An Object of Beauty a novel by Steve Martin

Summary ~An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

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

 

OMG!  It seemed to take FOREVER to read this book.  😦  I really REALLY wanted to love it.  Art world, New York City, glamour, penned by one of my favorite actors/entertainers.  But alas no.  It took me weeks to read this book.  It seemed at times like two or three books in one!  Snazzy, intellectual women’s fiction (only because the main character, Lacey, is a twenty to thirty-something female who dares to play the art world, has men falling for her at every corner, sleeps with whomever she wants and plays the game of love like a man would), art history course book, and a tad bit of mystery. 

"Watson and the Shark", John Singleton Copley, 1778

 

Art could be considered one of the back bones of my childhood.  Sis and I were always encouraged to express ourselves creatively, be it through drawing, water-color painting, singing, acting, dancing or writing.  The most common family field trip was to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  When I am in the city I always try to visit the paintings and sculptures that wait in the gallery like old friends.  One of my all time favorites made an appearance in the pages of An Object of Beauty.  It’s the painting you see above, “Watson and the Shark”.  I know a thing or two about art and my sister has made her career in the world of art in Pittsburgh, (read an interview my lil’ sis did for Yinzperation.com) which is why I chose to buy the book in its original form instead of on the Kindle.  The publisher uses very nice, crisp white paper throughout as a perfect canvas for the art work printed along with the text.  The paintings referenced in the novel are reproduced on the pages of An Object of Beauty in lush, rich color with the approximate sizes and dates of the original piece.  The story itself kept my attention for a while but then fell off with extended explanations of art background and annoying turns in narrative.  Oh, and why couldn’t Lacey stay with my favorite of all her men?  Why? 
 
“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, Dorothea Tanning, 1943

If you enjoyed Steve Martin’s novella Shop Girl as I did, you will find that An Object of Beauty has only one similarity: a young woman.  It may have been my distractions that kept me from thoroughly enjoying Martin’s latest work of fiction or it may have been the book itself.  Like any piece of art, this book may be something I have to revisit at a later time to see what I get from it versus what I didn’t get from it today.

 
{Rating ~ 3 out of 5}

1 Down and 32 To Go

Last night I finished “Shopgirl” by Steve Martin.  It is the first of 33 books I have challenged myself to read in my 33rd year.  This book was a gift from my sister and her hubby and boy did she pick a good one.  I LOVED this novella!!  I had to remind myself that the author was Steve Martin because for some reason this surprised me.  His writing was wonderful and transporting (though I pictured the actors from the movie based on the book throughout my whole read through) and I actually got a little misty-eyed at the end.  The character development was very well done and I invested a lot of sympathy for the characters as things occurred to them. 

Steve Martin described the depression that the heroine suffers from with such skill and understanding it made me wonder about his own experiences and then I was reminded that the hubby received Steve Martin’s new autobiography for Christmas and it’s on his nightstand right now.  I guess I can find out the answer to my questions with that book.  I totally recommend this short 130 page gem to anyone who doesn’t mind a reading about sex, depression and wonderfully written characters. 

I am still waiting for my copy of our January book “My War…Killing Time In Iraq” though I think today might be the day it’s in the P.O. Box.  Keep your fingers crossed because right now I am without a book to read.  Well not really without a book but I don’t want to pick up another title because I know the new one is arriving soon.

UPDATE:  My copy of “My War…Killing Time In Iraq” arrived in the mail today.  I plan on starting it tonight!

Until Then…

To pass the time until my copy of “My War… Killing Time In Iraq” arrives in my little P.O. Box here on Okinawa I decided to read SHOPGIRL” by the amazingly wonderful and funny Steve Martin. A NOVELLA My sister and her hubby gave this to me for Christmas and though I had seen the quaint and sweet movie starring Steve Martin, Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman, I had always wanted to read the novella since it first came out in 2000.  Well so far I love love love the story.  There are so many little things that you can’t get from the movie version and to know what the author meant for the character to be thinking in any moment is like a little secret for the reader to know but the movie watcher to never find out.  The novella is a mere 130 pages and I think on top of all the other things going on here I will probably finish it before the next book arrives to devour my attention.  I haven’t forgotten about my 33 in 33 self challenge and “SHOPGIRL” would be the first book on that list.  (“Pillars of the Earth” is waiting patiently for me to pick up again and let it take me back to the 1300’s.) 

Below I am sharing a picture of all the books the hubby and I received for Christmas/my birthday/hand-me-down’s  from my family while in the States.  They all finally arrived safe and sound on Saturday and the stack is very very high.  I am very excited about the stories waiting to reveal themselves to me.  I am also in need of a new small bookcase soon.  I prefer to have my books standing with great posture, proud and vying for my attention from the shelf but right now all these new books as well as some books I bought in November are laying on top of each other in staggered stacks in front of other books on the shelves.  Just another thing to put on my to-do list for this month.