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
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
"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)
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!
I really loved listening to this story. The narrator was perfect. I did have to keep running to my computer though to research all the artists and artworks mentioned--glad I did! While entertaining me with his interesting and well-written story, Steve Martin also introduced me to some visual art that I've fallen in love with.
First, I adore Steve Martin! The story line was very interesting to me because I am not 'in' the art world but have always been curious about the characters that make it up and have made it up for my life time and beyond. Steve Martin's style is so easy on the ear and I love his analogies...sometimes on the edge of cliche but he always hits it on the head and I get it when he describes things in that way. Steve Martin is Analogy Man :-) Campbell Scott did a fantastic job narrating this novel. In a way his voice is as close to Steve Martins as someone can get but he had his own twist and he toggled back and forth throughout the characters flawlessly. This was a fun listen. Thank you Steve and Campbell...
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