Waney, December 29, 2012 (view all comments by Waney)
I loved this book for its intelligence and originality. Steve Martin has been an art collector for years and his knowledge of the subject shines through here. My experience is limited but even so did not feel that I was in over my head as the book traversed the art world in New York from the 90's to 2009. The main character is Lacey Yeager, a beautiful, smart, shrewd businesswoman who steps over anyone to gain success, first at Sotheby's as a nobody, then finally owner of her own galleries. This is one book I think I'll hang on to so I can read it again and again.
Emily Otis, February 16, 2011 (view all comments by Emily Otis)
The YMCA crowd wouldn't be too happy with this Steve Martin book, but I enjoyed it. While his slapstick humor has certainly been put away, his wit is still present, and the story is certainly engaging. It seemed to me that there were some awkward grammatical situations, but they certainly didn't detract from the book.
juliedal, January 12, 2011 (view all comments by juliedal)
Art hovers between our dreams and reality... that line (paraphrased) has been on my mind all day after finishing this wonderful book last night. Martin captures well the notion that not just art, but also certain people in our lives can serve as a welcome liaison between dream and reality.
writermala, January 10, 2011 (view all comments by writermala)
"An Object of beauty" is at once a love story and a titillating novel about the machinations of the Art World. In Lacey Yaeger, Steve Martin has created a Powerful character whom you don't know whether to admire or chastise. The book serves as an art Primer to those who have no experience in the Art World and a visit into familiar territories to those used to dabbling in fine art.
Sheri Barth, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Sheri Barth)
I love Steve Martin's writing and think this book might be his best. The art history and pictures, the charcters and storyline, are all so great. I was entertained and learned something. Steve Martin continues to surprise and amaze me with his talent!
Grand Central Publishing -
In the '90s art world, Lacey Yeager is on the make and on the rise. She is selfish and unlikeable but has an astute charm that draws people in. I couldn't stop reading until I found out if she would succeed or go down in richly deserved flames.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Martin compresses the wild and crazy end of the millennium and finds in this piercing novel a sardonic morality tale. Lacey Yeager is an ambitious young art dealer who uses everything at her disposal to advance in the world of the high-end art trade in New York City. After cutting her teeth at Sotheby's, she manipulates her way up through Barton Talley's gallery of 'Very Expensive Paintings,' sleeping with patrons, and dodging and indulging in questionable deals, possible felonies, and general skeeviness until she opens her own gallery in Chelsea. Narrated by Lacey's journalist friend, Daniel Franks, whose droll voice is a remarkable stand-in for Martin's own, the world is ordered and knowable, blindly barreling onward until 9/11. And while Lacey and the art she peddles survive, the wealth and prestige garnered by greed do not. Martin (an art collector himself) is an astute miniaturist as he exposes the sound and fury of the rarified Manhattan art world. If Shopgirl was about the absence of purpose, this book is about the absence of a moral compass, not just in the life of an adventuress but for an entire era. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review A Day"
by Andrew Butterfield, The New Republic,
"A mix of artists, collectors, dealers, and writers wander in and out of the plot, which is contrived to include all parts of the New York art scene, from private Upper East Side galleries to downtown alternative spaces, and the story includes a few standard art world misdeeds: stolen paintings, fakes, self-dealing. Martin interposes fictional characters with real people — Larry Gagosian, William Acquavella, John Updike, John Richardson, Peter Schjeldahl, and other well-known figures make cameo appearances. Many of the settings of the book are stenographically rendered as well — the restaurants, the bars, and the galleries where the glitterati of the art world actually hang out." (Read the entire New Republic review)
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Martin includes reproductions of artwork referenced in the text, lending another layer of sophistication to an already absorbing story. An artfully told tale of trade, caste and the obsessive mindset of collectors."
"This page-turner is likely to make readers feel like they have been given a backstage pass to an elite world few are privileged to observe."
by Library Journal,
"[Martin] examines the New York fine arts scene from its late-1990s heyday to the present.... his agile musings on art and the business of art will give book clubs much to discuss."
Lacey Yeager charms men and women with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallels the highs and lows of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.
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