January 3, 2011

"'I couldn’t be a woman,' Steve Martin once joked, 'because I’d play with my breasts all day.'"

"Now he has written a novel about a young woman, but nearly the only thing he can imagine about her is wanting to play with her breasts. The Object of Beauty is a nasty exercise in narcissism, particularly in the narcissism of the famous."

A nasty review that considers a book nasty because it seems only to say look at my breasts begins with 2 sentences that say look at my breasts.

32 comments:

bagoh20 said...

"look at my breasts"

The most unnecessary phrase in English.

Famous Original Mike said...

Might not be fair of Butterfield to seize on that particular facet to criticize, but that Object of Beauty still sounds like a really shitty book.

bwebster said...

That Steve Martin line is from the movie "LA Story", by the way. I believe the original is a bit longer, something like: "I could never be a woman. I would want to sit at home and play with my breasts all day." My wife still chuckles over that line.

edutcher said...

Bet he'd never say to his breasts, "Let's all get small".

ricpic said...

The fabulous never to be criticized Martin commits plagiarism, see Philip Roth, The Breast.

Big Mike said...

Hey, lady, don't you know that sex sells?

Titus said...

I would have to agree with Steve Martin.

I love tits.

I find tits multidimensional.

MayBee said...

Hey. Are there any women here who don't sit around all day and play with their breasts?

Between that and having pillow fights with my negligee-clad girlfriends, it's hard for me to get anything else done!

Trooper York said...

"let's take a closer look at those breasts" is never spoken aloud in the liberal confines of Madison Wisconsin. Instead the young coed most often shout Stop Staring at My Tits!

Curtiss said...

Breasts? You mean hooters.

shoutingthomas said...

Trooper,

You've never accused me of staring at anybody's tits.

And, I'm doing it all the time.

CJinPA said...

So, an art expert says Martin is wrong, dealers don’t wear Armani suits.

It can be annoying when your field is fictionalized in an unrealistic manner. But I find it hard to believe Martin was being ‘lazy.’ He seems to take pride in his work, and works hard. It might just be an awful book, but probably not the result of laziness.

Fred4Pres said...

Shop Girl was okay. My wife liked it. I actually read the book before I saw the film, because it was around and I was bored one day. It was okay.

EDH said...

Original authorship?

Butthead: If I had boobs like that I'd never leave the house.

Beavis: I' d leave the house so I can go get a mirror to look at my boobs.

Lucien said...

Does Mr. Butterfield have any recognized chops or experience as a book critic, or is it just that his business is the subject matter of the book at hand?

Could any old lawyer get a gig writing a review of a book dealing with the justice industry?

Clyde said...

Is he goofing on the paying customers again?

Richard Dolan said...

"A nasty review that considers a book nasty because it seems only to say look at my breasts begins with 2 sentences that say look at my breasts."

It's certain a nasty review but not because of that. The reviewer says that the character of Lacey is two-dimensional (at best), and that the book fails at what it tries to be (an insider's send-up of the NY art scene). The opening sentences of the review, highlighted by Ann, are mostly a put-down of Steve Martin as author (the reviewer describes him as an unobservant boob, to use the image-de-jour), and less of Steve Martin's book as novel (that starts in the last sentence highlighted by Ann but becomes the review's focus immediately after where the review details the book's many faults).

Ann's blog is more about the vortex-at-work, taking off on the reviewer's boobathon riff, and stands as a fine example of intertextual referentiality in the subspecialty of boobathon literary studies (as if anyone could forget the original boobathon!), than it is TNR's review.

madAsHell said...

Breasts?!..ahhh...not so much.

I've always appreciated the view of a woman walking away.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Reminds me of the episode of Farscape when John Crichton and Aeryn Sun switched bodies, and Crichton (in Aeryn's body) took advantage of the opportunity.

I still miss that show.

Pogo said...

"The writing in the novel is by turns dull, flat, ugly, and inept. "

Ouch!

Hilarious trashing. Don't know if it is accurate, but zounds, whatta punch!

TMink said...

The review told me more about the sour grapes reviewer than the book.

Trey

Synova said...

Hah.

This is why they invented pen-names.

Dave said...

I've always appreciated the view of a woman walking away.

Isn't it great that you get what you love so often?

Ba-Da-BING!

:p

Titus said...

I find the newly surfaced Navy videos very hot and erotic.

They gave me a woody.

I love when the captain is in a robe with no underwear and he switches his leg and his hog is exposed. Excellent work.

bagoh20 said...

I can't imagine a more interesting or satisfying fantasy than spending some time as a man trapped in an attractive woman's body. Don't need any help, instructions or anything else, just a little privacy please.

jamboree said...

The vibe I've always gotten off of Steve Martin is that he seems like he'd be a good guy, but is actually kind of gross and typical for Hollywood - just in a slightly more charming way.

(Make sense? lol. )

CatherineM said...

I liked his novella, "Shop Girl." I think I read it in 2003 and, if I recall correctly, it did a good job as a novel from a young woman's point of view. Also takes place in many galleries. The man is a huge collector; I think he is familiar with the people in the LA art world to comment on the characters.

I liked the line from LA story where he is standing in front of a nearly blank canvas in a gallery and says, "It makes me feel emotionally....erect." :)

Revenant said...

LA Story is the best documentary ever made about life in southern California. Ok, yes, technically it was a romantic comedy, but I stand by my statement despite that.

The best line in the movie is "This is a historical area -- some of these houses are over TWENTY years old!"

Joe Hogan said...

I thoroughly enjoyed An Object of Beauty and wondered if Butterfield had read the same book I did. Then I read his review to the end and discovered that Mr. Butterfield is an art gallery owner, a class and social scene that is very finely filleted in Mr. Martin's book.

Seen from this perspective, the review is less a literary assessment than a payback by someone wounded by Mr. Martin's pen.

David said...

I imagine he wore out his dick for quite a few years too.

Juba Doobai! said...

I had to read this twice to decipher it: "A nasty review that considers a book nasty because it seems only to say look at my breasts begins with 2 sentences that say look at my breasts."

This is better: "A nasty review—that considers a book nasty because it seems only to say look at my breasts—begins with 2 sentences that say look at my breasts."

Ralph L said...

Every man who sees Lacey wants her
In the NY art world? Yeah, right.