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Beautiful Ruins: A Novel de Jess Walter
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Beautiful Ruins: A Novel (original: 2012; edição: 2013)

de Jess Walter (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4,2762702,814 (3.78)284
A novel that spans fifty years. The Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet; the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
Membro:christinedux
Título:Beautiful Ruins: A Novel
Autores:Jess Walter (Autor)
Informação:Harper Perennial (2013), Edition: Reprint, 337 pages
Coleções:Fiction
Avaliação:***
Etiquetas:Italy, Hollywood, romance

Informações da Obra

Beautiful Ruins de Jess Walter (2012)

  1. 10
    The Rocks de Peter Nichols (Usuário anônimo)
  2. 00
    The Pirate's Daughter de Margaret Cezair-Thompson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Exotic backdrops -- Italy in Beautiful Ruins and Jamaica in The Pirate's Daughter -- combine with Hollywood glamor (and scandal) in these engaging historical novels, in which past events influence present-day situations. Both feature cameo appearances by real-life movie stars.… (mais)
  3. 13
    A Visit from the Goon Squad de Jennifer Egan (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Does what this book is trying to do; does it better.
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Inglês (267)  Espanhol (1)  Todos os idiomas (268)
Mostrando 1-5 de 268 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This was a sweet story nicely put together, and I enjoyed reading it. But it would have been a much better book if it didn't suffer from too many words. Maybe it's just me, but I seem to keep running against this too-many-words ailment recently. I often had the feeling that Walter likes to hear the sound of his own voice (so to speak). For the most part, long passages, paragraph after paragraph, should be moving the story forward or telling you about a character. Many of Walter's words didn't do that. I felt that only one of the characters in this book was fairly well drawn, and that was Pasquale. The rest were cartoon figures. Since this was somewhat of a satire, that would have been acceptable if the text hadn't been bogged down by too many words that did nothing and went nowhere. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
This book was written on & off over 15 years. It shows. Some of it is really good, amusing, satirical. Some is so disjointed it was hard to follow. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
A perfect summer read with a crazy cast of characters and settings on the coast of Italy and Hollywood and Seattle and even Sandpoint, ID as movies are made and pitched, loves are found and lost. Richard Burton figures prominently. Snippets of Italian are welcome as I'm studying it. The book wraps up satisfyingly with damp eyes and satisfaction that all is right in an unfair world. And it was recommended by Nick Hornby in The Believer. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
I felt there were at least 3 different books in this novel. The episodic chapters, flashing back and forward in time, did not flow well, nor did I care for any of the several protagonists introduced (some only half way through the book).

There was definitely good writing in many places, with some excellent phrases that popped out amid the reading. The description of the caregiver's point of view of a loved one with Alzheimer's was particularly poignant. ( )
  Dorothy2012 | Apr 22, 2024 |
Here’s a perfect poolside summer read propelled by the glamour of old world Hollywood, the romanticism of the Italian Riviera, and the tragedy of fate and deeply flawed characters. This is a nonlinear story about several stories that intersect across decades and continents, highlighting our deepest desires, our most destructive demons, and “life [as] a glorious catastrophe” (275).

This character-driven novel opens in Cinque Terre, Italy, specifically in a small fishing village that’s home to a young man, Pasquale, retuning to care for his mother and the provincial family hotel, ironically named “The Hotel with the Adequate View.” In the beginning, Pasquale meets an American actress from the set of the Liz Taylor and Richard Burton film Cleopatra, and it’s through the meeting of these two characters, Pasquale and Dee, that we are introduced to an interconnected web of other characters’ stories—spanning from WWII to present day.

To me, this book is perfection: beautifully ruined characters who, while roughly imperfect, are completely endearing; gritty realism with just enough dark humor, self-awareness, and self-deprecation; and a plot that stays interesting and intriguing and surprising from its opening scene in Cinque Terre in the 1960s to its closing scene on the same rocky coast in modern day times.

✨I was fortuitous enough to be in Cinque Terre, Italy while reading this novel. Again, perfection.✨ ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 268 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Ruins constitutes a departure for Walter, another unplowed field, and he harrows it straight and true, turning up the fertile humus of the culture’s soiled psyche. Beautiful Ruins collides its broad range of characters in unexpected, unique ways, and the wonderful light touch of the satire makes them eminently believable. Unlike the Juvenalian satirists, whose righteous indignation sometimes results in flat, two-dimensional, cardboard characterizations, Walter’s people inspire sympathy, belief, even a little self-examination. Am I like this? Do I have any qualities that resemble the ones I’m reading about here? If I do, where do I get help?

Jess Walter has written a novel that sprawls on the lawn, looks up fondly at the achingly blue American sky and gazes into the deep humor of our collective human condition. That’s what good satire does—it reminds us who we really are. Humans.
adicionado por zhejw | editarPaste, David Langness (Aug 7, 2012)
 
Walter is simply great on how we live now, and ­— in this particular book — on how we lived then and now, here and there. “Beautiful Ruins” is his Hollywood novel, his Italian novel and his Pacific Northwestern novel all braided into one: an epic romance, tragicomic, invented and reported (Walter knows his “Cleopatra” trivia), magical yet hard-boiled (think García Márquez meets Peter Biskind), with chapters that encompass not just Italy in the ’60s and present-day Hollywood, but also Seattle and Britain and Idaho, plot strands unfolding across the land mines of the last half-century — an American landscape of vice, addiction, loss and heartache, thwarted careers and broken dreams. It is also a novel about love: amorous love, filial love, parental love and the deep, sustaining love of true friendship....

His balanced mixture of pathos and comedy stirs the heart and amuses as it also rescues us from the all too human pain that is the motor of this complex and ever-evolving novel. Any reservations the reader might have about another book about Hollywood, about selling one’s soul (or someone else’s, and pocketing the change) will probably be swept aside by this high-wire feat of bravura storytelling. Walter is a talented and original writer.
adicionado por zhejw | editarNew York Times, Helen Schulman (Jul 6, 2012)
 
This novel is a standout not just because of the inventiveness of its plot, but also because of its language. Jess Walter is essentially a comic writer: Sometimes he's asking readers to laugh at the human condition; sometimes he's inviting us to just plain laugh.
adicionado por zhejw | editarNPR, Maureen Corrigan (Jun 18, 2012)
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Jess Walterautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ballerini, EdoardoNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture for wild beasts to fight in.
-- Voltaire, The Complete Letters
Cleopatra: I will not have love as my master.
Marc Antony: Then you will not have love.
-- from the 1963 disaster film Cleopatra
[Dick] Cavett's four great interviews with Richard Burton were done in 1980...Burton, fifty-four at the time, and already a beautiful ruin, was mesmerizing.
-'Talk Story' by Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 22 November 2010
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The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly -- in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier.
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Pasquo, the smaller the space between your desire and what is rght, the happier you will be.(page 304)
But aren't all great quests folly? El Dorado and the Fountain of Youth and the search for intelligent life in the cosmos--we know what's out there. It's what Isn't that truly compels us....true quests aren't measured in time or distance anyway, so much as in hope. There are only two good outcomes for a quest like this, the hope of the serendipitous savant--sail for Asia and stumble on America--and the hope of scarecrows and tin men: that you find out you had the thing you sought all along. (p.428)
All we have is the story we tell. Everything we do, every decision we make, our strength, weakness, motivation, history, and character--...it's our story...Your parents don't get to tell your story. Your sisters don't....No one gets to tell you what your life means! (p.405-6)
...the more you lived the more regret and longing you suffered, that life was a glorious catastrophe... (p.416-7)
Some memories remain close; you can shut your eyes and find yourself back in them. These are first-person memories--I memories. But there are second person memories, too, distant you memories, and these are trickier: you watch yourself in disbelief... (p. 394)
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A novel that spans fifty years. The Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet; the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.

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