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An Object Of Beauty (2010)

by Steve Martin(Favorite Author)
3.4 of 5 Votes: 5
0446573647 (ISBN13: 9780446573641)
Grand Central Publishing
review 1: Not quite sure I "got" this book, but it was pleasant to read. Low key and detailed story of the rise and fall of a young woman making her way in the NYC art world, as told by a friend who was working the same scene. I haven't read Shopgirl, I've only seen the film, but from watching it I might guess that the book has a similar feel to this one, of the storyteller being somewhat detached and removed from events, even while reporting subtleties and details that indicate he was very present, all along.
review 2: What a contrast to my previous book, Alif the Unseen.An Object off Beauty has an understated (almost anemic?) plot, and main characters that are kind of hard to like. Nothing in this book is obvious. Looking at other reviews here on Goodreads, I see -- a
... morend can understand -- that the watery plot surrounding characters of suspicious motives turns off many a reader. So I've been thinking about why I didn't have such a negative response. Here's what I came up with...I won't even discuss the plot. It's only there to give Lacey and Daniel something do to while we watch them. It's the watching of them that is the important experience for the reader. As for Lacey, the presumed main character... she is either a selfish bitch, or a calculating, shrewd businesswoman. I can still go either way with her. But I think that's the point. Although there is nothing much in her for me personally (I would probably never be friends with her), I can say there was something genuine in her. She is driven by a need to be independent, and secondarily, successful. There is no meanness in what she does, but there is selfishness. I expect thats a tough balance to maintain while writing her. She so easily could have toppled into caricature.The last bit of the book comes as a surprise. In keeping with the feel of the anemic plot, the twist isn't a twist as much as a sideways glance. It's Daniel that is really important in the end. The narrator suddenly shows his cards as to why he is writing this unremarkable story. Two dimensional Daniel suddenly has some depth and ulterior motives that weren't apparent earlier. The key thing to understand when reading this review, however, is that I was thoroughly engaged with this look into the art world: Sotheby's, private traditional galleries, museums, and modern galleries. The manner of art business is such a mystery. I've always wanted to walk into those places, but have always felt self conscious and inadequate. I now know that those feelings are probably legitimate and I doubt I will be overcoming them soon. But at least I now have a taste of what's going on. This peek into a world I have a secret longing to be a part of might have made the rest of the novel's shortcomings acceptable to me. less
Reviews (see all)
Glad to be go finished. Not my cup of tea, but could definitely be appreciated by the right person.
Great book. I plowed through this in a day because I was enjoying it so much!
Good book, intriguing in that I don't know much about art or that world.
Better than I thought it was going to be but, werid ending.
A good audiobook for the car ride home.
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