Bawled, bawled, bawled my eyes out at the end, because I bonded so deeply with Pasquale. This book has a *very* strong main character, and his (Pasquale's) story was woven so beautifully.
The problem is, there are so many other characters and time frames and story lines, and they were completely ordinary (as far as books go) and uninteresting to me. So the book seemed to be about 25 - 30% good (Pasquale's story), and the rest...wasteful fillers. It has one of the best endings of just about any book I've read (again, the Pasquale part), but I'm not sure it was worth slogging through the rest of the stuffing to get to it where the characters were unlikable and seemingly insignificant. Parts of the book were very poetically and almost musically written, very talented prose. Yet I think the main character was too good and strong a character for the rest of this story...he was woven in with a bunch of senseless fluff, which took away from attention to his excellent potential. I wanted to read his story, and had to read past a bunch of other shenanigans to get to it. Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Only that good because Pasquale rose to the top.
No. While I liked the story line about the Pasquale character, there were too many other things going on that polluted a good story.
I haven't heard him read an audio book before, but would definitely look for him again. The narrator was one of the best I'd ever heard, ever. Amazing voice, beautiful pace, acted out the characters. Loved the narrator.
No. It's done. It spanned a lifetime, and they are at the end of a lifetime when the book closes.
If they could make a movie of just Pasquale's story, I'd be there. I fell in love with Pasquale. This story alone was excellent. I think Pasquale was a gem of gold.
enchanting, novel, engaging
Drowning Ruth--the style of back and forth
pacing was great, and of course voice
Yes, if they enjoy a complex story line.
No. Did not raise any emotion.
When I finished listening to Beautiful Ruins, my eyes filled with tears, not as much for the story, which did have wonderfully sad as well as bucolic moments, but because I finished it. It was over and I was deeply moved by the story, loved the characters, the Italian and the reader's wonderful melodic voice. It was simply the best book I listened to and probably read in 2012.
Pasqual because he is a wonderful romantic
His fabulous accent and impeccable Italian.
Michael Dean: I want to see his face. :)
It was one of those amazing stories you don't want to end. I never knew what was going to happen next. It always went somewhere I didn't expect. I loved listening to it. The narration was incredible. It was just one of those books I am so happy I didn't miss.
This book ranks in the top 10 of my favorite books. It makes you really want to go to Italy!
The best moment was when Michael Dean hears the name of the actress he hasn't heard in forty years and falls to his knees.
The old Pasquale
Perhaps I am the only person who has not fallen in love with Beautiful Ruins. The basic premise is that our lives and in fact, each of us, are/is a beautiful ruin. We lurch through our lives which comprise chaos, creativity and achievement, loss and sorrow. In this story the personal ruins are played out against the beautiful ruins represented by Italy following WWII. The story involves so many characters anchored by an unlikely premise: Richard Burton has an illegitimate son -- and never knows he has a son. We follow the life of his
lover through many and not so interesting permutations. It is never really clear why she never told her troubled son about his parentage. The other characters are cardboard characters introduced to fill out the story. This was tedious.
I could not stop listening. The story is beautiful and the performance just enhances the beauty of the story. This is my second ever audible book, and I cannot imagine a book that compares to this one.
I love reading when I get the time, and I always have the time when I am exercising indoors, so audio-books are my regular read now.
I bought this book on a whim and was very pleasantly surprised by its range of characters, storyline and reader's performance. Highly recommended.