Books Magazine

Coming of Age Novel That Falls Just a Little Flat, Review of Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty”

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

Coming of Age novel that falls just a little flat, Review of Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty”Narrated by friend and former lover (but not lover long enough to have his heart broken) Daniel, An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin follows the life of a young, ambitious art dealer named Lacey Yaeger.  Lacey is ambitious, gorgeous, smart, and willing to use everything she has to get ahead…whether those deals are strictly legal are not are up for moral debate.

Lacey starts at Sotheby’s where she builds her reputation as talented and ruthless art dealer and works her way up until she opens her own gallery in Chelsea.  There’s more to this story than just Lacey’s professional endeavors though.  It is Lacey that becomes an object of beauty in her youth but as that youth and her reputation begin to tarnish so do Lacey’s dream.

As a reader I found it hard to have sympathy with Lacey’s character. To put it bluntly, I didn’t like her…but I think that’s part of Martin’s point.  Lacey is not the loveable heroine you hope

Coming of Age novel that falls just a little flat, Review of Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty”
succeeds at the end of the book.  She’s a person who, thanks to the way she lives, will find it difficult to have any kind of long term success. The ironic thing is, while the risky choices of Lacey’s youth are what ruin her in the future, she ends her story as a woman afraid to take risks.  The once youthful and ambitious girl willing to spend more money than she had on a painting she didn’t need loses opportunities because she isn’t ready to risk.

Then there’s our narrator Daniel whose friendly interest seems to run closer to adoration than what he claims and even at the end of the book you’re left wondering if his exposure to the art world has left him wanting a different kind of  beautiful object.  It’s hard to completely trust his narration as we find out he is writing Lacey’s story in an attempt to win over another lost love who has been disillusioned by his relationship with Lacey.

Coming of Age novel that falls just a little flat, Review of Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty”
At its heart An Object of Beauty is about the ambitions of youth and how those ambitions can be both the reason for our success and our downfall.  Combined with the story of a pre and post 9-11 New York (which adds its own interesting dimension to the book) An Object of Beauty makes for an interesting and beautifully written piece.  The plot itself is not that original.  The story of a beautiful, manipulative, and ambitious girl whose fast life catches up with her as she ages.  Not exactly a story no one has heard before.  But the way Martin tells it, with a touch of sardonic humor and captivating prose, makes this a quick read that’s worth your time.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog