In An Object of Beauty Steve Martin tells the story of Lacey Yeager, a young up and comer in the art scene of New York City from the 1990's to the present. Lacey is beautiful, charming, and smart, but will on occasion use her body, or use her friends, if an opportunity for advancement presents itself. The narrator, Daniel Franks, is a college friend of Lacey's and a writer covering the art beat. Against his better judgment, Daniel is captivated by Lacey from time to time and therefore left vulnerable to her machinations.
Aside from all the fun of Lacey's adventures in the art world, it was a nice touch that the author includes pictures of the many paintings being discussed. So that even if you have no comprehension of who this or that artist is (that would be me), you could still study the picture and get what all the fuss is about.
After reading this novel, one is left to grasp at just what is the object of beauty? Are they the paintings, which can go from valuable to valueless at the whim of some pretentious idiot, or is it Lacey herself, who under the gaze of men is 'an object' of beauty, but is smart enough to know that that isn't enough; she has to pay her rent like everybody else. I believe the object of beauty could be the book itself. It really is a nice looking book, well written too. I have to part with my borrowed copy temporarily, but as God is my witness I vow to once again possess An Object of Beauty!