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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 (9768 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan 11-08-12
    Susan 11-08-12

    This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Skips a bit, but the story is good"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 11-07-12
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hang On"

    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!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Johannesburg, South Africa 11-07-12
    Karen Johannesburg, South Africa 11-07-12 Member Since 2017

    There are so many good books in the world to read, don't waste time on the crappy ones !

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BEAUTIFUL !!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen Buderim, Australia 11-06-12
    karen Buderim, Australia 11-06-12
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    "enjoyable escape"
    Any additional comments?

    I would not have chosen this book from the blurb however was encouraged by the reviews and I was not disapointed. Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Williamsburg, Vatican City State (Holy See) 11-05-12
    Amazon Customer Williamsburg, Vatican City State (Holy See) 11-05-12 Member Since 2017
    ratings
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    12
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    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
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    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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

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