5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Beautiful Ruins (Paperback)
This is an inventive and emotional novel, set partly in 1962 Italy and partly 'recently' in the USA; where elderly Pasquale Tursi travels to Hollywood to ask famous film director Michael Deane (now so unrecognisable because of plastic surgery that visitors are urged 'not to stare')to track down an actress he first met as a young man. Pasquale had, in 1962, just inherited the wonderfully named 'The Hotel Adequate View'. Located in a tiny village, virtually unreachable except by boat, Pasquale thinks it is a mistake when beautiful American actress Dee Moray arrives to stay. Pasquale is told only that she is sick and many misunderstandings occur, until he bravely takes matters into his own hands and travels to Rome, where Moray had been filming 'Cleopatra'. The film, notorious for an out of control budget, how long it is taking to complete and cast problems has become a monster. Into this novel pour cameo performances by real life people, such as Richard Burton, as a non stop talker, who is fuelled by a constant stream of alcohol.
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.