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Beautiful Ruins
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Archive: Other Books > Beautiful Ruins/Jess Walter/3 Stars

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Jamie Zaccaria | 219 comments What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty 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.

I liked the main concept but felt the plot was too convoluted with other concepts/themes/ideas. I wish the story was more about Dee and Pasquale and that story-line more developed. This was fun but ultimately, felt like something big was missing.


message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 9352 comments I enjoyed this one. I agree there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion to it. It was just a very descriptive novel with some interesting family plot involved. And of course I love things set in Italy.


Jgrace | 3110 comments I was surprised that I liked this book, because I disliked almost all of the characters. I think I appreciated Jess Walter's depiction of the extreme narcissism and hypocrisy of the Hollywood elite. I know so many people at different levels of 'the business'. I could recognize the types.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I enjoyed this book but I definitely was put off by the narcissism of the Hollywood elite. I remember thinking at the time that I would never want to be friends with some of them in this book. But I loved the setting of the book and wanted to go there very much.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments This was one of my least favorite books of all time. I couldn’t even finish it. Just seeing the title makes me angry.

This and Atonement are two books that cause a visceral reaction! lol


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 9352 comments Your visceral reaction is make my day! Forgive me for getting a good belly laugh.


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