This is an intricate novel that melds several different genres and a host of characters to create a truly engrossing read.
I especially loved all the little side "genre" parts -- Pat's play, the Donner party pitch, the excerpts from Michael Dean's how to book -- all these added to the plot and really held my interest.
Pascale -- without a doubt. Loved the Italian accent and of course, the actual Italian!
I would consider the audio edition of Beautiful Ruins to be better than the print because of Edoardo Ballerini's beautiful narration. He made it possible to accept the storyline, especially with respect to Richard Burton's role. I don't think I would have made it through this book if I had read it on my own.
Pasquale, our main character, was my favorite. From start to finish, he displays a human decency that we wish we could see in everyone.
Edoardo Ballerini's Italian is another reason why I was able to get through his book. Having to make these pronunciations on my own would have slowed me down. I was also greatful that the author included definitions/explanations of Italian terms. Some authors don't do that for the reader which causes a disconnect.
Pasquale is the type of person I would enjoy spending time with ... a very trustworthy and surprising character, only to the point that it's believable.
I'm glad that I spent time with this book. Normally, it is not one I would have spent my money on, and it's not one that I would listen to again. It did, however, leave me with a lot to think about with respect to character. I have caught myself repeating the line "We want what we want" a number of times since finishing. It's so appropriate.
I love yoga. I love cooking healthy, organic, natural, delicious food. I love reading, writing, traveling. But more than anything, I love laughing and cuddling with my Michael and our pup.
Overall, the book had a surface level and shallow plot. The characters were well developed but the book in sum was uninspiring. It’s written somewhat well, but constantly infused with negativity, in order to play up the “ruins” part of the title. The author rarely turned that around into “beauty" though. It’s also rather crude and, towards the end, a bit random at times. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Grabbed my heart.
It stands alone.
I loved his ability to sound different with every character. His accents were also spot on. He gave the listen it's enjoyment.
Paoquale. He seemed so sweet and caring.
It had more than romance. It also gave you vivid pictures of that part of Italy.
The melodramatic ending! Liked the beginning...and the descriptions of people were priceless, especially of the producer with his weird face, and the "milk fed veal". But overall, it was sort of predictable.
A delightful story full of characters who touch each other without much harm, despair, or regrets. A wonderful surprise.
Pasquale (the Italian guy) is my absolute favorite character. He has humor and heart and held my interest the most. The historical characters seemed to have more depth than those in the current time period, which were slightly stereotypical, although they also had their own truth about them. And the they did gain more layers as the story progressed.
Amazing. Wonderful. Fabulous.
He did a great job of giving each character its own voice, and he handled the American and Italian accents with ease.
I thought this was a lovely book, although it got off to a slow start. It's told in two different time periods, and when the story line is split, both need to be set up before anything can really happen. What kept me going at the beginning was the wonderful narration by Edoardo Ballerini -- he was fabulous!
Although it started slow, it wasn't boring...it was kind of like a languorous walk on the beach, enjoyable but not getting anywhere fast. This isn't a high action book, but more begins to happen and the story unfolds in the second half of the book. I stopped about 30% of the way through and picked up another book. A week later, I started where I left off, and it captivated me and held my attention.
I recommend this book. Although beware, there are times when the language can get a little "rough". There are also some sexual situations, but they are brief and not very descriptive.
Someone who doesn't know how Irish, Scottish and English accents should sound.
He read it beautifully until the British and Irish accents became part of it.
Sorry to the reader for this critique. It was, otherwise, beautifully read.
This is a good book! Engaging and has a nice pace..I really enjoyed listening.But I've seen reviews comparing Beautiful Ruins to The Help, and I just don't see that. I think this book is good in it's own way, but in my opinion, if I had bought it thinking it would be comparable to The Help, I would have been disappointed.
I think that would be a tough expectation for any book to live up to.
I was able to predict many (not all) of the 'reveals', but that didn't ruin the experience for me.
This was my first Edoardo Ballerini-listen. He was fantastic!