An Object of Beauty

  • by Steve Martin
  • Narrated by Campbell Scott
  • 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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


Audible Editor Reviews

Fans of Steve Martin might at first be disappointed when they note that the talented actor, writer, and musician doesn’t narrate his latest work himself. But once they hear Campbell Scott’s voice, their minor distress will be assuaged. Whether by nature or by practice, Scott’s voice is a near replica of Martin’s — a baritone with a slightly nasal quality that rarely rises or falls in pitch, but still inexplicably conveys incredible depths of emotion.
An Object of Beauty thoroughly entrenches readers in the subculture of the Manhattan art world by following Lacey Yeager, a young, morally ambiguous art dealer who will do anything to make her mark — and make her millions — in the fine art business. Narrator Daniel Franks is an aspiring art writer and friend and witness to Lacey’s life — and accidental co-conspirator to a misdeed that could ruin both their careers. Yet, like most people in Lacey’s life, Franks is drawn into her web willingly, due to her uncanny ability to beguile men, from wealthy art collectors to FBI agents — a skill that aids her speedy ascension in her career.
Thanks to Scott’s pitch-perfect performance, Martin’s presence is felt — and not missed — throughout the reading. The subtle humor is sharp and the plot is driven forward by the desire to uncover where the boundaries of Lacey’s integrity lie — if there are any. Part mystery, part intriguing character study, Martin’s latest creates a dilemma for the listener — you don’t like the protagonist, yet you can’t help but want to know more about her and the sometimes seedy world in which she dwells. —Colleen Oakley


What the Critics Say

"Martin compresses the wild and crazy end of the millennium and finds in this piercing novel a sardonic morality tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"[A] clever, convincingly detailed depiction of NYC’s art scene." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


There is almost no story. Protagonist is an unpleasant and cliched beautiful social climbing manipulator. As for plot, she does something that's not all that bad, eventually gets found out, and it proves to be no big deal. More than anything else its about art collecting. If you have always wanted to understand and get an inside look into the world in which a painting could sell for hundreds of thousands one year and then several millions the next, then this is the book for you. (spoiler alert - people want things more if they believe other people want it)

There is a scene early in the story where an outsider to the art world asks the main character to explain how and why the super rich buy and sell art at such ridiculous prices. She explains it and he is mildly interested. That sums up exactly how I felt about this book, mildly interested.
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- Busy but Picky

Total Satisfaction

Steve Martin is a magical writer, who knew? If you love art, NYC, youthful attitudes and travel, you will love this book.
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- loricolt

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-23-2010
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio