Art Damaged
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Art Damaged

4.6 9
by Nora Novak

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Set behind the scenes of the contemporary art world, Art Damaged is the story of Nina Valliere, a glamorous, charismatic playgirl, artist, and museum slave. Join Nina as she juggles the men in her life, including a hot younger boyfriend, an eccentric artist, and an older, wealthy aristocrat; navigates the turbulent waters of the ocean of art world egos; and copes with…  See more details below


Set behind the scenes of the contemporary art world, Art Damaged is the story of Nina Valliere, a glamorous, charismatic playgirl, artist, and museum slave. Join Nina as she juggles the men in her life, including a hot younger boyfriend, an eccentric artist, and an older, wealthy aristocrat; navigates the turbulent waters of the ocean of art world egos; and copes with a manhungry boss and an alcoholic director, all while pursuing credibility as an emerging artist in her own right.

As complications escalate and chaos ensues, a scandalous turn of events threatens to compromise the museum and its future. Nina must face choices, both her own and those of others, that will change her life forever. A stylish romp through the recesses and chicanery of the art world, museum administration politics, and inner office intrigues, Art Damaged is an insider's tale that captures the lifestyle of an up-and-coming mixed -media artist in Orange County.

Product Details

iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
Rising Star Series
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

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Art Damaged 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nora Novak's novel, ART DAMAGED is one of intrigue and adventure. It depicts and chronicles the life and loves of protagonist Nina Valliere. I find the character,an epitome of glamor and sophistication, extremely exciting. It is a life style that may be enviable to many! The author paints a portrait of a beautiful and talented woman of passion and drive, who knows how to live well in a world with many struggles. Novak's writing is both sensitive and comprehensive. The dialogue is particularly witty and real. I like the cover design: highly functional with the color scheme of red, white and black. OZYMANDIAS
MBLevine More than 1 year ago
Author Nora Novak offers readers a look into the world of the contemporary art scene in her debut novel, Art Damaged. It is designer label dropping women's fiction with a twist of mystery, a lot of partying, and a healthy dose of reality sprinkled on top. Forty-six-year-old Nina Valliere has worked at the Emerald Bay Contemporary Museum of Art (EBC) in Orange County, CA for ten years. She is in charge of admissions and attendance. When the EBC comes under new management, the executive staff targets the museum's veteran employees. Nina is number one on the list to be terminated. Even with the possibility of losing her job ever present, Nina continues to live a lavish lifestyle that includes expensive designer clothes, a Mercedes C240, a two-bedroom condo, and an active social life. All of which is supplemented by two of her three boyfriends. Outside of her work at the museum, Nina is also a mixed-media artist and a model. While she has had the opportunity to exhibit her work, Nina has not been able to make a living as an artist. This story of a beautiful, sexy woman in her forties is "hen lit" with a "chick lit" chaser. Nina's life is very different from that of your average mature woman who has the traditional four bedroom house, the husband, and three kids. Nina lives the life of the young and sophisticated, regularly hanging out with a significantly younger crowd. She initially shows no desire to be like other women her own age: "No kids, no pets, no baggage," is her motto. But once she loses her job, Nina begins to have second thoughts about how she has lived her life and what she missed out on while being the party girl. As the men in her life begin to pull away, Nina finds herself in a situation with a new guy that reveals to her how much she has given up for her lifestyle. Novak has created a dynamic character who is talented, but has relied heavily on her beauty to get what she wants. During much of the story, Nina is not a self-made woman. She is dependent even though she believes that she is calling all of the shots. On the surface she appears flawless and in control. But the reality is that she is a heavy drinking, pill popping playgirl with no true intimacy in her life. The loss of her boyfriends, her job, and a family member brings her face-to-face with this truth. The first half of the book is stronger than the latter as the pacing towards the end moves a bit fast when it should move at a moderate clip. The author's knowledge of and passion for art is evident, and so is her understanding of human behavior and the limits that result from immersion in a fast-paced, intimacy-free lifestyle. Art Damaged engages and entertains. Fans of women's fiction will enjoy this book. Melissa Levine, IP Book Reviewers
Pacificbookreview More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by: Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review Title: Art Damaged Art is defined as the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. In this regard, Nora Novak's work, "Art Damaged," is in itself a work of art. Nora Novak packs so much straight talking womanly wisdom into each sentence, complete with an uncanny amount of name dropping. Designers, delicacies, destinations and desires all are woven together into a tapestry of storytelling. It took me a moment to realize "Bloomies" was the nickname for Bloomindales, but once you get the vernacular of Novak's style, you settle back, kick off your Prada's and fill a Baccarat crystal glass of Tattinger, and take in her fine literary talent. Working as a receptionist in an Orange County, or OC as it's called, art museum, Nina, the main character is subjected to the currents of the egos, prestige and personalities of the rich and famous, as well as the not-so-rich and want-to-be famous. The pressures of success in the art world, the sexy undercurrents of social gatherings, and the creative forces which drive the industry are revealed in a way only those with the keys and alarm codes to museums understand. Nora Novak takes you behind the façade of faux barriers, to the real people who hang around the world of exhibitions and private showings. As birds of a feather flock together, the lure of an Andy Warhol brings talented artisans into one room like a lantern in the woods attracts insects. Nina has her entourage of men, being a natural beauty and knowing how to use her God given sex appeal. Each provides a piece of her satisfaction, becoming a tile in her mosaic of creating a fulfilling life. She is underemployed as a receptionist, as her talent and ambition of becoming an acclaimed painter is far greater, yet the proximity to the culture lures her to her desk each morning. What unfolds, in what seemingly would be a dull and dreary existence, is anything but boring, as the depth of human desires entangle a web of deceptions and murder. Embellished with detail similar to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Nora Novak brushes her strokes of words over her canvas of paper. Written in a contemporary style, she masterfully creates characters which are credible, sensitive and vulnerable - real people in a surreal culture. A bit abstract in style, Nora Novak has definitely emerged as an author with a unique voice. Her book of just over 200 pages is framed in her cover art which I shall leave to your own interpretation. After all, that's the thing about art, it means something unique to each of us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brittany_Leysen More than 1 year ago
When I began reading the first few lines of this fiction novel, I knew immediately that it would be full of glitz and glamor! Because I grew up in and around Newport Beach, I was able to relate to and laugh at some of the true sassy attitudes of a few characters. Once I turned the first page, I couldn't put it down! My favorite parts in the book were when Nina, the main character who's always running from one drama to another, finally slows down for a small moment just to self-reflect. This is when you see her true, raw character and vulnerability. You seem to understand how she thinks and gets inspired for her next art creations. You feel as if she has allowed you to be inside her head for just a moment, and then an unsuspecting dark twist surprises you toward the end. The title is the perfect fit for the novel! I hope another novel by Nora Novak comes out soon!
Kaz39 More than 1 year ago
Nora is favorite artist of mine, so I immediately bought the book for that reason. (See her work at I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I truly enjoyed the book. It is a look behind the scenes of a mixed media artist's life in Southern California. It tells of Nina's life working for a Modern art museum in the Newport Beach area and the goings on of the day to day life there, it goes into her art life and the chance to show art when and if the opportunity arises, and it delves a bit into her love life and the complications of having a few too many men in her life. It takes you into what is fashionable in that life and what pitfalls await for those who venture there. I had trouble keeping Nina and Nora separate as a bit of this is autobiographical and she had me wondering what I didn't know about her real life. Nina and Nora are both remarkable women with so many facets in their lives. Being the scientific nitpicker I am, I also read it looking for possible flaws and I didn't find any. Nora writes with a great command of the language, she is able to induce moods into her writing that match the character's feelings. You do get to know Nina and I think all identify with her in many ways. I am reading this again to fine tune why I loved this book and yes, I did love it.
TommyR More than 1 year ago
purchased Art Damaged over the weekend and was planning to read it on an upcoming cross-country flight. However, after I read the first chapter, which incidentally perfectly sets the stage for the remainder of the story, I couldn't put it down and I proceeded to read the rest of the book that evening. I thought the characters were well developed and the story traveled at a good pace. I fell in love with the title character and her supporting cast. Her characters easily jumped off the page and were immediately created in my mind. I understand that this is Ms. Novak's first book and all I can say is I can't wait for her next. It was a very enjoyable read from an author who has done her research and has the potential to perhaps be the next Jackie Collins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read this book on a dare from a lady friend. Normally I am not a fan of this genre and assumed this book was only for women. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Once I got into it, I could not put it down! A fast read, it had a little bit of everything - suspense, plot twists, and intrigue. And oh yeah - beautiful women too. It took me through the full range of emotions and I hoped it would never end. I can't wait for the sequel! Guys, you gotta check it out.