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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 (746 )
5 star
 (240)
4 star
 (268)
3 star
 (152)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (382 )
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (376 )
5 star
 (158)
4 star
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3 star
 (62)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    MARCIA Lake Forest, CA, United States 06-14-12
    MARCIA Lake Forest, CA, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretentious, Pointless and Plotless"

    I admire Mr. Martin, I do I do I do! I thought Shopgirl was a well written and enjoyable book, so I added An Object of Beauty to My Next Listen's queue. Bad decision! I groaned and grunted and rolled my eyes through this book. The good news is that I was working on a complex knitting pattern while listening and the book was so mindless, I was easily able to multi-task. I think Mr. Martin tried too hard to be pithy and clever and it fell flat. I think he forgot that a good book contains well-rounded characters that the reader may not like personally, but at least could understand. I think he forgot a good novel is supposed to have a story. I think he forgot a lot. On the good side: well I did learn a bit about art, art professionals and art collectors. And Mr. Scott is an excellent narrator. And best of all, I completed my complex knitting pattern unscathed! So unless you want to listen to a pleasant sounding man with a nice voice read a mindless book to you while you're knitting, I wouldn't recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Fentress 06-04-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    99
    10
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    "Such Insight Into the Art World"

    Enjoyed the storyline and the characters, loved the insight into a world I would never have access to. Is there anything that Steve Martin can't do?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Schwartz Israel 05-15-12
    Sharon Schwartz Israel 05-15-12

    happy shopper

    ratings
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    3
    3
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    "did not finish book!"
    What would have made An Object of Beauty better?

    If the plot were more foucused on telling a story than explaining to reader the details of the art collectors world...


    What could Steve Martin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    knowing that steve martin is a huge art collector, it felt as if he was showing off his knowledge about this world and less concentrating on the "human" aspects of the story. i read Shopgirl and enjoyed it very much. So I expected more of the same.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Campbell Scott?

    yes I would


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLynn 02-18-12
    JLynn 02-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quirky, sophisticated listen"
    Any additional comments?

    A sophisticated and dryly funny look at the cut-throat world of ART in Manhattan. A cautionary tale about acquiring it, selling it, and using it to move up the ladder of success. The narration by Campbell Scott is first rate, and the story, by Steve Martin, is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Mill Valley, CA, United States 01-28-12
    Michael Mill Valley, CA, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Steve Martin's best work"

    I love Steve Martin's comedy, and I moderately enjoyed the novel Shopgirl. He's a talented writer when it comes to the actual prose, but I found this novel difficult to get into or even care about.

    First of all, the main character (Lacey Yeager) is hardly likeable and terribly hard to identify with. I just didn't care about her. In fact, I just didn't care period. She's a self-serving narcissist who really doesn't have many redeeming qualities other than the fact that nearly every heterosexual man she meets wants to sleep with her. (She is not, by the way, a cardboard character; just seriously dull.)

    The best thing about this book is that it delves deeply into the pretentiousness of the art world of New York City. If that's what you're looking for, the book is for you. But if you're looking for a novel with captivating characters that you might care deeply about, I wouldn't recommend it.

    On the plus side, Campbell Scott does a wonderful job, deadpanning his entire way through. (In some ways, I realize that Scott and Martin have similar-sounding voices.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karin Colorado Springs, CO, United States 10-25-11
    Karin Colorado Springs, CO, United States 10-25-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it!"

    I really enjoyed the reader. I was just a little disappointed at first, Steve Martin did not read it himself. But his voice came through loudly with his story line, one liners and little hidden jokes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Santa Ynez, CA, United States 06-29-11
    Melinda Santa Ynez, CA, United States 06-29-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting slant on the art word, but....."

    Love Martin's vocabulary and descriptive sense but this story bogged down and was a touch boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Talbott San Jose, CA, United States 06-17-11
    K. Talbott San Jose, CA, United States 06-17-11 Member Since 2015

    kroset

    ratings
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    12
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    Overall
    "Need pictures for audible users!"

    I enjoyed the book very much, however was dismayed to discover upon finding a hardcopy at a friends home that there were pictures that weren't available for audio users.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lauren calabasas, CA, United States 05-31-11
    lauren calabasas, CA, United States 05-31-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BORING"

    THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE WRITTEN A REVIEW IN 5 YEARS- THIS WAS THE MOST BORING BOOK I'VE LISTENED TO AND THE FIRST I HAVEN'T FINISHED- THE READER WAS SO MONOTONE THAT I COULD HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP. I'VE LOVED ALL OF STEVE MARTIN'S OTHER BOOKS

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Starya DALLAS, TX, United States 03-09-11
    Starya DALLAS, TX, United States 03-09-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My first audible book!"

    This was my very first audible book and I'm hooked!!
    Loved the story, I know it was dry or slow for some but I'm an "wannabe" artist (using the term "artist" loosely) and it spoke to me! I hung on every word! I was frightened when I saw 68 chapters but I started on Saturday night listening to about 3 chapters and was finished by Tuesday evening on the way home from work!

    It was well written and the humor was dry and quick. Right up my alley! This was a selection for my book club and I truely enjoyed it. Well written and very interesting especially if you're a art buff!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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