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
Definitely would try another by this combo.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
I love the way the writer submerges you on all this different places and times with very well thought characters and scenarios.
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.
Interesting, entertaining, different
The versatility of his character changes. Every character is so different, and he made every one of them stand out.
Italian get away, but I wouldn't rename it.
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.
One of the best books I've read in a long time. So Thought Provoking!
Pat He teaches us contintment.
Smile of Heaven
Read this book everyone.
I loved the character development and intermingling plot lines.
When Pasquel and Dee came back together after a life time apart.
The Front Man play in Sandy Point, ID.. I felt as though I was there and I felt the emotions of the actors.
I definitely felt intense emotion.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good love story set in so many ecitng venues.
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.
This is a love story. And a movie story. I think generally a female audience might appreciate this book.
I applaud Jess Walter, she is a fine author. For me the story was rather bleak.
I kept thinking that he sounded a lot like Scott Brick. He did a fine job of distinguishing characters.
I enjoyed hearing about the Cinque Terra and about some of the actual historical actors in the story.
The editors on Audible raved about this book and made it sound amazing. The story was only ok. I feel like it was a bait and switch. The hype made it a disappointment.
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