Let me start by saying that I am an avid audiobook listener. I'm a little embarrassed by the number of books in my library. Having said that, Beautiful Ruins is among the very best of them. I fell in love with the characters and was transported by the scenery. I found myself rationing the last few chapters of the book - I didn't want it to end. Happily, the ending was as special as the rest of the book. Listen to it! Then listen again.
Say something about yourself!
I really don't get all the fuzz about this book. It was said to be the best book since "The Help". Hah! No way! This book had nothing to stand up to "The Help" with. It was just boring, and long... I had to listen to it in double speed just to finish it as quickly as I could.
Nothing written by Jess Walter, that's for sure.
Edoardo Ballerini did a brilliant job narrating this book. He was a glimpse of light in a very boring book.
The obvious skill of the writer was wasted on this self-indulgent tale of lives wrecked by addiction and stupidity. After listening to hours of depressing, self-centered drivel (albeit artistically written), the ending suddenly brought everyone together and solved all their problems. The entire plot was based on shallow philosophies of life, and aimless, drifting behaviors bereft of meaning or any understanding of the world in which they were operating. Who was the reviewer who said this was the best story since "The Help"? How can anyone compare a tale of real human struggle to deal with racism, poverty and social class with this simpering, whining book about people commodifying, scewing, drinking and overdosing themselves through life?
There was way too much unnecessary backstory and whole sections that could have been cut out, i.e. the story would have been the same without them. I absolutely hated having to sit through one character's entire movie pitch as if it were the most fascinating thing in the world (it wasn't, and it wasn't necessary for the plot in any way), and the chapter from one character's memoir? Ugh! I found myself saying aloud "Who cares?" half the time and "Get on with it!"
Pasquale was the only one I ever cared about. I didn't really connect with any of the other characters, except maybe Claire a little but the fact that she would stay with her lame boyfriend who was horrible to her just because he was hot made me lose all interest in this character. Mostly this was fully of shallow, unappealing people who didn't really evolve or grow.
I would definitely cut the movie pitch and also the chapter from Michael Dean's memoir. I would majorly cut tons of back story from Pat and a lot from Dee as well. Back story is nice when it helps move the plot forward but most of this was telling us things we didn't NEED to know. For me, the movie pitch felt like the author was trying to show Hollywood what they missed out on, i.e. maybe he tried his hand there and things didn't work out, and it turns out that's kind of what happened. There's some lovely language here but I was too distracted by the loads of extraneous information to appreciate it.
The book started out beautifully which made me excited about what was to come -- it felt quite cinematic and I couldn't help but think about the great movie this would make -- but there were way too many sections that felt unessential in moving the story forward. Ultimately, I felt like I sat through tons of "filler." The story had interesting facets but I did not enjoy the way it was told or most of the characters and cannot recommend it. The ending was unsatisfying and the only moment that moved me in the entire book was when Pasquale was reunited with Dee -- not because I cared about her at all but because I cared about him. I never believe there was any sort of real connection between them though and could not have cared less about most of the other characters. Sorry if this is a harsh review but I was really frustrated from about 1/3 of the way through the book all the way to the end.
Story was boring -- didn't draw me in. I have never not finished a book, but I deleted it before it was 1/2 over. Disappointed!
keep tbe story moving in one direction keep names simple
hard to follow story
no i want to return it and buy another book
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
I wonder if this could be true? I don't know, but what if. A strange woman appears at a family hotel; very ill and kind of pretty. This story goes back and forth for 50 years, through the relationships and individuals, until the circle is complete. The story keeps you interested in following each character, both individually and as a group, through the years, until the end.
What a wonderful book - but pay attention only to appreciate the intricate weaving from beginning to the very end! I can only imagine what the author's notes/outlines must have looked like hanging on the wall.
I will be looking at more books by this author AND the performer -what a wonderful job by them both!
There are so many good books in the world to read, don't waste time on the crappy ones !
This is the best book I've listened to for quite some time. How I wish someone would make a DVD series. A movie would be too short to capture it all.
I fell in love with all the characters, I laughed and I cried. The way he wove the many character's stories together was brilliant! The narration was excellent! As soon as I finished the audio I ordered the book, I simply must have it in my library.
I would not have chosen this book from the blurb however was encouraged by the reviews and I was not disapointed. Highly recommended