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Beautiful Ruins Audiobook

Beautiful Ruins

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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 (10289 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Loretta Locust Grove, VA, United States 02-15-13
    Loretta Locust Grove, VA, United States 02-15-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All things come full circle"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes the story was very interesting


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

    The scenes in the bunker.


    What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice and the changes he makes for the characters.


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

    never make it - it is really long.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andras 02-14-13
    Andras 02-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    18
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    "Great storytelling, nice story"
    Where does Beautiful Ruins rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a good story, with Edoardo Ballerini's masterful storytelling. I would ran this audiobook among the better fiction books I've listened to lately.


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

    Pasquale Torsi


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Spring Grove, PA United States 02-14-13
    Bryan Spring Grove, PA United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenal Storytelling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Beautiful Ruins to be better than the print version?

    Yes, simply because the Italian in the book really brings a needed authenticity to the language when spoken.


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

    The moments I identified with each and every character at some point.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    His voices are superb and fit each character. I thoroughly enjoyed his voice for Pasquale in particular, as his Italian background gives the character a much needed softness, authenticity and realism.


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

    Life's Little Circles


    Any additional comments?

    Few books have affected me. This is one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 02-14-13
    Elizabeth 02-14-13
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    33
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    Story
    "Beautiful Ruins is indeed beautiful"
    What made the experience of listening to Beautiful Ruins the most enjoyable?

    This was a lovely story that was wonderfully narrated


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

    The description of the paintings in the cave and their revisit to the same spot so many years later


    What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A lovely voice and believable accent, It is tricky to switch genders and still be believable, Edoardo does this nicely


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

    The tile suits the story


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely worth the listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debbie Pleasant grove, UT, United States 02-13-13
    debbie Pleasant grove, UT, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Jax"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The story started slow. But then I was hooked. I loved it


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    How awesome to have a story line in Italy read by some one with an Italian type accent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabrina N 02-13-13
    Sabrina N 02-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Absolutely loved it!"
    What made the experience of listening to Beautiful Ruins the most enjoyable?

    The narrator is amazing. He perfectly spoke the voices of each character. I want to listen to anything he narrates.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were human and funny. A touching story while at the same time rough on the right edges. Descriptions put you right in the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katie United States 02-13-13
    katie United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "More entertaining than I expected..."

    For some reason, I wasn't sure that I would like this book...Luckily, I gave it a shot anyway, and was pleasantly surprised.

    Believable narration, especially with all the different characters.

    I liked how the author used different techniques to unravel the story lines, and not rely completely on third person narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adriana Tortiano (Parma), Italy 02-11-13
    Adriana Tortiano (Parma), Italy 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    119
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    Story
    "Great performance."
    What made the experience of listening to Beautiful Ruins the most enjoyable?

    Edoardo Ballerini does an excellent job. I live in Italy and was pleasantly surprised to hear this lovely language spoken with a proper accent.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    There are many different stories told and in the end the listener is satisfied to know how they all end.


    What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I would have read it the way he did----I'm Italian!


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

    I seldom listen to a book in one sitting, I like to savor it in small pieces and imagine where the author will take me in the next chapter. Beautiful Ruins crosses continents, skips around time and has many characters, at times I felt as if I were reading many short stories.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MB 02-11-13
    MB 02-11-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely story connecting people across time."
    What made the experience of listening to Beautiful Ruins the most enjoyable?

    This story was captivating and enjoyable from start to finish. I enjoyed every minute of it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Coulson St Charles, IL, US 02-11-13
    Jeanne Coulson St Charles, IL, US 02-11-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poetic and picturesque"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not. It's was a good and interesting story, but just not at the top of my list. A little long and and not engrossing enough, I found my mind wandering as I listened


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

    When the truth about Dee's "illness" came out


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe would have enjoyed it more had I read it rather than listened to it. It just really took too long to get to what wasn't even really worth getting to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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