I enjoyed listening to this book and would recommend it to just about anyone. Already have as a matter of fact. The story is a little convoluted but I love the characters. The female lead is an example to all of us in her selflessness and positive outlook.
What a great find! I had no previous knowledge of the author or this book and bought it solely based on the description. The storyline interweaves "real" characters with fictional and really brought them to life. Edoardo Ballerini's narration was perfection- If I were an author I would insist on having him read all my books! This is THE book I will recommend to anyone who wants to try Audible.
I'm not sure if I liked it or not. I know better than to go for 'highbrow' books and I hate stories about Hollywood people, yet parts of this stayed with me. The scenes are vivid and the characters almost too real. However, it is not a book about Italy or antiquities.
Ballerini has such a smooth voice you can't help but laugh out loud when his dry humor hits you. Jess Walter is a wonderful story teller, his attention to detail is a little mind boggling, and although sometimes difficult to keep up with the names of so many characters, it adds to the enticement. Each Character is given a chapter and rotated so you can't help but miss them as you go away from the initial scene to yet another person's life. It is like having a invisibility cloak and wings, you are the spy on the wall and you thirst for more. I listened to it twice it was THAT good.
A lovely American actress has been played and manipulated in the game of life in Hollywood. Bring tissues and your funny bone. I laughed out loud while listening to it in the Deer hunting blind.
Forget the Characters. I want to buy Ballerini a drink and listen to his voice all night long.
Stick to it, bring tissues, you will cry.
Beautiful Ruins always had my attention. I was never bored.
I loved how each chapter took me to a different place and time or even a different book or play. You never knew where you would be next and that kept it exciting.
Absolutely loved the reader. Great job.
Now I understand why Beautiful Ruins was rated so favorably and was so popular. I held off listening to this one since it sounded a melodramatic and improbable, but was swept along once I started to listen. The main characters are very endearing and other minor characters, including celebrities, are colorfully drawn. Some of its impact may be lost on readers not old enough to remember the perpetual presence of Liz and Dick on the front page of supermarket tabloids through most of the '60s. I would recommend Beautiul Ruins for no other reason that it is the rare book that pulls you up and down an emotional gamut - not the least of which are parts that are laugh-out-loud hilarious.
I'm just not a fan of forward and backward story telling. As soon as I developed interest in a story line, I was swept away to another time, place and character.. In this case, the attempt to "weave" the past and present stories of the various characters was overdone (in my opinion), I simply lost interest in the whole, and adjusted the narrator speed to 2.5x to get me through. I'm also not a fan of over-blown descriptives, vs actual plot. This had a lot of that as well. On the bright side, narration was expertly performed!
The plot was well constructed with lots of unexpected twists. But I'd have preferred to hear more about Italy and a lot less about Hollywood.
Most interesting - plot development. Least interesting - everything pertaining to Hollywood.
All characters were read in the same dull cadence - which contributed to my lack of interest in the story.
I felt like it jumped between to many characters and eras.
Confusion, and disappointment.
I feel like I would have to listen to this book again just to figure out all the details. But I don't want to listen to it again.
Hard to imagine this book in print after experiencing the finely tuned and intuitive narration of Edoardo Ballerini. This is a beautiful story made even more beautiful as an audiobook.