Yesterday the owner of my local bookshop told me that when comedians write their autobiographies they usually come out pretty well, but when they turn their hand to writing fiction, it’s usually a disaster. I was asking him what he thought of Dawn French’s latest fictional offering, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, at the time. Thankfully for Dawn, she has proved the exception to this particular rule of his and he recommended it to me as a great read, saying that it had flown off the bookshelves. I didn’t buy it but I might at some point. I’m actually more interested in the latest novel from funny man, Steve Martin, he of Roxanne, Father of The Bride and Cheaper By The Dozen acting fame. But don’t let that put you off. As well as being a comedian and comic actor, he also’s a writer, playwright, producer, director, musician (he plays the banjo) and composer.
An Object of Beauty is Martin’s third piece of literary fiction for adults. He has also written the novellas, Shopgirl (2000), and The Pleasure of My Company (2003). Shopgirl was made into a film starring Martin himself (playing a straight role) and Clare Danes and it’s one of my all time favourite films. His latest work, is set in the New York art world and follows a young intern at Sotherby’s, Lacey Yeager, as she conquers the scene with her charm, ambition, and questionable and sometimes illegal tactics. Despite the fact I read about it first in Grazia magazine (don’t judge!), who described it as ‘Think The Devil Wears Prada with paintbrushes’ (hmm), a quick scan through some other, how shall I say, ‘more substantial’ reviewing publications, told me that the word on the street is that it’s definitely worth a look. So I’m adding it to my Christmas book list and if you liked Shopgirl you might want to to add it to your lists too.