author of An Object of Beauty, an Emmy, Grammys, a very successful career as a comedian and actor, and two excellent books of fiction, not to mention a stageplay, screenplays, a children’s book, a comedy collection, and pieces for the New Yorker and the New York Times,...
  • Caitydid
    I can respect that Steve Martin is capable of writing sober, sensitive and thoughtful fiction. Nevertheless, in reading An Object Of Beauty, I kept wishing that at least bits of Martin's dry comedic voice would enter into this slow, vaguely disappointing book. As with Shopgirl, Martin's Obsessed with a beautiful, if sad, young woman. It took about two paragraphs to get the obvious metaphor of the title, that the 'object of beauty' here was not th...
  • Gerald
    Mixed review: Character study 5 stars. I really like Lacey Yeager for (no doubt, because of) all her faults. She is sexy, clever, manipulative, shameless, and almost totally heedless (though not quite). Humor 2 stars. While this story is not a melodrama, it's not a comedy either. Dry wit is the operative mode. I didn't find myself laughing. An occasional smile, I admit. Plot and storyline: 3 stars. I always wanted to know what would happen next. ...
  • Kevin
    First off, I think Steve Martin is brilliant. I would buy him lunch any day just to listen to his stories. This book is a look at the art world in New York. Some interesting moments, but many moments I found just... meh. I would say the book is best suited to those who love art and/or New York.As I try to write this review I agree with Steve...“Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way.”
  • Paula
    I liked Steve Martin's Shopgirl a lot, and I'm also into art, so I thought I'd enjoy this book more. The best thing about it is that Steve Martin knows how to write about art; his descriptions of the many paintings in this book are readable and beautiful, better than the stuff you'll get from major art critics any day. Martin writes about the art world from the 90s to the present with clarity and authority.But: I wish Martin's characters here wer...
  • Luna Saint Claire
    If you love art and the intrigue of the art world, this one's a must read. I didn't know Steve Martin wrote stories like this, and I couldn't put it down.
  • Amanda NEVER MANDY
    I savored this book. I’m not going to say that it was the best damn book I have ever read but that it did what a story is supposed to do, entertain. I purposely read it slow because of the author’s voice. I wanted the words to flow around in my mind a little longer than usual, so I could recreate the art it was painting right before my eyes. I found myself staring longingly at the few pictures of different art pieces contained within its page...
  • Diana
    It was fun to read about the contemporary art market in NYC in the last art bubble, and Martin is great in his dead-on descriptions of people, organizations, deal-making, gallery openings, and the contemporary art world in general. But this didn't outweigh the fact that I couldn't stand the 'voice' of the narrator. It is never really clear why he knows all the things he knows, and it was annoying that Martin chose to use the narrator to key reade...
  • Sharon
    Fun and zesty, exactly what I needed after several heavy reads. He's a good writer - smooth and strong, free of any celebrity author shortcuts, and if the prose is somewhat unspecial, it also leaves the characters room to breathe for themselves. He perfectly captures the urgency and tirelessness of young ambition in NYC (as well as handy examples of how to work a room and manipulate powerful people!) and the trajectory of the story is also a thou...
  • Eh?Eh!
    Interesting description of the art world and collectors. Unlikeable main character, i found her unrelatable, described as being vibrant and funny but the scenes intended to demonstrate these were not successful - so awkward in a way that makes me wonder if it needed a physical context like Steve Martin's humor. Felt like a less successful reworking of Shopgirl except she doesn't grow. She doesn't come across as a real person, just a vehicle for t...
  • Bonnie Brody
    I really wanted to like An Object of Beauty: A Novel. The book itself is lovely to look at. It has a wonderful cover, art reproductions inside, and even the quality of the paper is great. I enjoyed Shopgirl: A Novella and it was with great anticipation that I started this book. It was downhill from page one.The book is a first person narrative told by Daniel about his friend Lacey Yaeger. Lacey is in her early 20's when the book begins and is clo...
  • Edmole
    Throughout this book I felt guilty, as I did not enjoy this book on any level, but I love Steve Martin on many levels. It was like going to a friend's gig which is not too hot, and you can't shut off the critique centre of your mind. Thankfully, I did not have to have a pint with Steve Martin after, with him asking "So... what did you think?".It's about the upward arc of a woman making her way in the world of art dealership. She is as vapid, unli...
  • Kelly
    It's not that this book was bad. It's just that its content didn't interest me. It was an interesting insight into the art world and the lives of people who have excessive amounts of money to spend. Also, I couldn't stop imagining Steve Martin as the author, which reminded me of watching a movie and then being unable not to imagine Leonardo DiCaprio as the main character while reading the book.Favorite line: "Her knack for causing heartbreak was ...
  • Laura
    The older I get & the more I see, the more I understand that many people’s lucky breaks are a sham - they are engineered crimes, to varying degrees of illegality.And the older I get, the more I root for characters like Lacey Yeager. She is a self-made woman in a rarified stratum of society - the art world. She belongs there. She’s got the knowledge; she put in the hours; she cultivates the relationships. She just needs some cash. And she find...