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An Object of Beauty: A Novel by Steve Martin
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An Object of Beauty: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Steve Martin

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990698,659 (3.54)54
Member:rightantler
Title:An Object of Beauty: A Novel
Authors:Steve Martin
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2010), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Stewart's Read, Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Y12, fiction, art

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An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

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» See also 54 mentions

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Martin's novel gives a searing critique of the art world from it's galleries in Manhattan and Paris, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and the the hollowed halls of Sotheby's told through the questionably deserved meteoric fame of a young woman. This novel will give would-be artists a realistic look at the art world. ( )
  lisa-ann | Jun 9, 2014 |
This novel was OK. I found it hard to stay interested in, but I loved the art-world perspective. ( )
  Taralovesherpaper | Jun 5, 2014 |
Like other reviewers, I was disappointed with An Object of Beauty after really enjoying Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company. Shopgirl in particular resonated with me in an emotional way, and that's what's missing from An Object of Beauty.

His depiction of the New York art world is interesting, and I enjoyed seeing the reproductions of some of the paintings that figure into the plot. However, Lacey is a rather unfeeling character, which does a disservice to the story. Since Steve Martin is so passionate about art himself, I would have thought some of that passion could have come through in the story. ( )
  keneumey | Jun 4, 2014 |
Claire got this for me for Christmas in 2010. I was pretty stoked about it - I love Steve Martin (a love we share, we're both crazy for the film My Blue Heaven) and his novel The Pleasure of My Company is one of my favorite books. I took this book with me when I visited my grampa in the spring of 2011 - and I'm glad I did. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
Interesting inside look at the art world, but Lacey Yeager is a despicable person. ( )
  Doondeck | Aug 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
"I couldn’t be a woman," Steve Martin once joked, "because I’d play with my breasts all day." Now he has written a novel about a young woman, but nearly the only thing he can imagine about her is wanting to play with her breasts. The Object of Beauty is a nasty exercise in narcissism, particularly in the narcissism of the famous.
 
Dark subject matter is conveyed with certain smart-assey detachment. Martin knows when to drop a joke in before things get too serious. Timing. Comedians have it.
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, John Bear (Dec 16, 2010)
 
“An Object of Beauty” follows the New York art world climb of Lacey Yeager. She is a charismatic character yet a very odd one to have emerged from the imagination of Steve Martin. Although Lacey is treated as this book’s main source of fascination, it’s less interesting to look at her point-blank than to look at her while wondering what Mr. Martin sees.

One aspect of this novel’s allure is the ambiguity with which Mr. Martin frames Lacey’s fierce, outsize ambitions. Is her story meant to be the appreciatively told tale of a canny New York predator? That of a relative innocent whose values change in the presence of vast sums of art-market money? Or that of a stylishly attractive dynamo who, with only minimal irony, recognizes herself in the monstrous goddess that Willem de Kooning painted as “Woman I?”

Is she an unalloyed opportunist? Or is she as intoxicated with art as she is with the leverage and entrée that expertise will bring? Is she stirred by art’s erotic power or just someone who sexually exploits the acquisitive passions of insatiable collectors? Does she share the collectors’ boys’-club competitive spirit (for surely this is a man’s world, at least in the way it is depicted by Mr. Martin)? Or is she just a woman who’s inordinately good at manipulating rich, credulous men? . . .

added by PLReader | editNY Times, Janet Maslin (Nov 28, 2010)
 
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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.
Quotations
"I think Lacey is the kind of person who will always be okay."
When she was alone, she was potential; with others she was realized. Alone she was self-contained, her tightly spinning magnetic energy oscillating around her. When in company, she had invisible tethers to everyone in the room: as they moved away, she pulled them in.
Was every transgression capable of being so well hid? It suggested that one could connect the dots between any two people in any room and perhaps stumble onto an unknown relationship.
"Do you know we tape all our auctions?"
When Lacey began these computations, her toe crossed ground from which it is difficult to return: she started converting objects of beauty into objects of value.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446573647, Hardcover)

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 1990s through today.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Steve Martin's latest novel examines the glamour and the subterfuge of the fine art world in New York City"--Provided by publisher.

(summary from another edition)

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