Jennifer Rayment's Reviews > Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
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's review
May 25, 12

Read from May 23 to 25, 2012

The Good Stuff

A truly unique and imaginative tale, the Donner party film pitch alone is worth the price of the book
Beautifully written, this author has a true gift for characterization
I won't lie, I started reading and was worried that I was going to hate it, but it slowly grew on me. This story in a lesser novelists hands would have failed miserably, but Walters has the chops to make it work. This is the type of story I usually do not enjoy, but let me tell you it really is truly beautiful and wise so give it a chance
Honest and real, heartrendingly sad, yet hopeful and beautiful
Nostalgic - you really feel you are part of 1962
Richard Burton and Liz Taylor are intertwined throughout the story
Pasquale is such a richly written and oh so very real and delightful character
Darkly funny at the right moments
Makes you think about your life and what you want/need
Enjoyed how all of the stories came together in a smooth unforced way

The Not So Good Stuff

Drags a wee bit
Depressing at times
I personally felt there were too many voices for the story, but that is just my opinion - not a judgement against the story

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"He didn't think of Heaven as a smiling place. If mortal sinners went to Hell and venal sinners like himself went to Purgatory, then Heaven had to be full of no one but saints, priests, nuns and baptized babies who died before they had a chance to do anything wrong."

"In that doomed final month of the marriage - in what felt like a live autopsy of his manhood - Saundra tried to make him feel "better" by insisting it wasn't entirely his fault; he was part of a ruined generation of young men coddled by their parents-by their mothers especially - raised on unearned self-esteem, in a bubble of over-affection, in a sad incubator of phony achievement."

"Of course I'd arranged abortions before. I worked in publicity. It was practically on the business card. But this was Italy. Catholic Italy 1962. At that time it would have been easier to get a moon rock."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read

Not for those looking for a fast paced exciting read, this is one you savor my friends
Fabulous for those looking for something just a little bit different

3.75 Dewey's

I received this from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review
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Reading Progress

05/24/2012 page 101

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