Beautiful Ruins Paperback – 30 May 2013
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Just about the perfect summer read. It is intelligent and thought-provoking, but also a lot of fun. Reading hours fly by and reaching the final page feels like a genuine wrench (Sunday Times)
Ambitious, large-hearted, exhilarating novel that leaves you wanting more . . . Very, very funny (The Times)
Beautiful Ruins is a novel unlike any other you're likely to read this year (Nick Hornby)
Romantic, very funny...Turbo-charged satire meets a Garcia Marquezesque love story. What's not to like? (Daily Mail)
Walter creates an epic here - one that took him 15 years to write. The end result, however, is well worth the wait (Observer)
A sparkling summer read (Telegraph)
Thoroughly enjoyable, a tender, funny, ridiculous tale which has love at its core and a keen satirical edge to cut through the lovely, lush romanticism (Sunday Express)
You're going to love this book (New York Times Book Review)
A brilliant, madcap meditation on fate (Kirkus Reviews)
A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor (Booklist)
The beach read of the summer (Vogue)
Hilarious and compelling (Esquire)
Magic. Walter is a believer in capricious destiny with a fine, freewheeling sense of humour . . . A monument to crazy love with a deeply romantic heart (New York Times)
Poignant, comical and marvellous (San Francisco Chronicle)
Larger-than-life characters, billowy romance and crafty satire ... Any book that includes Richard Burton as a character is fine by us (Esquire)
Cinematic and utterly romantic . . . the big beach read for summer (Sunday Times)
My absolute favourite read this year (Nick Curtis Evening Standard 'Books of the Year')
A bravura feat (Peter Kemp Sunday Times 'Books of the Year')
The beach read of 2013 (Grazia 'Books of the Year')
Think Il Postino with a walk-on part for a comically drunk Richard Burton (Peter Brookes The Times 'Books of the Year')
Walter's account of the filming of the Burton/Taylor classic Cleopatra is a playful imagining of emotional history and hidden lives just out of view. Be warned, this is a novel that may make any festive guests somewhat anti-social as I read it in two days flat (Olivia Cole GQ 'Books of the Year')
About the Author
Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including The Financial Lives of the Poets, published by Penguin. Beautiful Ruins was a New York Times bestseller. Jess Walter lives in Spokane, Washington with his family.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Fast forward fifty years or so to a small office space in a major studio back lot in Hollywood. Here we meet a now aging cynical movie producer, his plucky but marriage shy assistant, an aspiring writer, an aging Italian man in search of his past, and a plethora of supporting cast.
How are the lives of all of these people linked? Ah, therein lies the story......and it is a surprisingly inventive and deeply absorbing behind the scenes look back at a time when a Hollywood stars escapades and fatal flaws were concealed from public view by publicists who protected the studios assets (i.e. their stars and their productions) by spinning unfavorable stories and taking care of "problems" while ignoring how this could effect the lives of those involved.
The BEAUTIFUL RUINS of the title do not refer to the ancient buildings of the Italian coastline where our story begins but rather to the lives and facades of the people who inhabit this narrative of love, loss, long hidden secrets and love reborn. At times amusing, often profound in its insightful observations concerning human nature this is one of the must read books of 2012. 4 1/2 stars
The movement of the narrative in place and time was intriguing at first, although there maybe was too much variety by the end -- was the author worried about holding the audience's attention? When narratives jump around in this way, the author needs to take care not to be too cynical about withholding details from the reader purely to sustain suspense and there are instances in this novel where the narrative is a bit tricksy.
I enjoyed the book most before a point about two thirds of the way through when a revelation in the plot was revealed and the book then seemed to lose momentum -- performing a few literary hoops and turns before the denouement. And while the very ending was poignant and fitting, the 'what happened next to whom' section seemed designed to remind the reader of the author's self-regarding skill for having introduced so many characters along the way (from US GIs to failed rock singers to real film stars).
I guess it's an impressive exercise in seeing what can be spun out of a chance encounter that only lasted a few days but was remembered for a lifetime but I'd rather have seen more concentration on the relationship between the two protagonists. But the writing was exhilarating in parts so four stars.
Although the style of writing could be considered literary, the content of the book is a non-story, an implausible, long-winded tale involving characters we never learn to care about. This is compounded by of the structure of the book which flits from one character or period (1960s) to another (present-day) via pointless other chapters (such as excerpts of a book or screenplay being written, which have no bearing on anything). There is no chance to get into the story or the protagonists. There is no emotional involvement, no suspense, no credibility – no entertainment even. It's possibly the worst book I've ever picked up. I keep all of the books I've read on the bookshelves in my basement, but this one will go straight into the recycling bin outside…
The novel is about a secret, covered up by the studio in a time when the internet did not exist and gossip and rumour could be controlled - or at least manipulated. It is about how that secret affected the characters as they lived their lives, of doing the right thing, and of how Hollywood works, both now and then. A funny, romantic and often sweet novel, it is a charming and enjoyable read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As I began, I believed I wasn't going to enjoy it and probably not stay the journey.
How wrong I was. Read more
Even though I loved Citizen Vince, and greatly enjoyed Walter's books The Zero, and The Financial Lives of Poets, for some reason I resisted picking this up. Read morePublished 6 months ago by A. Ross
Just finished reading this book, left a little sad that it ended, was enjoying it so much! It has lots of things to love about it, including Italy, the beautiful Pasquale, the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by shoe queen
Atmospheric must-read love story if you happen to be heading to the Cinque Terre (or even the Amalfi coast).Published 9 months ago by Chris