Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
48
3
2
 …
Rate this:
Follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet, which draws him into a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2012
Description: 337 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780062207135
9780061928123
0061928127
Branch Call Number: Walt
Additional Contributors: Walter, Jess 1965-

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

j
jagger66
Sep 06, 2017

Too much mincing around and no meat ...Just another so -called Author with freinds giving them a few over blown reviews ....walter ....lacks story telling skills ....if a book does not grab you after 100 pages , time to give up....

SnoIsleLib_RuthG May 10, 2017

Like the young man Pascale in the opening scene, shifting rocks and dumping sand into the water in an absurd attempt to make an inhospitable rocky shore and steep cliffs into a luxury resort, this book explores the human struggle to take our damaged life and try to make something beautiful of it, whether you're a glamorous young actress whose career is the price to save a trainwreck of a movie, or if you're a son who doesn't know who his father is (and might not believe it if someone told you), or any of a number of deluded young men and women following a foolish dream. Great literary fiction, written with compassion, earthy humor and poignant insight. A great choice for book discussion groups.

JCLDebbieL Mar 14, 2017

The novel moves back and forth in time between 1962 and modern day and explores several areas of the arts: movies, plays, novels, paintings, and music. Walter skillfully weaves a storyline around the lives of several characters and the inclusion of real life events and people help make this fiction book an enjoyable read.

r
rebmartin31
Jun 01, 2016

This book was recommended to me by a friend, because I had worked at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a couple of years ago. And BOY does this book capture that experience well. The Fringe is just one big huge demoralizing and demeaning (if you have the unfortunate obligation as I did of handing out flyers to promote your show) clusterf***. Other than that, who wouldn't want to read this book for its wonderful descriptions and depiction of the Cinque Terre region of Italy. I've been to Italy twice but I have yet to go to that region...a major fault on my part that I will have to correct sometime soon!

l
LZLibrary
May 31, 2016

Life is a "glorious catastrophe" for an amazingly well-crafted range of characters in this novel. Spanning years, with multiple story lines coming together in a spectacularly satisfying fashion, this is a literary and romantic tragicomedy. Whatever vacation you are taking this summer, put this one in your suitcase. I read it based on the recommendation of our library's resident gentleman, and agree wholeheartedly with his assessment:

http://next.dbrl.org/2015/10/12/gentleman-recommends-jess-walter/

m
MplsPeggy
Aug 17, 2015

This was a short easy read, playful and engaging, not quite suspenseful enough to be called a page-turner, but captivating enough to leave me wanting more. The characters are complex, the insights into human nature dead on, and the prose at times downright poetic.

c
CRAIGEEJ
Jul 13, 2015

It went all over the place but it was a delightful trip overall Pascal/Pat finding themselves when just a good slap from a friend would've done the trick and Dee (you really didn't think ya coulda been pregnant) Jeez Jess playin women for being THAT dumb. His Richard Burton was Spot on His Claire was the most Sadomasochistic Gopher I've ever read about Dean at least he was consistent in his madness and Bender (appropriate name) really shoulda had a gay epiphany being that he didn't man-up and get that slime ball director off his wifes ass the Valeria/Antonia greek Chorus was well done The Train wrecks Debra and Shane ( she the Naïve Nymphet and he the Cause without a Rebellion) made for comic relief ah if only if only you kept saying to yourself will they realize hey I can turn this around if I just LOOK in the mirror but THEY DID'NT the ending was neat tidy and gave closure WHEW would I recommend it? sure it has glimmers of Liz Taylor in it.

ehbooklover Jul 09, 2015

I had thought about borrowing this title for a while now and recently decided that a relaxing vacation would be a great opportunity to finally read it. I wasn't wrong. A beautiful setting, many interesting and varied characters, and a great storyline made for the perfect vacation read. Bonus: an absolutely wonderful and perfect ending.

r
Ravenpicks13
May 09, 2015

This book is written very badly. Chapters at the end tell the whole story. It starts out okay and then it is a bunch of unrelated chapters that go on forever and are so watered down they are boring. Then at the end he picks up the story again and puts it together. The Contents and Characters aren't bad at all if it had been written better. I also feel that the main character, Dee is not that innocent, she goes from one man to another. It isn't witty enough to be funny and it isn't dark enough to be tragic. It is a big miss for me.

booklady413 May 01, 2015

I actually picked this book up a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. Then, I found a copy on a used book cart, and I'm glad I did. I loved reading it. The characters are fully developed, and the themes, especially of living the moment are timeless.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

booklady413 May 01, 2015

Page 63: "in most of Europe, the peasant class disappeared thirty, forty years ago, but not in Italy. Finally, after two wars, houses spill into the flats and river valleys outside the city walls. But as the walls come down, so does Italian culture, Carlo. Italy becomes like any other place, over-run with people looking for the 'Italian experience.'"

jpainter Sep 19, 2013

“And even if they don't find what they're looking for, isn't it enough to be out walking together in the sunlight?”

Summary

Add a Summary

e
EricaReynolds
Sep 19, 2013

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow. Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top