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Beautiful Ruins Audiobook

Beautiful Ruins

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Jess Walter’s beautiful and shimmering novel was our editors’ pick for Best Book of 2012, so it was an obvious contender as a new Essential. But Essentials can’t simply be flash-in the pan momentary book crushes, the books on this list have to have legs, and we think that Beautiful Ruins certainly qualifies. Sweeping in scope and breadth, the message within this book runs deep and across generations. And Edoardo Ballerini’s magnificent and elegant narration bestows a level of believability and immediacy to the epic themes at play here. —Emily

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (9105 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Williamsburg, Vatican City State (Holy See) 11-05-12
    Amazon Customer Williamsburg, Vatican City State (Holy See) 11-05-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Title does not fit the book"
    What made the experience of listening to Beautiful Ruins the most enjoyable?

    Edoardo Ballerini does a great job of story teller.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pasqualli


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I had time, yes


    Any additional comments?

    This is my first book by the author, Jess Walter. It will not be my last. Beautiful Ruins is a good story. . I highly recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Taylor, MI, United States 11-05-12
    Nancy Taylor, MI, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Marvelous"
    Would you try another book from Jess Walter and/or Edoardo Ballerini?

    Definitely would try another by this combo.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I am listening to The Mark of the Assasin by Daniel Silva now I like to change genres when I start a new book. i also just listened to The Tiger's Wife and The Cove. Next up The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene.


    What didn’t you like about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance?

    nothing


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was really ideal for this book. The characters were human and well defined.There were parts I listened to again, just to hear the words again. I did the same thing with Summer in Provenace,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice Amherst, NH, United States 11-05-12
    Alice Amherst, NH, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    8
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Was there a story?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I have to admit I gave up after only five and a half hours. I've never done that before. I kept trying to figure out a story line that could hold my interest. Nothing came. There were many different partially developed characters in two different times and by the time I quit I had some idea how they were connected, but there was nothing that made me care. I just couldn't listen any longer.

    I kept going back to all the many reviews and reading how great this book is. I just don't get it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jess Walter again?

    Probably not.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None that I recall at this point. I've listened to over 300 books from Audible and it's the first book that I really didn't want to get back to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Council, NC, United States 11-05-12
    Craig Council, NC, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2009

    cmugs

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    87
    14
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    0
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    Performance
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    "Beautiful Ruins - Beautiful Book"

    Excellent book and one of the best performanc I've heard. It is one of the best written books I have read or listened to. The book does jump to different locations and is sometimes confusing when listening to it, an issue that would not be as bad in a written book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pokemonika Stowe, VT 11-05-12
    Pokemonika Stowe, VT 11-05-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    42
    15
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    0
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    "Great history, amazing performance"

    I love the way the writer submerges you on all this different places and times with very well thought characters and scenarios.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie 11-05-12
    Connie 11-05-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    33
    9
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    "Enjoyable on so many levels!"

    A family saga with an edgy twist! Clearly Mr. Walter is sharing from personal experiences and emotions. In this the lives and emotions of the characters ring true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion Cicero, NY, United States 11-02-12
    Marion Cicero, NY, United States 11-02-12 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Trouble at first"
    If you could sum up Beautiful Ruins in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, entertaining, different


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    The versatility of his character changes. Every character is so different, and he made every one of them stand out.


    If you could rename Beautiful Ruins, what would you call it?

    Italian get away, but I wouldn't rename it.


    Any additional comments?

    I struggled with this book at first and was 1/3 the way through before I realized I really liked it. interesting through out, definitely keep reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rita Waycross, GA, United States 11-02-12
    Rita Waycross, GA, United States 11-02-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WOW! One of the best!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    One of the best books I've read in a long time. So Thought Provoking!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pat He teaches us contintment.


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    Bender


    If you could rename Beautiful Ruins, what would you call it?

    Smile of Heaven


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Longmont, CO, United States 11-01-12
    Martha Longmont, CO, United States 11-01-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic story spanning many generations"
    What did you love best about Beautiful Ruins?

    I loved the character development and intermingling plot lines.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beautiful Ruins?

    When Pasquel and Dee came back together after a life time apart.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Front Man play in Sandy Point, ID.. I felt as though I was there and I felt the emotions of the actors.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I definitely felt intense emotion.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good love story set in so many ecitng venues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Two Harbors, MN, United States 10-31-12
    Michael Two Harbors, MN, United States 10-31-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    37
    7
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    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely Experience"

    Well written story narrated by an excellent actor. I feel as if I watched this book instead of listening to it. I did feel the ending was awkward and a little cheap compared to the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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