Well written, compact, thought-provoking, and a tad funny. Especially interesting to anyone who's fascinated by the art world. Martins does a nice job writing about the art and trying to explain the essence of what compels us to love it.
I am a fan of Steve Martin's previous work.
I found the first and last hour of this book interesting, but getting through the middle was a struggle.
I hate not finishing audiobooks, but I really had to force myself to keep listening, hoping for a payoff that never eventuated.
Whenever the story started to become interesting, Martin pulls his punches - frustrating to say the least. I spent the first 5 hours wondering where this book was going and then how it could possibly get there in the 2.5 hours remaining.
I imagine those in the art world may find this tale of interest, but I was left disappointed.
Besides the great works that Martin has written (imo), the biggest joy was hearing him narrate his own works, his voice, the nuances and inflections he gave to it.
I was so looking forward to listening to him narrate another of his fiction works, then I saw Campbell Scott was the narrator. If I was asked to choose one narrator who I would NOT wish to read this book, it was be him...his voice is near monotone and offers no inflections or change of tone between characters.
First of all...Why didnt Martin himself narrate it??? He has done such an excellent job before...and then why, out of all the fine narrators out there, did they choose the one who has the least expression in his vocie?
Ive tried to get into the audo version, but its so hard, I know its a fine novel, but my rating reflects the audioversion of the book, not just the writing itself, as a true review of an audiobook must reflect the entire produciton, and this one is severely lacking in the performance department.
I would so love for another edition with Martin reading it to come out...I would pay double for that.
What I love about Steve Martin's writing is that it's a masterclass in using just a few words to create the most detailed, sensual and insightful prose. On the surface, this is quite a slight story, but with what can seem like a superficial glance, Martin mines deep into the characters's souls. At times, the prose was so beautiful I rewound to savour it again. He uses language and structure that perfectly echos the Manhattan art world that provides the setting and tone for the story. This is a cleverly constructed narritive too, the final chapter throws into question the narrator's motives and reliability. So I'm looking forward to listening to the book again with this new perspective. And as has been said by other reviewers, the narration by Campbell Scott is faultless.
I found this book slow, flat, predictable, with shallow characters, and read in a monotone boring way. This is against a lot of reviews I read before purchasing it, but it's my honest opinion. If you are not very interested in the NYC art world, consider the purchase well before making it.
Overall, this is not a bad listen by Steve Martin. I do think that his other two books Shop Girl and The Pleasure of My Own Company were more clever. The two were definitely more satisfying in the end (not that a happy ending is a requirement). I think it is a great "recent history" piece and an interesting look into a world I do not know much about - fine art collecting. The main character of Lacie was well-developed, but you still feel like you do not quite know her; I think this is intentional. There also is a nice snapshot of before and after 9/11 New York City which frankly I did not see coming.
This is the first Audible book that I couldn't finish. I quit a third of the way into it. It was not humorous or interesting.
I am not very interested in the NYC art world, not much into art at all really... and I loved this book from start to finish. I love all Steve Martin's work. Insightful, intelligent and thoroughly captivating. A great read, er listen. Steve Martin is brilliant. Campbell Scott's narration and interpretation of the many varied voices was simply perfect throughout.
I liked the story and I loved the narration. Campbell Scott, (who costarred with Martin in the David Mamet film "The Spanish Prisoner"), was a perfect choice for this novel: low-key, ironic and urbane. This type of story is a joy...nothing catastrophic occurs, but many things happen. The inside look at art gallery commerce and the art collecting culture was priceless. As a backdrop for a story narrative, it was perfection. I wished it would go on longer.
Steve Martin's book is a lovely glimpse into the art world. Full of ambition, lust and beauty. Martin's language, turn of phrase and character descriptions lyrically move us through the growth of contemporary art, world history and the excesses of the privileged of the 21st century. I was not certain I would like this book after I heard the publicity campaign, because I didn't imagine that Mr. Martin could produce such a luminous work. I am pleased to say I was wrong. It reminded me of the joy I get strolling through a great gallery and imagining the stories of the people around me. This is a great book and Campbell Scott provides a lovely reading of it! Enjoy it!