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An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin #5

I don’t know that I’ve ever put a bad review out there before of a book. Sure I’ve dissed 1984 and Animal Farm, or said that I could not get through The Grapes of Wrath because it was so boring, but an actual, out-there-for-the-world-to-read-and-the-writer-if-he-so-chooses book review? Not so much.

As you can probably tell I didn’t really care for the book.  But let me back up.

The story of An Object of Beauty revolves around the narrator telling a story of a friend’s life as she meanders through the art world of New York City.  The narrator is a friend of hers and the way the story is unwound seems interesting because it isn’t often in stories that the narrator is a character himself.  I would say more about the story itself, but there isn’t much to it … that’s it, that’s all there is.

It has taken me 3.5 weeks to read, and I’ve read 3 other books while this one has been open. It’s all because there is no relatable story.  I found the main character boring and shallow.  The myriad of people she interacts with, I seriously cheered some of them on hoping that they wouldn’t be another notch on her frigging belt of wayward usable friends.  It’s like I’d read along and go ‘oh look, another character, one more interesting than the main and oh look, she screws him too’, either literally or figuratively.  There was one moment where I’d hoped it would get interesting but that didn’t happen.

Here’s the thing though.  Steve Martin is a brilliant writer.  I know, it seems contradictory for me to say that I hated the book, but he’s a good writer so let me explain. His writing style shows the absolute brilliant mind behind the scenes.  I don’t mean he threw out big words just to impress, I could actually tell that he has remarkable intelligence through how he wrote the story together paired with the words.  His knowledge of the art world was the only thing I found truly interesting in the book, and he even included a few pictures of the art he talked about inside, which grabbed my attention.

Here’s the part I hate to do.  This is a book I’d wouldn’t step into the club for as it gets a measly 2 G-String Dollars for informing me about pieces of art I didn’t know about before. If you are an art lover, or absolutely adore The Grapes of Wrath, you could probably enjoy this book, but from my perspective, it wasn’t a good read.


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2 thoughts on “An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin #5

  1. I didn’t like this book either, which is odd because I took to Shopgirl so quickly – but this was daunting and the art wasn’t enough to hold me to the sad plot. So, I agree.

  2. I appear to be in the minority on liking this one, but I have noticed that I tend to have a lot of patience for characters that other people find boring or complainy or shallow. (Which is odd, because I have not-that-much patience for them in real life!)

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