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An Object of Beauty: A Novel | [Steve Martin]

An Object of Beauty: A Novel

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the New York 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Fans of Steve Martin might at first be disappointed when they note that the talented actor, writer, and musician doesn’t narrate his latest work himself. But once they hear Campbell Scott’s voice, their minor distress will be assuaged. Whether by nature or by practice, Scott’s voice is a near replica of Martin’s — a baritone with a slightly nasal quality that rarely rises or falls in pitch, but still inexplicably conveys incredible depths of emotion.

An Object of Beauty thoroughly entrenches readers in the subculture of the Manhattan art world by following Lacey Yeager, a young, morally ambiguous art dealer who will do anything to make her mark — and make her millions — in the fine art business. Narrator Daniel Franks is an aspiring art writer and friend and witness to Lacey’s life — and accidental co-conspirator to a misdeed that could ruin both their careers. Yet, like most people in Lacey’s life, Franks is drawn into her web willingly, due to her uncanny ability to beguile men, from wealthy art collectors to FBI agents — a skill that aids her speedy ascension in her career.

Thanks to Scott’s pitch-perfect performance, Martin’s presence is felt — and not missed — throughout the reading. The subtle humor is sharp and the plot is driven forward by the desire to uncover where the boundaries of Lacey’s integrity lie — if there are any. Part mystery, part intriguing character study, Martin’s latest creates a dilemma for the listener — you don’t like the protagonist, yet you can’t help but want to know more about her and the sometimes seedy world in which she dwells. —Colleen Oakley

Publisher's Summary

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the New York 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.

©2010 Steve Martin (P)2010 Hachette

What the Critics Say

"Martin compresses the wild and crazy end of the millennium and finds in this piercing novel a sardonic morality tale." (Publishers Weekly)

"[A] clever, convincingly detailed depiction of NYC’s art scene." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (738 )
5 star
 (239)
4 star
 (264)
3 star
 (150)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (375 )
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (369 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amelia BROOKLYN, NY, United States 02-11-11
    Amelia BROOKLYN, NY, United States 02-11-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible."

    I can't believe I made it through this one. Martin presents the recent history of the art world in a 101 manner, a lot of facts given over in an almost didactic tone. I found the lead female character so ridiculously flat and unbelievable. She is a sexual fantasy of a character, and absolutely devoid of any real complexity. All of the characters were flat and cartoonish. ! found myself annoyed to the point of grunting out loud to some of the worst passages. I don't think I'll be able to try another book by martin.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bibi sterling San Diego, CA, United States 02-01-13
    bibi sterling San Diego, CA, United States 02-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    17
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    "I used to like Steve Martin"

    Admittedly I did not get very far in this book. I listened to "Shop Girl" all the way through, just waiting for the moment the heroine would develop into a woman of interest and depth but I was sorely disappointed. I just couldn't bare hearing another of Steve's books start out so similarly shallow.

    Either he really doesn't understand women, or he surrounds himself with pretty women devoid of depth. Or maybe it's both.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean Sioux City, IA, United States 01-17-13
    Dean Sioux City, IA, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Steve Martin Delivers again"

    Steve Martin once again delivers a great book. Who knew the actor could do the research required to deliver a compelling story of the art world and how it works and also an interesting love story as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Morley Decatur, GA, US 01-03-13
    Susan Morley Decatur, GA, US 01-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Steve Martin's a GREAT writer!"
    Would you listen to An Object of Beauty again? Why?

    Campbell Scott has the perfect voice for this story set in New York's art world. I could listen again just to hear his voice!


    What other book might you compare An Object of Beauty to and why?

    This has the same pace as Party Girl.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the ending, it wraps up the story nicely and leaves you a little melancholy.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Steve Martin always has lines that you want to bookmark and find a way to use in casual conversation...not that I can pull it off.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aimee Toronto, ON, Canada 12-29-12
    aimee Toronto, ON, Canada 12-29-12 Member Since 2012

    Custom jewelry designer who listens to books while she works.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great for anyone familiar with the art scene"
    Any additional comments?

    The part when the main characters attended art openings was perfect. It wasn't apparent what or where this plot was going, which was refreshing. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Metaphorical 1 Dekalb, Illinois, US 12-24-12
    Metaphorical 1 Dekalb, Illinois, US 12-24-12 Member Since 2010

    metaphorical 1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Renassaince man strikes again"
    Where does An Object of Beauty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Steve martin establishes himself with this book as a master of another trade. Beautifully written,and spoken, book about the art world and it's inhabitants where the primary motif seems to be the meaning of beauty itself.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smart shopper Los angeles, ca USA 12-20-12
    Smart shopper Los angeles, ca USA 12-20-12 Member Since 2012

    Smarsho

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Too much background research, too little story"
    What would have made An Object of Beauty better?

    A plot line. It was mainly a description of the art auction business, with underdeveloped characters who weren't sympathetic. Maybe it got better, but I gave up about a quarter of the way through.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steve Martin again?

    Sure


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    No


    What character would you cut from An Object of Beauty?

    Seemed to be mainly two characters, and I could have done without both of them.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 12-12-12
    Heather 12-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent story"
    Any additional comments?

    This book surprised me and I really loved it. It has a unique voice and I was completely enthralled by the story. Campbell Scott's voice was eerily similar to Steve Martin, so I think he was the perfect choice. I highly recommended this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Clearlake, CA, United States 11-26-12
    Stephanie Clearlake, CA, United States 11-26-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Look Into the Art World"

    I really liked this book. The characters, dialogue and story rang true and I found it all compelling enough that my mind didn't wander while I was listening. I think some people might find it a little slow or lacking in drama and/or thrills. I enjoyed the quality writing and glimpse inside the business of art.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Lakewood, CA, United States 12-09-11
    Melinda Lakewood, CA, United States 12-09-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love this book & and I love the narration"

    I loved Lacie Yager.
    I love Campbell Sott.
    I love Steve Martin.

    I have listened to this book several times.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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