Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Up - An Object of Beauty

Started 11/19/10
Threw in the towel 11/24/10

Read 162 out of 292 pages

Oops. I did it again. I quit on another book.

At least I didn't wait until I was 20 pages from the end this time, right?

What has gotten into me? This is so unlike me. I've said it before, and I will say it again. I just do.not.give.up.on.books. (except, well, that I do now, apparently!)

This is a book I snagged at BEA10. It might have actually been the 1st book I snagged, to be honest. I adore Steve Martin, and have loved his other novels - Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company - to death! He's got a great sense of humor, and it reveals itself subtly in his writing.

However, An Object of Beauty was completely devoid of humor. It was all seriousness and artsy-fartsy highbrow sophisticated drivel. Yes - I get that Lacey was an aggressive young up-and-coming associate in the art gallery world. And yes - I get that there is more going on behind the scenes when it comes to the acquisition of art, and the showcasing of art, and the storage of art, and the selling of art. There was so much time and energy spent on the behind-the-scenes set up of the novel that the characters felt a little underdeveloped and stale.

Even the few sex scenes that I managed to read through were dry and creaky (I was so disconnected from what was going on that I tweeted that it was creepy reading a sex scene written by Steve Martin, that it felt very much like walking in on my parents in the middle of the 'act').

It was so unlike his other novels that I found myself peeking at the cover of the book to reconfirm that...yes... this book really was written by Steve Martin.

I have all the respect in the world for this actor-cum-writer and cannot imagine the amount of research that must have gone into the creation of this novel. I really wish I could have lost myself in it. Set in the 1990's contemporary art craze in NYC, I just felt totally disconnected from the entire thing, and kept waiting for something, anything, to happen. And when something kind of, sort of, did start to happen, I found that I really didn't care anymore.

The book released yesterday to the public. I wish Steve Martin all the success in the world with it. And I know that it is receiving high praise within it's true audience. It just was not my cup of tea.

And so I am moving on....


  1. Aw sad! I know you were really looking forward to this one!

  2. Yeah, page after page it was just disappointing me. So I decided to finally put it to bed. Maybe being sick has something to do with my low tolerance for it??? In any case, I kept the bookmark in place, so I can pick back up where I left off if I have a change of heart.