How to describe Beautiful Ruins? It's such an odd yet enchanting book. The characters are a quirky mix of the commonplace and the extraordinary: a befuddled innkeeper from a tiny Italian town, a haunted ex-military wannabe novelist, a beautiful but sick young starlet, a hideously nipped-and-tucked aging movie producer, a stranded, strung-out musician, a screenwriter pitching a movie on the Donner Party, and Richard Burton. What? Yes, Richard Burton. It all seems eccentric and decidedly bizarre, yet Beautiful Ruins is a thoroughly lovely book. Witnessing the craftsmanship with which Walter braids these characters' story threads together is beautiful indeed. Funny, sweet, heart-wrenching, and profound, Beautiful Ruins has all of your literary touch points covered. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The story begins in 1962. On the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies a tall, thin woman approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today 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 unforgettable characters. 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.
About the Author
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
, and Playboy
, as well as The Best American Short Stories
and The Best American Nonrequired Reading
. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.
Edoardo ballerini was nominated for a 2012 Audie Award for his recording of The Land of Laughs. He has also received four Earphones Awards from AudioFile Magazine. On screen, Edoardo is best known for his work in the television series The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and 24, as well as the films Dinner Rush and Romeo Must Die.