The best thing I can say about this audio book is that the narrator was phenomenal! I loved the concept of the story and the characters, however, I felt that the profanity and crassness took away from the potential beauty of the novel. Yes, that made it more realistic when portraying the characters, but I think that there are ways to do that without cheapening the literary quality with cussing and crudeness. I also found much of the character development to be long and drawn out with insignificant details to the point that I would get bored waiting until it got to the meat of the story.
Everything...from the beginning to the end. Each character was so immaculately sculptured. Listened twice and both times it took my breath away. My favorite line..."what took you so long?" and the response.
Jess Walter left no detail unanswered. All loose ends were tied together.
All of them. I will search for Mr. Ballerini's other works. His characters were amazing
This was an emotional journey i gladly took again.
The novel was well-written and the narrator was awesome. I loved the way everything was intertwined. Even though there was a lot of skipping around from the present to past, it was surprisingly easy to follow.
I'd love to go to Italy, so yes, I suppose so.
Yes, I fell in love with all the characters and with Italy. The character development was key, just the right amount of it. The back and forth from past to present made the story more intriguing and truly held my interest. Had the story been told from the beginning to end chronologically, I don't think it would have had the same effect. Loved everything about and surrounding "Front Man."
Nothing. I adored Edoardo Ballerini's performance greatly.
Endearing, witty, touching
The way the author created the different plot lines and brought them together in the end was wonderful. The author has a great sense of humor, too. One of the characters is a young screenwriter whose dream is to write a script for an epic film about the Donner party, which he decides to title "Donner!"
The narration was among the best I've heard. Distinct voices for each character, but not overacted. He brought the endearing, sometimes maddening, characters to life and enhanced the emotional impact of the story.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
I am in awe of Jess Walter and his writing talent. In Beautiful Ruins he takes numerous disparate characters and stories and manages to tie them together perfectly in a book that I was sorry to see end. I resisted reading this book for a long time, sure that it couldn't live up to the hype. I finally gave in, sure that I wouldn't like it, but I was amazed at Walter's ability to make me care about nine characters over five decades and two continents in situations both ludicrous and serious. This book includes a dying Hollywood starlet, an Italian who runs the Hotel Adequate View, a book (chapter) within the book, an over-the-top Hollywood producer along with excerpts from his self-help book, his cynical assistant who has seen too much of the worst of Hollywood, Richard Burton, and the infamous pitch for the movie Donner!, all written perfectly, with incredible observance, detail, and depth, and with enough humor to make you laugh out loud.
Edoardo Ballerini is the perfect narrator for this book. He brings the many characters to life and his wonderful voice and Italian pronunciation make this excellent book even better.
Beautiful Ruins is entertaining, but not lightweight or frivolous. I think it's mainly about fame/infamy, finding meaning in a world of junk culture, love, and loss. I feel lucky that I've never read anything by this author and can look forward to reading much more from the brilliant mind of Jess Walter.
This is a beautifully written book that tells the story of how brief encounters can affect peoples' lives for the better and sometimes; for the worse. The narrator is so skillful, that he sometimes gives the imperssion that I was listening to poetry. I enjoyed this book and only questioned one thing. I found it hard to believe that a sexually active adult female, would not suspect that she was pregnant. And, yet, she took the word of a doctor who only gave her a routine examination and diagnosed she had cancer. (Kind of a stretch.) I also had the impression that the ending was rushed and the author could have avoided trying to tie all the knots together to ensure closure. Not so in the real world.
You learn the stories of each character and then they are so interwoven, so as to tie it all together.
I loved how the characters grew and changed as they became self aware.
i did order the audio version and im so glad i did.. chapters were lengthly due to intertwining of characters and their stories. writer ties the tale up in a beautiful bow. eduardo di a great servce to the writers story,broken itlian was right on the money....have already recommended itto my brother and girlfriend.thanks for the tip in beutiful ruins i was very happy to read this book and iI loved the ending
everything especially the flow of storyline and the way every tale comes together int he end
no extream reaction just the flow of different emotions as the book progressed
if you read this book and didnt like it try the AUDIO version, if you read the book and did like it try the AUDIO version and fall in love with Beautiful Ruins again.
Although I haven't read the print version, I loved the way the narrator read the accents. His rich nuances of each dialect helped bring the characters alive.
Pasqualle - humble, caring, honest, determined... I just loved him.
He was fabulous with the various accents. His voice made you live the story.
It was not a laugh out loud book. Yes, there were segments that made me smile in my mind's eye... clever lines, dialogue, or good plot. It had emotional elements, but did not make me weep. More importantly, I did feel that I couldn't wait to "read" more... and found myself inventing chores and things to do in order to continue listening.
It was my turn to pick a book for my book club. I had raced through 6 or 7 different books trying to find one that I wanted to recommend. I wanted my book club friends to fall in love with my selection, so I knew my choice could not just be a mediocre read. I was intrigued when I read a review that claimed Beautiful Ruins could be the next "The Help" (as far as popularity). That convinced me to try it. I was not disappointed. The characters are richly developed and I loved how the story spans 50-60 years with various characters' lives brushing into and intertwining with other characters' lives... It was also fascinating to me how the author actually made Richard Burton an integral character in the book with dialogue (as opposed to merely referencing him as a character). The ending was wonderfully crafted and satiated my curiosity about the fate and goings on of each character. Bravo... this will be the crown in our collective book discussions.
I'm not sure why this book had the great reviews -Marketing promotion I guess. I listened to the entire book- but found every character to be depressing. And the fact that I agreed with some of the characters thoughts - had me depressed with myself. The narrator was excellent, great variation between characters, clear and easy to understand.