Kris Dinnison's Reviews > Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter
by Jess Walter
Kris Dinnison's review
Sep 05, 12
Read from May 23 to 29, 2012
About half-way through Beautiful Ruins, I had a moment when I felt elation as a reader paired with a tiny bit of despair as a writer. Walter's new book, out on June 12th, is a delicious read, full of both the humor and heartbreak his readers have come to expect. Set in both the early sixties and the near present (as well as a few moments in between) Beautiful Ruins tells the story of a young Italian man, Pasquale, trying to carry on his dead father's legacy by running a hotel in a tiny town on the coast of Italy. Nobody comes to, or cares about the Hotel Adequate View until a beautiful young American actress, Dee, shows up there by mistake. Pasquale makes it his mission to help her, which puts him in the way of film producers, studio publicity people, and actors, including the legendary Richard Burton. The unfinished business of these encounters leads Pasquale to seek out Dee half a decade later, bringing many of the players, plus some new ones, back together to sort out their tangled history. I say all this as a way for you to know what the book is about, however none of what I've written does justice to the craft and storytelling Walter brings to the page. I fell in love with his characters, wanted to live in the world he creates, and longed to do my part in bringing both love and justice to fruition in the story. And when I was done reading I was both satisfied with the ending and sad that it was over.
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