Audie Award Nominee, Fiction and Best Solo Narration, 2013
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.
And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.
What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning 50 years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist, and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion - along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.
Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.
©2012 Jess Walter (P)2012 HarperCollins Publisher
The writing is very amusing - witty and clever. Interweaving the essence of small town Italian culture with the decadence of Hollywood provides a lot of opportunity for amusing encounters. The prose is delightful and the author deftly moves between the stories time sequences. This is one of those all too rare books that will make you smile, occasionally laugh out loud and also appreciate the sorrows of life and love.
About a third of the way through the book, the reader is given the opportunity to understand how all the stories are interconnected. Although this can be a very funny book, it feels bittersweet to sense the deep emotion and history of the characters.
His narration and accents allows you to visualize the characters.
Highly recommended - a delightful book.
The narration is what sold me, his voice is captivating and easy to listen to.
This was a wonderful book. I loved the stories and how they were told
I highly recommend
The story is developed in an interesting and intricate manner. The characters are all somewhat caricatures but taken together they make a fun story.
This was a rich story beautifully told.
The reading of the book is sensational. One of my favourite listening experiences to date. Edoardo Ballerini seamlessly moved in and out of the characters as he wove the story. Very entertaining - every free moment I was going back to my iPad to listen to what would happen next.
Beautiful ruins is...beautiful. I enjoyed listening to Edoardo Ballerini, who brought life to the rich casts of characters. Beautiful Ruins is a huge story about love and the decisions we make in life. Give it a go, you will like the experience.
Not sure what was my favorite part about this book. It wasn't something that I would normally read. I read others reviews and it seemed very interesting. I am so glad I listened to the other reviews and bought this. I truly enjoyed all the characters and the description of the places they all lived.
The narrator voice was very pleasant to listen to. If you are an audible book person, you know how much the voice can make or break a book. He made it very enjoyable to listen to.
Yes but I usually only listen to my audible books while driving. So I found myself looking for reasons to get on the road even with gas prices high.
Its got something for everyone. I told my boyfriend he'd like it. Fiction and non-fiction mixed together - great! Romance, comedy, sad parts, happy parts. Enjoy!
Linda in Omaha
Even though there were some unhappy events in the book, the overall feeling was one of quiet peacefulness. The story was great. The narrator, Edoardo Ballerini, was fantastic. Didn't want it to end. Would definitely recommend this Audible book.
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