Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Object of Beauty – Steve Martin - book review

first off, let me state that I hate writing book reviews. I prefer to enjoy a book or not enjoy it and just verbalize in person, if you care to ask. second, I just go read my friend Sarah's review of said book or tell her she has to read it if she hasn't already. much simpler.

In any case, I have written quite a number of book reviews, this being one:

I have long been a fan of Steve Martin, admiring his wit and undeniable charm, through his novels and movies but I somehow missed that he had written something new until I found this gem: An Object of Beauty. I am utterly in love. It helped that it was released at the perfect time to purchase myself a birthday present, lucky me. Martin is a genius of a wordsmith, lush, eloquent and timely.

Lacey Yeager is the main character, though the story is not told in first person. Daniel Franks, her biggest fan and confidante, lets the reader in on the story instead. I love that he is the one telling the tale, as the reader is privy to information she is not willing to admit or divulge herself.

Lacey is described by Daniel as a head-turner with perfect skin and the ability to get whatever she wants, anywhere, anytime. As the novel proceeds, you become further impressed by her prowess, wondering, perhaps, how in the world Steve Martin is able to portray the character of a power hungry woman so convincingly. I liked Lacey Yeager enough I suppose, though I knew I would never befriend someone like her.

The interjection of art plates in the novel may at first seem a little disjointed, but paints a side picture crucial to the storyline. The reader is further drawn in, questioning who or what an actual object of beauty is; Lacey? or the valuable pieces of artistry she purchases, sells and otherwise melds herself into? Who gets to decide what is beautiful and valuable? Is it acceptable to lie and steal if, as in Robin Hood, everyone truly deserving gets a cut? Is all fair in love and art?

Lacey cares about one thing in life: herself, and she will do whatever it takes to ensure that she is the centre of attention while constantly on the rise. She leaves a wake of destruction behind her, never bothering to clean up her messes. Daniel trails alongside, or rather in behind, as often as she allows it, nearly invisible to her, except when she finds him particularly charming or useful.

An absolute object of beauty … you should make this one book treat yourself to for 2011.

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