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.
Jess Walter's novel is a witty, worldly comedy drama which captures the texture and flavor of celebrity, ambition, love & fantasy from the Liz/Dick Cleopatra launch mid-century in Italy to present day Hollywood, Edinborough, Portland & Seattle-- claims of fame, fortune and folly. Life stories. The twists & turns of outrageous fortune and every-day life. It reads like the inside scoop of a true story.
Edoardo Ballerini's performance is nothing less than phenomeal. Great with accents, nuances, tone of voice. Spot-on interpretation of the text. Funny, tender, ironic, genuine. His voice is perfect for a wide variety of characters. Thoroughly enjoyable! Could be a poster child for audio books.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. The story was good to excellent and the narration was excellent with just the right Italian accent. The only reason I gave it 4 stars overall is that the story was a little predictable in a few places. The characters were interesting and the way the author and narrator moved the listener between 1962 and today was well done. This was a very satisfying listen.
I loved the part where the listener gets to know Pasquale as he tries to improve his life by building a tennis court on a rocky cliff.
This narrator was able to quickly go from perfect English, without an accent, to speaking Italian to speaking English with an Italian accent. It gave each character his/her own voice. Very well done.
Richard Burton. What 60+ year old woman wouldn't want to have dinner with Sir Richard?
The story line was very intriguing but after 3/4 of the book it was lost and never came back around. The story ended with a fizzle and no satisfaction.
The narrator was excellent, with his Italian accent for his Italian lines he sounded very sexy and with the English lines he sounded like Alec Baldwin so it was a delight on the ears.
I do now know why people enjoy this book. I found the characters vapid, depressing, rutterless -and pointless. I almost gave up after a few chapters, but the story got interesting in Italy, but then (slight spoiler) you learn the son is a complete waste, and I just couldn't bear it anymore. Why would I want to spend my time on these people?
I did enjoy listening to Pasqual and Dee while they were walking the cliffs and in the cave.
When books rate this high, I am usually in the pack of readers who loved it. I also love historical fiction and learning about new places. This book was such a wasted opportunity.