I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
Beautiful Ruins is in the top quarter of the books I have listened to... which is a few hundred.
I think Pasquale was my favourite character. He stayed true to himself throughout the book. He was pure, sweet and kind.
Every scene was masterfully written. I was impressed with the way Jess wove the story by going back and forth from the past to the present, filling in details about the characters' lives as he went. Beautifully done.
The most memorable character might well have been Dee. She endured a lot of nonsense in the Hollywood world and considering it all, was a good and caring mother. Her strength grew as the story unfolded.
This is a must read. Be prepared to be transported into the lives of these people.
Edoardo Ballerini is a terrific reader/actor. I especially liked his beautiful pronunciation of Italian (which makes sense since I found out that his father is a well-known Italian poet and academic). I have been studying Italian, so I know a good accent when I hear it. All the voices he did were very differentiated and even the female voices were very believable.I was quite engaged with the book initially but as it went on, especially in the sections involving the son up in Idaho (I don't remember the names since I listened to this several months ago), I found the story began to bore me and I had more and more trouble getting through to the end (though I did). I did enjoy the fact that I have actually been in Porto Venere for a short visit in 2009 (right near the Cinque Terre) and immediately guessed that Porto Vergogna must be based on the real place. Also I live in Santa Monica and have had relatives working in the film industry so that part also gave me a feeling of connection with the book initially. But as I said, the book becomes less and less compelling as it goes along.
I would recommend the audio version because the narrator is very good. I might recommend the novel as a pleasantly engaging read on the airplane or on the beach.
I started listening to the Swerve but have gone on to something else. He does have a very engaging voice and reading style and I would look for other books narrated by Ballerini.
This might indeed be a very enjoyable movie. I suspect it's already been optioned for film.
Not sure why this book has gotten such rave reviews. Parts were very well written and engaging. Much of it was tedious and boring.
The performance was by far the best part of the book. Mr. Ballerini's can switch genders in a believeable way. His imitation of Richard Burton was wonderful.
The story was good but not great. Very realistic but not much of a good feeling when the book is done. I wasn't looking for Cinderella but something kind of nice
The story was interesting, it definitely carried you along. The outcome of the story just kind of let me down.
His performance was amazing, perfect!
It was worth the listen one time but, this is not a book I'll listening to again.
I found the Beautiful Ruins to be such a mixed bag. Some parts seemed quite tacky while others could be so moving to bring a tear to the eye! The extremes of location, Hollywood and Italy in the 60's,are an unlikely combination and I often didn't know what to think. Yet, when it was all over I missed it, so on the whole, despite the weirdness, I'm giving it thumbs up!
This is a delightful book in every way. Jess Walter brought a te touch to a a story that made me stop and think more than a few times. Edoardo Ballerini is the perfect narrator. I had a smile on my face the entire time I listened this book. I've also recommended it to 5 different people and I've heard from them all about how much they enjoyed it.
Hands down, my favorite scene was when the Pasquale and his friend were trading insults.
Edoardo Ballerini has a wonderful voice to listen to, and while he was good in Speaks the Nightbird his command of Italian was fantastic in this story.
Definitely. The story is engaging, the narrator is wonderful, and the characters really capture human nature.
Edoardo Ballerini does such a fabulous job with the characters voices and accents.....it is like listening to multiple narrators! It really brings the story to life, because each character has its own voice. I will be looking up other books by this narrator.
I have not yet finished listening to this book. However, I look forward to my commute with great anticipation. I am disappointed to find myself already half-way through the novel.
I listen to approximately 40 hours of audio books a month. I love audio books.
Yes I might.
Most interesting was traveling back into post war Italy. Least interesting was suffering through the crass American characters and all the Hollywood lingo.
Favorite scenes: the conflicts with the local mobster.
Probably not. A movie can never do justice to a book. It's just not possible and always a disappointment.
I find this book is over hyped. Yes it has hundreds of very high ratings but I suspect it's mostly from a female audience. If this book was made into a movie it would called a "chick flick". I've listened to dozens of books and this doesn't rate among my favorites but yes I did enjoy it.
It was beautifully written and the narration was among the best. Ballerini is skillful at moving between different voices and accents in a way that brings the individual characters alive.
I really enjoyed all of the different story lines that converged at the end. It had humor, sadness, conflict, and resolution. A very satisfying read....or listen!