Yes, this was a beautifully written novel. I did find myself enjoying some of the characters deeply. On the other hand, Richard Burton and the Hollywood hangers-on left me completely flat. Edoardo Ballerini as narrator was the highlight.
Author Jess Walter has a gift for intertwining disparate characters in different decades and different continents, but unless the next novel is free of household names (behaving badly), I won't be back.
The review of this book made it sound captivating but I found myself rushing to the end because I wanted to be freed up to start a new book. I guess I was just too cheap to abandon it all together.
A fiction loosely based on some real characters and events, this was an interesting book. I like a book that inspires me to learn by looking up the actual characters, places and event. The author did a lot of research.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I pretty much went off Audible's recommendation and was very pleased with the work.
Sometimes his voices seemed to bleed over into different characters but it was very subtle.
I don't think there was a time when listening that I wanted to turn it off. On the other hand nearly all of my listening is done in 20 to 30 minutes pieces as I travel between work and home. That time has always passed quickly, however.
While I have not read the print version, I enjoyed the audio and enjoyed the reader.
My favorite character was the Innkeeper. Learing about a different era in a different country was extremely insteresting and fascinating. I imagined myself in his little town in Italy, in his little hotel on the seaside. I felt like I was sitting on the veranda myself.
I would love to ask him if it at all base on a true story. I loved how he developed the characters and went back and forth from the 1970's to present day. So many of his details seem like it has to be based on actual facts. If not, he is amazing. Either way, he is amazing. Loved the book!
The tennis court that could not be built.
I especially loved the ailing mother and the dynamics between mother and son - so different in Italy than America.
Lacked depth of script. Characters were ok, but not exciting. would not listen too again.
Already listened to Gone Girl
Narrator was ok. Did characters fine. Just not plot to work with.
I would have enlightened reader about main characters reason for being in movie and
what she did after she found out about Drs. diagnosis. No real depth.
I found that the parts of the story that take place in Italy are very interesting, and these are the parts where the narrator EXCELS. However,all of the rest of the multiple directions the story takes are barely tolerable, and then after all of that, the ending is not very satisfying. Guess I had my hopes up too high from all of the GREAT reviews I read.
Although the book started out OK, about half way through listening became a chore. There weren't any characters I cared about.
I love to read both fiction and non-fiction, I love series books that build by adding more characters and am always sorry when they end.
The depth of feeling that the author explored the individuals, it was a wonderful story, and wonderfully narrated!
The one in the dug out where they admired the sketching on the wall under the different sunlight conditions!
A time in Italy
My first Jess Walter book - but will look for others! I picked it based on recommendations on Audible and was NOT disappointed at ALL!
I enjoyed the characters and the connection between characters. The way the story was presented and woven together was intriguing. I loved the dichotomy of old and new throughout.
In terms of structure, Beautiful Ruins reminded me of The Help and The Kitchen House. The overlapping of stories told from different perspectives. However, the story was distinctly unique.
I can't pick one scene that was my favorite but I loved the imagery that made up Italy.
The only downfall of Beautiful Ruins was the rushed ending. While I liked that everything was buttoned up, I didn't like that it felt like a list of what happens.