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Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Object of Beauty: A Novel by Steve Martin

From book flap:

"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"

So writes Daniel Franks, the narrator of a story about the woman he's been unable to let go of for years...Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take on the notoriously demanding art world of New York City.  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 charisma and liveliness.  Her career sends her zipping all over Manhattan, the east coast, and even St. Petersburg, and her self-manufactured allure makes the reader wonder if it is not she who is the object of beauty.  Her ascension to the highest tiers of New York parallels the soaring heights - and, at times, the darkest lows - of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today. 

My thoughts:

I loved this book!  It was intelligent, informative, interesting and extremely well written.  Truthfully, it made me aware of what a talented author Martin is.  The ease and flow of the story, coupled with the fascinating characters who are real and flawed, made for quite a captivating read.  I was spellbound from the first page.  What Martin has done is create a book that not only tells us the story of the rise and fall of Lacey Yeager, but also teaches us about a world filled with hiearchy, duplicity and money.   He also includes pictures of the very paintings being held at auction or adorning the walls of someone's NYC apartment - which I loved looking at!  And, he teaches us how to discern an authentic from a knock-off, the reasons why an artist suddenly becomes so popular and how much money it  takes to run a gallery.  In fact, you are left wondering why you hadn't ever wanted to learn about the NYC art scene before (or at least I was). 

Steve Martin has written a brilliant book about a woman determined to succeed in a world that runs on riches, art and reputation; a woman who is an object of beauty and so much more.  Read it!

Happy reading!!

26 comments:

Frances said...

So glad to hear you loved it! I really enjoyed his other work especially Shopgirl, and am looking forward to this one. But some of the critics have been brutal!!! Can't wait to judge for myself.

Nadia said...

Frances, can't wait to find out what you think of it. I've never read anything else by Martin, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'll have to add Shopgirl to my TBR list now :)

Anbolyn (Cousins Read) said...

I've always been curious about how the art world works so I might have to pick this one up!

Nadia said...

Anbolyn, its definitely an intersting read and you do learn quite a bit. Hope you enjoy it!

bermudaonion said...

I listened to Steve Martin's memoir, so I knew he could write. This book sounds right up my alley!

Michael Ward said...

Great review. I've never read any Martin, but he's on my radar now. It's also a great gift idea for my wife who is a lover of fine arts and art history.

Steph said...

Oh so glad you loved this one! It was one of my favorite reads of last year and I was just so very impressed with it. I hope more people read this one because it's surprisingly awesome. It definitely made me more interested in reading more of his stuff!

Nadia said...

bermudaonion, I'm glad to see you liked his other work then - makes me positive its worth reading.

Michael, thanks! And this sounds like it would be a great gift for your wife.

Steph, I know! I read your review of it and that got me to read it. I hope more people read it, too. Its such a surprisingly good book.

Wallace said...

I literally just picked this up at Barnes and Noble yesterday. I'm so excited to read it. I think it will be a next pick for me. Glad to see that you liked it... it makes me even more excited to read it thank I already am!

Nadia said...

Wallace, you will enjoy this book! Its so good!

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

Sounds great! Adding it to the list.

Nadia said...

Connie, definitely check it out!

Ti said...

I didn't care for Steve's memoir but his novels have garnered quite a bit of praise. I'm so glad you liked this one. I really should try to read one of his novels because I love his wit and humor. He's such a talented guy.

Bellezza said...

I was surpringly impressed with Shopgirl, (what, a Wild and Crazy Guy couldn't write? That's what I half suspected!) so I've been eager to pick this up. All the more so as you recommnd it.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Steve Martin has always made me smile. I must try this book.

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Definitely one I'm looking forward to reading - I need to read Shopgirl, too. I'm quite behind in this!

Nadia said...

Ti, you are so right - he is definitely a talented guy. Try one of his novels - I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Plus, I want to hear what you think.

Bellezza, I have to read Shopgirl! Sounds like its just as good as this one. And, yes, pick up his new one, you will like it! Truthfully, I thought the same thing ;)

Diane, me too! Hope you enjoy this read.

Coffee and a Book Chick, hope you like it as much as I did. Its just such a fascinating read. And I'm behind, too:)

petekarnas said...

There's been a lot of discussion on different blogs about how movie stars can't (and shouldn't) try to write novels. For the most part, this holds true, but I think that Steve Martin is the exception. I haven't read this one, but I loved Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company. They're both so well-written and intelligent. I am looking forward to getting a copy of this one. Thanks for the review!

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

I was a little leery of this book...thanks for the review, it sounds like an awesome book. I love that it goes into the New York art scene.

Karen said...

I have been trying to decide whether to add this one to my TBR pile or - but you have convinced me that I should!

Nadia said...

petekarnas - I have to be honest and admit that sometimes I think the same thing (about movie stars or models writing books), which is why I'm so glad to be proven wrong. Martin's writing is excellent. I'll definitely be checking out his other works.

Lisa - I know what you mean, I was the same way. But after I read this great review of the book I just knew I had to give it a chance and I'm so happy I did. Hope you enjoy it!

Karen - yay! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!!

Tom C said...

Your review confirms that I shall have to get this one - I am a great fan of Steve Martin, who seems to be multi-talented in the extreme - being also a brilliant banjo player.

Nadia said...

Tom, I know! He is quite the Renaissance man. And I had no idea about the banjo until I read that he won a Grammy for his cd. Seems like Martin is quite an interesting fellow. Hope you enjoy this new novel of his.

Brenda said...

I never read any of his books, but I saw Shopgirl. It was quirky.
I am impressed that he writes. How many actors really do?

I mean fiction not their memoirs.

How have you been Nadia?

kissacloud said...

Glad to hear you loved it! I'm eager to read it too, for the art, and because Shopgirl was wonderful.

Thauna said...

I've had this on my to read list since it came out....I was so excited when I heard about it. I love Steve Martin. I loved ShopGirl. I think he is brillant. I'm glad to hear you really liked it.