There is no doubt that Steve Martin is a modern-day Renaissance Man. He’s a talented actor and incredible… author? Reading Steve Martin’s latest novel An Object of Beauty, I was confronted with more than a few questioning looks. “Is that written by the Steve Martin?” It is! Amazing, no? And all you thought he was good for were those “Father of the Bride” movies.
An Object of Beauty, however, deserves more credit than my interrogators were giving. Martin is more than a celebrity autobiographer or author wannabe. He’s a successful and eccentric author, and his latest book is a stunning masterpiece.
Set in the Manhattan art scene, An Object of Beauty chronicles the adulthood of a dynamic young woman named Lacey Yeager. Narrated by Lacey’s college friend, the book follows Lacey as she ascends the art world ladder; from the basement of Sotheby’s to her own ill-fated Chelsea gallery, Martin beautifully describes the glamorous world that Lacey struggles to fit in to. As Lacey climbs up the ladder (and, incidentally, into the laps of many an artist and collector), Martin’s narrator captures her every move, both sensual and shady, like a sculptor captures his model in marble. Lacey is a character of conflicts, unchanging and flowing, stubborn and easygoing.
Martin’s writing, accented with color illustrations of relevant modern artworks, is a work of art itself; like a painting in a museum, it stands apart from other works; it is a masterpiece, with layer upon layer of paint brushed perfectly onto the page so that the whole work blends together in a succession of color and emotion. Martin takes a time period and makes of it a canvas to be painted. One chapter after another, he layers on character, setting and story and leaves the reader with a masterpiece to behold.
Like the true Renaissance Man, Steve Martin is a man of many talents; actor, comedian, producer, musician, and writer. His work is rich and full and An Object of Beauty is not to be missed.
— Lauren Kolodkin, Contributor