29 Jul 2016

THE OBJECT OF BEAUTY.

AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY by STEVE MARTIN.

BACK COVER BLURB: Lacey Yeager is beautiful, captivating, ambitious - and determined to conquer the exhilarating New York art scene. Groomed at Sotheby's, and hungry not only to climb the career ladder but also to infiltrate the city's social elite, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich  .... and even richer. Art prices are rocketing and Lacey inveigles her way to heart of the boom. But just as the art bubble looks set to burst, a secret from Lacey's own past threatens to detonate everything she has worked for ...

FIRST SENTENCE {Part 1: Chapter 1}: I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet I worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to write about anything else.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 248}: "What was the Gober like?" Brooke asked.

"It's a kitchen sink," said Hinton.

"A what?" said Saul Nathanson.

"It's like a kitchen sink that hangs on a wall, but with an elongated back'" Flores told him. "Plaster and wood: it's an amazing piece."

Kip Stringer couldn't resist: "The sink is evocative of cleaning, but the fact it is on a wall, without plumbing, not functioning, creates cognitive dissonance. It embars the viewer from the action it implies." 

SOURCE: A Readers Group read.

MY THOUGHTS: The beauty of reading groups for me is that you get to read all manner of books that you may well not have ever considered. Something that sometimes pays off and other times doesn't .... alas in this instance I'm afraid this proved to be the latter.

I might well suggest that Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) not give up his day job but (a) that would be incredibly rude and (b) I'm informed that he is no stranger to the art world or, indeed, for that matter, having written two previous books (neither of them about art I hasten to add), the literary world.

Part novel but what I'd describe as more of a whose-who and whats-what in the art world. I'm hopeful that this might appeal to those with an interest in the art world but I'm afraid I struggled.

Seemingly predisposed to ramble without actually saying much, Mr Martin has an awful tendency to capture scenes in excruciating detail. Perhaps necessary if this were a film script but unnecessary here ... or so I felt.

Not too keen on Lacey as a main character but then arguably this should have been neither here nor there .... if hers was a well written character but like the others she was pretty much instantly forgettable.  

Disappointed and puzzled as to how little we actually came to know the narrator (supposedly Lacey's closest friend despite what seemed like her contempt for him ). I thought this very odd given the importance of his role come the end of the novel. 

Ultimately if nothing else I'd like to be able to say that I came away from the novel having learnt something of the art world but, a deadly dull read, I'm afraid I found myself, my attention wandering, unable to retain much of what I was reading.



14 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Hmm probably not one I'd go out and buy. I enjoy his comedy performances and have wondered about his books. Sorry to hear it didn't work for you.

carol said...

It's a shame this didn't work, the blurb sounded good.

Kelly said...

This doesn't sound like one I'd enjoy at all. I do like Steve Martin, especially his music, but this is the first I knew of him as a writer.

kimbacaffeinate said...

I like Martin although admittedly I didn't even realize he wrote. Nevertheless this isn't my cup of tea. Thanks for sharing :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Yep, he does know his art and does know his stuff. One of his books became a movie (he was in it as well... but the name escapes me atm). I've not read him but I have wanted to try his philosophy stuff. Not sure if this one is for me, but I might enjoy it since I enjoy art.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for sharing your usual honest and forthright thoughts about this book, I always appreciate that.

I am not a Steve Martin fan at all, and although that has nothing to do with whether I would read this book or not, I have to say that I found the premises for his other books, equally as strange and rambling as 'An Object Of Beauty'.

I am in no way an art expert, however I do enjoy a good book with the art world at its centre, but this one simply doesn't do it for me, without me even needing to open the cover.

I wonder what the general concensus of opinion was amongst the other book group members?

Have a good weekend :)

Yvonne.

Aunt Mary said...

I like Steve Martin as an actor but sorry I am not going to read this book. Thank you so much Tracy for your honest review. I always enjoy reading your reviews.
Have a great day :)

Melliane said...

It's difficult when it's like that and well it means everything when you can't remember what yu're reading...

Brian Joseph said...

It sounds like this book might be aimed at folks already knowledgeable about the art scene that it takes place in. I wonder what someone who was familiar with that world would think about it.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one more. I had no idea that Steve Martin had written any books. Interesting!

I like book clubs for the same reason you mentioned- I have been introduced to many books I never would have picked up through my book clubs. Some good- others great- some not so good. :) Thanks for sharing.

Karen Alderman said...

I read Martin's novel, Shopgirl, and wasnt' that enamored with his writing style so I probably wouldn't' bother with this one.

At least you got to discuss it as a group read. Sometimes that makes the duds worthwhile lol

Karen @For What It's Worth

Melliane said...

ah sorry to hear that it was a disappointment there...

Barbara Fisher said...

Art scene and Sotheby's got my attention right away. I have always wanted to work for an auction house but without any knowledge of the art world, it’s not something I am qualified for. I started reading your post with high hopes and now feel very disappointed. Never mind, I have plenty of books recommended by you still to read so will happily pass on this one.

Gina R said...

Yeah, definitely not one for my wish list either, though I do enjoy a quip or two from him on Twitter now and then.