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Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

Автором Jess Walter

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В настоящее время недоступен на Scribd

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

Автором Jess Walter

оценки:
4/5 (456 оценки)
Длина:
462 pages
8 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jun 12, 2012
ISBN:
9780062098085
Формат:

Примечание редактора

Charming bestseller…

Skillfully alternating between 1960s Italy and present-day Los Angeles, this charming hit weaves together the romance between an innkeeper and a starlet, Italy and Hollywood, failure and fame.

Описание

From Scribd: About the Book

Spanning a breadth of five decades, this gorgeous foray into the inner lives of two people separated by oceans and life tells the story of the grand love affair of an Italian housekeeper and the long-lost American starlet he loved. Alongside the producer who connected them and his assistant, a story unravels from the glittering cliffs of Italy in the 1960s to present-day Los Angeles. This charming romance will delight you.

Bestselling author Jess Walter has brought the world the national hit The Financial Lives of Poets, and in Beautiful Ruins he returns with a hilarious, sweetly romantic story of a love affair that begins on the Italian coast and is rekindled decades later on the streets of Hollywood. With honesty, wit, and timelessness, he weaves a tale of intricate, unforgettable characters.

Fall in love with this absolute masterpiece and you’ll find yourself wondering if it’s ever truly too late for true love.

Издатель:
Издано:
Jun 12, 2012
ISBN:
9780062098085
Формат:

Об авторе

Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, and Citizen Vince, the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.


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4.0
456 оценки / 166 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (5/5)
    Beautiful setting and story. Multiple pov and time frames can sometimes be confusing, but that was not the case in the this story. I would recommend this to anyone interested in Italy or Hollywood.
  • (5/5)


    I love a book that makes me laugh out loud!
  • (2/5)
    As an audiobook, this is a little confusing and slightly boring.
  • (4/5)
    Easy and thoughtful book with one of the most fulfilling endings I have read in a long time!
  • (5/5)
    Wow...not even sure how to describe this well, but I loved every part of this story: the words, the tale, the imagery, the ending!
  • (4/5)
    I apologize that I am not up to a lengthier review that perhaps is deserved. But I did want to say that agree with so many reviewers that this was a great audiobook. Further I enjoyed the characters - such a variety and it was fun seeing them as they aged and collided, sometimes unexpectedly, with one another. I will read more from Jess Walter.
  • (5/5)
    This is a superb piece of writing. It is a journey of people,of Dee Moray, a innocent,would be actress, the heartless Hollywood producer held together by plastic surgery and Pasquale, the simple innkeeper of "Adequate View " Inn on the unknown Cinque Terre Island of Italy. There are so many funny lines coming from Pa tand his sad life as a would be rock star / comedian. i loved how Michael Deanne describes himself and then how he is described , the aged baby face megomaniac, don't look too closely everyone is warned. It is a novel rich is humor, pathos, irony and at its heart, still a love story. Loved this book.
  • (5/5)
    All I can say is read this, you won't be disappointed as it’s a wonderful read.
  • (4/5)
    This was a perfect - sit on my wicker couch on the porch, ice tea in hand, hot and humid weather - summer read. Pure escapism. Alternating time and places (1960s Italy/present day LA) Jess Walter brings to life a cast of characters that are interconnected with one another and with the beating heartbeat of humanity: their sorrows are our sorrows, their regrets taste like our regrets, their loves as complex as our own. A story as much about the paths in life we choose to take as well as the paths we do not. I couldn't put it down.
  • (5/5)
    “This is what happens when you live in dreams, he thought: you dream this and you dream that and you sleep right through your life.” It’s 1962, at a tiny coastal town in Italy. Pasquale, in his early 20s, is working on his “beach” in front of his small hotel. A lovely young woman arrives on a skiff. She is an actress working in country on the epic “Cleopatra”. This chance meeting, will alter their lives forever.Flash forward to a Hollywood back-lot, where a infamous film-producer is hearing a movie-pitch. In walks an elderly Italian man, with a crumpled business card, looking for an actress he met fifty years earlier.In between these moments in time, is a kaleidoscope of different characters and storylines, inter-locking like a vast puzzle. We dance along with writers, soldiers, actors, musicians and fishermen, spanning many decades. Even the great Richard Burton makes a lengthy and drunken appearance. The writing is fresh, funny, intricate and insightful.It is Walter’s most ambitious novel to date. Highly recommended.I listened to this on audio book and it was expertly narrated, capturing the many voices, with precision and grace.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful Ruins is a love story set in the a beautiful isolated coastal town of Italy. The story is written very well and goes into the lives of each character that stems from the life of an American actress and a young Italian with big dreams. The story shifts back and forth to Hollywood - Italy and then the Pacific Northwest until finally each struggling character finds meaning and some way to enjoy the small pleasures in their lives. The book moves quickly and keeps your interest and has a certain sophistication that romance novels often lack.
  • (1/5)
    The scenarios in Italy were lovely.Did not care for the Hollywood scenes. gave up.
  • (5/5)
    Maybe the best book I've read in the past two years! This is a beautiful book, and one that is custom-written for book lovers. It's a broad, sweeping story that covers about 50 years and a whole bunch of different parts of the world. It is peopled with wonderful characters that I am sorry to leave now that I've finished the book. It was a totally unexpected read-fest for me even though it had been recommended to me. It is a book that is hard to categorize, and maybe that's a good thing. If you love to read, than read this book. You'll fall in love with all the characters like I did. We're even treated to a couple of real-people - Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and get a glimpse into their tempestuous relationship. But it's the fictional characters that stand out in this book. I will never forget Pasquale or Pat Bender. And a whole host of other characters. It is a book about life and love, and how love endures over many years even though the lovers are separated by continents and oceans. It's a book about growing up, and the hard knocks that life hands out. It's a book about friendships and failed relationships and it's all held together by the love that is between a young Italian man and his American movie star. It's amazing really how Ms. Walters holds this rambling and complex storyline together. I couldn't put it down.
  • (5/5)
    This may be the most beautifully written book I've had the pleasure of reading all year! I don't have words enough to describe the wonderful way the author intertwines the lives of all of his characters.

    My favorite passage: "Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story... your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, an for awhile, we're less alone."
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the writing and the story of this book. I'm glad I persevered because the chapters switched not only persons but to the past and then present and involved a lot of characters and I would normally quit. But it was for my book group and well worth the effort. The book was about there are screen actors, a novelist, and Pasquale, an innkeeper, who keeps his patrons fed and watered on homemade wine and dreams. Among all the shimmer and hope are the lost souls who long to create something, anything. And just as Jess Walter introduces us to these characters, he follows them for fifty years. The journey will delight and captivate you.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful Ruins begins its intoxicating tale with Pasquale Tursi, a native from Porto Vergogna, a well known town distinguished by its failure and a few upside down morals. Pasquale like his recently deceased father believes in his little village, he sees the potential of the land and its people so against popular thought he stays on his family estate and begins rebuilding and renovating an old hotel in hopes that it will attract American tourists. Attract it does, and the first is a famous Hollywood actress Dee Moray. She winds up staying at the hotel and in the process shares that shes meeting an old friend and also dying. Pasquale riveted by Dee's beauty and the slight pull he feels to help her is obliged to find her friend when he never shows up. Its in pursuit of this "friend" where the story really begins as old Hollywood and various stories collide in a beautiful disaster.Its almost impossible to write a review for this book, due to the feeling that I get for others in order to understand the book you must experience the read. The best way I can describe Beautiful Ruins is interesting magic, interesting due to its story-line and magic due to its incredible transitions and flow between various time frames. Funny, outrageous, sad and heartwarming all at the same time, a novel contemporary lovers will devour and others will appreciate for its exemplary writing and unique presentation.
  • (2/5)
    This was one one step (and a small step) above a popular romance type novel. I was pulled into it by the 4.5 stars on Amazon. It was likable enough. The filming of Cleopatra is very peripheral to this story of love. 7/24
  • (4/5)
    "This is what happens when you live in dreams, he thought: you dream this and you dream that and you sleep right through your life."- Jess Walter, "Beautiful Ruins"Jess Walter says "Beautiful Ruins," his break-through novel, was nearly finished before he knew what to call it, or perhaps even what it was all about. Then he came across a magazine article in which actor Richard Burton, then 54, was described as "already a beautiful ruin." And so, after 15 years of struggle, he had his novel, a gem that deserves all the attention it has received since its publication in 2012.Burton was already a minor, yet important, character in the story. He is the reason Dee Moray, a beautiful young American actress with a small part in "Cleopatra," shows up in a tiny Italian coastal village in 1962. She thinks she is dying of cancer. In truth she is pregnant with Burton's baby. Sent by a studio doctor to Switzerland for treatment, actually an abortion, she instead goes to Porto Vergogna. There Pasquale Tursi strives to turn his small hotel into a resort, complete with a cliff-side tennis court, that will appeal to American tourists. When this lovely actress shows up, he is smitten.The novel spans decades, and Walter goes back and forth in time, constantly tossing in seemingly unrelated narratives like a chapter of another novel and a pitch for a screenplay about the Donner party. Somehow it all works, and a reader's patience will be rewarded.Burton is not the novel's only "beautiful ruin." Most of the characters, Dee and Pasquale among them, live lives that fail to equal their dreams. When in the final chapters an aging Pasquale comes to America in search of an aging Dee Moray, by now truly dying of cancer, the ruins of their dreams become quite beautiful.
  • (1/5)
    Trite. Awesome women wait around for their lonely men to be redeemed. The women suffer, labor, are lied to, and commit suicide in hopes it will improve their men. The more I think about it the less I can recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    very fun read. Hollywood meets small Italian fishing village on Cinque Terra. Elizabeth Taylor
  • (2/5)
    I really wanted to like this book. I was disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    One of the best novels I've read in a long time. Engaging characters, a plot that moves back and forth across time and space, dazzling good writing.
  • (4/5)
    A really remarkable book. I don't know that I have ever read a novel that included real people, so recently dead, as characters. Every character was fully developed and each had an interesting and wonderful story to tell!
  • (5/5)
    This is a gorgeous book. I LOVE it.
  • (4/5)
    This is a fine book. Multiple stories from multiple people over time converging to tell a coherent story. Not pretentious. it just seems to work. recommend. Listened on Audible.
  • (5/5)
    When I read something like "A literary miracle" on the front cover of a book, I'm both intrigued and wary. Like, what does that even mean? Literary miracle. Well, after having read Beautiful Ruins, I understand.It seems something of a miracle that the Jess Walter was able to create such depth in his stories and his characters in a single book and even in single chapters. The book starts in a tiny village in Italy in 1962, from the perspective of a young hotelier who inherited the hotel when his father passed away. Pasquale, the young hotelier, is excited when his friend Orenzio brings a beautiful young American actress, Dee Moray, to his hotel, for whom Pasquale quickly falls. It was well written and believable.However, after reading the chapter, I was worried that I was not going to really enjoy this one because I was not really in the mood to read another foreign literary masterpiece that is dry and boring and too dense to really care. Not that the first chapter was those things -- I was just concerned that it was going to be given the high praise and where the book started.After another day or two, I picked up the book again and started reading the second chapter. The second chapter is in Hollywood, "recently" (say, around 2010), from the perspective of a young girl (late-20s) who is disillusioned about life, hollywood, and her future. It was fresh and modern and believable. It was not dry, boring, or too dense to really care. Claire is trying to find herself in Hollywood, after landing her dream job as assistnat to the legendary but somewhat washed up Michael Deane, and after landing her dream boyfriend - the gorgeous but stripper-obsessed idiot in her bed, she's realized that the glitter and the glamour are not all they're cracked up to be. With a new job prospect from a small new museum, Clair is considering whether it's time to throw in the towel on film production and cut her losses. When the new museum happens to be primarily funded by the church of scientology, it gives Clair just enough pause to give herself an ultimatum: Either she finds the one film she's been dreaming she would make on Wild Pitch Friday (where the pitches are unlikely to be for glorious masterpieces), or she quits both her job and her boyfriend and takes up the job building the new museum.And then I lost track of the chapters and time as I tore through the rest of the book.The various chapters are told interchangeably from the perspectives of Claire, Pasquale, Michael Deane (even through the memoir his agent told him they could never publish, but which Deane gives to Claire to read), Dee Moray and her son Pat Bender. Each perspective is believable -- the view from a 1962 Italian Pasquale's eyes is just as convincing as the view from a 2010-ish Hollywood Claire's eyes, is just as convincing as the memoir written from Michael Deane explaining the whole "mess." Walter even incorporates famous people and movies -- Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatria -- to add to the realism of the tale, without ever crossing lines into the impossibility (i.e., he did not change any known facts, he just added in details into the pockets and unknowns that could be... who knows... feasible). The perspectives are all over the place, the times are all over the place, the stories are all over the place, -- front to back and back to front, and yet it is a cohesive, believable, perfectly timed story. A miracle. Even more.... he managed to actually tie together all of the characters from the 1940s to 2010, from all over the world, without it being "too convenient." I was so impressed with Walter. It felt like just a series of life events that ultimately brought all of the characters together within one story. But it did not feel forced or contrived. It just felt... natural. Like yeah, that's what happened.And then you find yourself nearing the end of the book. But, oh no, there are too many strings to tie up!! He's going to leave me hanging, I just know it.... ahhh, i hope he at least wraps up ____, and ____. And ___. But how can he! Too few pages.... You keep reading.And he does it. and it feels a little bit like a miracle. Not everything is neat and bowtied, but it's all done just enough to leave the reader at peace. With all of the stories, and all of the different lines, and all of the different characters, resolved just enough to close the book and go to sleep. All is well.A literary miracle. Now I understand...(this and other reviews at AllBookReviewer.blogspot.com)
  • (4/5)
    A truly amazing read! The books takes you from 1962 to the present, from a small village on the coast of Italy to Hollywood! The characterization is wonderful and the settings vivid. Highly recommended. I can so see this book being made into a movie!
  • (4/5)
    Moody. Intricate story. Strong characters. Liked it.
  • (4/5)
    Mostly gorgeous, evocative writing -- lots of metastories, stories within the story, which for the most part work really well. They are used to fill in the gaps, elaborate on the backstories, but near the end it got a little heavy. The last chapter had SO much going on, where it was wrapping up most everything, it was somewhat heavy handed but at the same time I was satisfied by it.
  • (4/5)
    Book on CD performed by Edoardo BalleriniOn a sunny day in 1962, a young hotel owner, Pasquale, spies a boat approaching his small Italian village. Aboard is a beautiful, young, American actress, Dee, and Pasquale is instantly smitten. Fast forward to the present day, and a Hollywood producer’s assistant is hearing “pitches” on the studio’s back lot, when an elderly Italian gentleman approaches looking for Michael Deane. He’s hoping Deane can help him find Dee.What a delightful story! Moving back and forth in time, and with multiple styles and points of view, Walter has crafted a love story with wide appeal. The twists and turns in the story stretched the bounds of credulity, but I didn’t care. I was engaged and entertained from page one, and was so sorry to see it end. Edoardo Ballerini was simply marvelous performing the audio version. I loved the way he voiced Pasquale, Dee, Michael Deane and the many supporting cast members – including Richard Burton, Aunt Valeria, and a host of fishermen.