The Object of Some Affection

An Object to Beauty by Steve Martin

Much noise has been made surrounding Steve Martin’s latest book. Supposedly written as a reflection on the art world (Martin is known in some circles for his impressive personal collection) it has instead become a sticking point between him and his readers who expect. . . well, less. They seem to want less of Martin as an art elitist and more of his “wild and crazy” comedic persona.

Whatever cinematic images his name conjures, Martin is an author. In this novel he weaves the real with the surreal, dropping the names of well known artists and conjuring the spirits of others under fictional aliases. The book spans the career of Lacey Yeager, who enters as an inexperienced auction house intern and quickly proves herself a skilled social climber. Wildly opportunistic, self-centered, and a self-described “petty person”, Lacey is as unlikeable a protagonist as one may be able to tolerate. But there is enough wit and art world wisdom in this book to make for a satisfying read. Continue reading