Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.
Martin compresses the wild and crazy end of the millennium and finds in this piercing novel a sardonic morality tale. Lacey Yeager is an ambitious young art dealer who uses everything at her disposal to advance in the world of the high-end art trade in New York City. After cutting her teeth at Sotheby's, she manipulates her way up through Barton Talley's gallery of "Very Expensive Paintings," sleeping with patrons, and dodging and indulging in questionable deals, possible felonies, and general skeeviness until she opens her own gallery in Chelsea. Narrated by Lacey's journalist friend, Daniel Franks, whose droll voice is a remarkable stand-in for Martin's own, the world is ordered and knowable, blindly barreling onward until 9/11. And while Lacey and the art she peddles survive, the wealth and prestige garnered by greed do not. Martin (an art collector himself) is an astute miniaturist as he exposes the sound and fury of the rarified Manhattan art world. If Shopgirl was about the absence of purpose, this book is about the absence of a moral compass, not just in the life of an adventuress but for an entire era. \n
Good, could have been great
Steve Martin is a highly intelligent talent and this is reflected in all of his books, including this one. The detailed explanations of the art world that is the foundation for the story will keep you engaged and informed. The characters, as in many of his other novels, are quirky enough to be interesting and yet just relatable enough. I only struggled a bit with the lead character, Lacey, whose ambition is easily understood, but part way through the book, I found myself wondering why I should like her.
Definitely recommend this for any fan of Martin. However, if you've never read him before, start with one of his other works of fiction to first experience him at his writer's best.
I can’t get into this book. I’m usually a fan of Steve Martin’s books and this one just irks me in the worst way. I find myself eye rolling so hard and I haven’t even made it to page 100. I stopped, read an entire other book thinking maybe I was just in a funk and not wanting to read at the moment. I came back to this one and the eyerolls are so hard I got a head ache.
I LOVE The Pleasure of My Company, Shop Girl, and Pure Drivel.
I am not a huge connoisseur of the art world (unfortunately, but working on it!). This book excited me not only for all the art pieces it involves, but also for the business side of this amazing industry.
Absolutely recommend for anyone interested in art!