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Editorial 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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    74
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    15
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    10

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Melinda
  • Lakewood, CA, United States
  • 12-09-11

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

  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carri
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 12-22-10

For the art educated...

It may be that one needs to be more educated in the art business to fully appreciate the nuances, but the story and characters are not deeply enough developed for me. However, if you are looking for a quick listen and love Manhattan it holds its own!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean
  • Sioux City, IA, United States
  • 01-17-13

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Deep peak into the workings of the NY Art Scene

If you care.

I suspect the main character is intended to be seen as sexy, powerful, and longed for, even with her obvious tragic flaws. What I heard was the cliche mix of unmet longing and subtle contempt felt by the narrator.

Campbell Scott was engaging enough to get me to the final sentence.

  • Overall
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Art novel, but better.

I love Steve Martin as a comic, but even more as a writer. If you enjoy Art, art history, with a Sex in the City vibe this audiobook is for you. Read by the author makes it even better.

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Great Art book, bad story

Love Martin but I found this book to be one long saunter through the life of the main character. I really enjoyed all of the detailed art content though. Overall, I enjoyed it but found myself wondering what the point was sometimes.

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An excellent 'read'

loved it. Steve Martin writes fiction you can feel. the only thing that would have made this Audible better if read by the Author.

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  • Rachel
  • YAKIMA, WA, United States
  • 09-15-13

Ok story

This book was ok. I read it because of an interest in art. It's an art book in passing, but I found more to interest an artist in Martin's "Born Standing Up," which concerns the making an refining of an artist's voice.

This book was, I'm not sure, a novel about a woman who sold stuff, schmoozed and conned people. Art was incidental to the story, romance was almost a focus, there was almost a mystery, there was not quite a chase. I don't know what to say about it. It was ok.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Did not enjoy

I wanted to like the book, and was interested in learning about the NY art scene. But although I listened to more than half, finally gave up. I did not care about any of the characters or the art, and found the narrator (who sounds very similar to Martin) to be equally boring.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful