[Download] ✤ Beautiful Ruins ➸ Jess Walter – Saudionline.co.uk

Beautiful Ruins chapter 1 Beautiful Ruins, meaning Beautiful Ruins, genre Beautiful Ruins, book cover Beautiful Ruins, flies Beautiful Ruins, Beautiful Ruins 284b7e3cfdf51 The Story Begins InOn A Rocky Patch Of The Sun Drenched Italian Coastline, A Young Innkeeper, Chest Deep In Daydreams, Looks Out Over The Incandescent Waters Of The Ligurian Sea And Spies An Apparition A Tall, Thin Woman, A Vision In White, Approaching Him On A Boat She Is An Actress, He Soon Learns, An American Starlet, And She Is DyingAnd The Story Begins Again Today, Half A World Away, When An Elderly Italian Man Shows Up On A Movie Studio S Back Lot Searching For The Mysterious Woman He Last Saw At His Hotel Decades EarlierWhat 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 Gloriously Inventive, Constantly Surprising, Beautiful Ruins Is A Story Of Flawed Yet Fascinating People, Navigating The Rocky Shores Of Their Lives While Clinging To Their Improbable Dreams


10 thoughts on “Beautiful Ruins

  1. says:

    This book started with such promise Pasquale was a great character and I would have enjoyed following his story The Italian setting was lush and Dee Moray s story was interesting until it got crushed by all the random characters and story lines Richard Burton and Liz Taylor Really Just seemed like a mishmash of people who were trying too hard to convey messages I could not wait to finish this book and escape from these people who make life so damned complicated for themselves and others For me, the constant changing of past and present times was often disjointed I did not see anything beautiful, only the ruins of a hyperactive plot.Yet there were a few lines that had meaning to me Pasqo, the smaller the space between your desire and what is right, the happier you will be All we have is the story we tell No one gets to tell you what your life means And even if they don t find what they re looking for, isn t it enough to be out walking together in the sunlight


  2. says:

    Preconcetti sventato ancora una volta Whoever designed the cover of this novel and came up with its title because I refuse to believe either of these disasters were Jess Walter s doing must have had one thing in mind make this book appear to be as much of a chick lit beach read as possible And yes, while there are certainly elements of the chick lit beach read here some tender relationships, a sprinkle of sentimentality, a romance or twelve it would be highly unfair to categorize it as so, because this book smashes that label to pieces and even transcends whichever other label one might try to apply to it Beat that, labels Walter is a skilled writer For such a short book with its surprisingly large cast of characters, including believe it or not Richard Burton, Walter manages to do draw out each of them fully and beautifully, flaws and all Traversing from post war Italy to modern day Hollywood and back again, the plot is expertly constructed Though it does, at times, meander into predictable territory, it never stays there long, and the care with which Walter crafts the relationships among his characters whether it be between a mother and her son, a young man and his comrade, or a widow and her never forgotten flame is a care reminiscent of that shown by Krauss in The History of Love In fact, I think both novels succeed on a similar level besides shattering my preconceptions , which is to address the often competing themes of desire and responsibility, imagining the possibilities of a life that could have been while ultimately reconciling it with the life that is.But also, yes It is a love story And the robot loves his master, alien loves his saucer, Superman loves Lois, Lex, and Lana, Luke loves Leia till he finds out she s his sister , and the exorcist loves the demon even as he leaps out the window with it, in full soulful embrace, as Leo loves Kate and they both love the sinking ship, and the shark God, the shark loves to eat, which is what the mafioso loves, too eating and money and Paulie and omert the way the cowboy loves his horse, loves the corseted girl behind the piano bar, and sometimes loves the other cowboy, as the vampire loves night and neck, and the zombie don t even start with the zombie, sentimental fool has anyone ever been lovesick than a zombie, that pale, dull metaphor for love, all animal craving and lurching, outstretched arms, his very existence a sonnet about how much he wants those brains This, too, is a love story. And also, yes Parts of it do take place on the Italian Riviera Get over it.


  3. says:

    Pearl Ruled Rating 2.5 of five p88 Story of romantic love at first sight ranging from 1962 to the present, and involving a staggering amount of cluttered narrative and facile, stereotypical characters.The writing is perfectly serviceable, though without any distinguishing characteristics It s like those MFA bores all are I put this down three hours ago, and already I had to look up the main characters names Pasquale and Dee Moray.In 10 minutes, I won t remember either one.That is a big problem to have with a 337 page book.PS note to the review policeI don t care that you think I shouldn t have rated or reviewed the book because I didn t read the whole thing Don t message me privately, and don t leave comments, as I will simply delete them.


  4. says:

    I got a table at the Rainbow Room I told my wife I d be home soon Big ships are approaching the docks I got my hi fi boom box Mashed potatoes in cellophane I see my life going down the drain Hold me baby and don t let go Pretty girls help to soften the blowPalm trees the flat broke disease And LA has got me on my knees I am the bluest of blues Every day a different way to lose The Go GetterI ll be the Go GetterThat s my planThat s who I amThe Go GetterYeah the Go Getter The Go Getter The Black KeysI have a complicated relationship with social satire I give the vulgar and violent thinking here of South Park and Chuck Palahniuk a wide berth but the bizarre sensibilities of Monty Python, the gentle humor of Garrison Keillor or the politician skewering tirades of Stewart and Colbert tickle me I have the hardest time appreciating modern literary satire When I commit to spending a few days with a book, I want story Good, old fashioned, beginning middle end story, not cynical commentary wrapped in wit Jess Walter s Beautiful Ruins is the marriage of gentle social satire with old fashioned story telling a marriage that gives life to a delightfully original and brave novel Like any skilled satirist, Walter creates a world that is slightly off kilter not bizarre, not unbelievable just a sense that something, somehow is slightly amiss The reader is always a bit wobbly guaranteeing she will take nothing for granted in the narrative The title Beautiful Ruins refers to one of novel s central themes the inevitable crumbling of youth, of promise, of dreams There are so many beautiful ruins in this story, which takes place in 1962 Italy and present day Hollywood, with a bit of contemporary Spokane and Edinburgh and 1970 s Seattle tossed in, not to forget a slight detour to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the 1850 s Among the ruins we find the village of Porto Vergogna and the dreams of its most ambitious resident, hotel owner Pasquale Tursi the actress Dee Moray, who comes to Porto Vergogna in 1962 to convalesce Alvis Bender, a war veteran turned writer who can t write past his first chapter the legendary movie producer Michael Deane, who has made a beautiful ruin of his face with Botox and plastic surgery Deane s assistant Claire Silver, whose love life and career represent everything she hates about sell out, superficial Los Angeles former Seattle grunge rocker Pat Bender, a mid life shamble of addiction and self loathing and aspiring screenwriter Shane Wheeler, who delivers one of the book s most surprising chapters, a pitch for a movie about that great ruin of the American frontier spirit the doomed Donner party That s a heckuva lot of characters and there are , far and this is a heckuva lot of story Yet it works, in all its madcap and poignant twists, thanks to Walter s crisp writing and efficient plotting You fall in love with these characters Walter gives them such soul, your heart is constantly tugged This is a book you could read in the space of a Sunday, not because it s simple, but because you simply don t want to put it down I waver and withhold a fifth star because the Hollywood scenes feel a bit thin and fantastical to me there s that satire twitch of mine and I couldn t quite connect with Claire, who holds a pivotal role, until she, well, I don t want to spoil things If you don t care for Hollywood endings, you might feel cheated by Walter s wrap up of his intertwined story lines Me I m a sucker for spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of satire go down Richard Burton makes a brilliantly comic cameo it is in fact this famous actor for whom the book is titled, after Louis Menard s piece in The New Yorker 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 Jess Walter uses his characters and their exploits to poke firmly but not cruelly at the bubbles of pop culture, our adoration of celebrity and beauty and the fickle nature of the film and publishing industries Not to mention the fickle and fleeting nature of love He shows the folly of great expectations and the beautiful ruins of unfulfilled hopes and dreams It is a charming literary mosaic.


  5. says:

    After looking up various images of the 1963 movie, CLEOPATRA, the film that critically bombed but was lit up by the scandal of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, I saw a coastline of Italy that looked exactly like the cover of this book It is a most felicitous cover that captures the mood and time that this novel begins, in 1962 A parochial innkeeper, Pasquali Tursi, lives in a rocky coastline village called Porto Vergogna Port of Shame , a place the size of a thumb between two mountains, and referred to as the whore s crack One day, Pasquali is stunned by the vision of a young, striking, blonde American actress, Dee Moray, from the movie set, and baffled why she is staying at his inn He learns that she is sick, and waiting for the famous publicity agent, Michael Deane, to take her to Switzerland for treatment She stays at the ramshackle inn for a few days Walter depicts their friendship with exquisite wistfulness and beauty Her Italian and his English are as rocky as the cliffs surrounding the village, but a meeting of the souls eclipses language On an outing together, they climb the cliffs high above the Ligurian Sea so that Pasquali can show Dee five frescoes painted on the wall inside a machine gun pillbox bunker left over from World War II At this scene, I almost wept These frescoes become the most poignant visual metaphor of the book.Alvis Bender, an American writer with writer s block, traumatized from his experience in the war, stays at the inn annually, and has left his one devastating chapter in the drawer in Dee s room It is an astonishing chapter, one of the highlights of the novel It is a treat to witness the variety of stories that make up Walter s one larger story.The novel alternates non linearly from 1962 to contemporary time in Hollywood, Calfornia, where Claire Silver, a scholar of film archives, works for the now legendary film producer Michael Deane Claire is on the cusp of quitting her job and leaving her boyfriend, and is suffering from several regrets She is braced for another insipid film pitch when she receives a surprising visitor.In this pensive, reflective, aesthetically pleasing, and geographically stunning story, we meet a disparate cast of characters that are ultimately linked There s also a washed up rock musician, a frustrated screenwriter, and a cameo appearance by a certain alcoholic son of a Welsh coal miner a brief but rollicking insertion of a true to life legend that is so spectacular and credible, it almost outshines the rest of the book But the rest of the novel is exquisite, so that the scenes in repose combine with eye popping chapters, and give the book a sublime balance.The story has an undulating, timeless presence Patience is rewarded, as it ascends toward its peak with a languid pace The outcome may be a little too neat for some readers, but it is a minor flaw that is incidental to the mature and subtle elegance rendered on every page As time passes, it continues to echo with its alluring characters, resonating themes, and delicate visual beauty and symmetry.


  6. says:

    Heart Stabbing Elaboration of Beauty I kept this book on my shelf untouched for nearly 4 years after I couldn t make it past page 20 In April, with the spring weather, I decided to dust off its pretty jacket and read it So many have reviewed this novel in the time since I bought this that I doubt many will even read this review But I just feel compelled to addI was wowed, nearly speechless by the adductively alluring setting, ruins welling within me even now, months after my farewell I realize the book s faults, but they didn t take away from its gorgeous cinematic qualities.In one novel, the author contrasts A brilliant, breathtaking, blazing, Botticellian beauty of love and nature and flesh along the chromatic Italian Ligurian Sea coastline and on the movie set of Cleopatra in Rome, together with an appreciation for just being alive, under nights of sparkling stars,WithA sadness submerging the spiritual hole left by the reminder that in life we must choose paths this or that, not this and that , yet we have but one life to live but so much love from which to give Italian Ruins near Ligurian SeaFor some reason, my emotional Achilles heel is the idea of a love between two people as a living organism, floating after the two have split and even subsequent to the dissipation by degrees of each s unilateral love for the other These spirits of lost love are the saddest ghosts to me, once so hopeful and gorgeous and vibrant, kissed into intimate knolls and notched in its lovers souls, yet now doomed to obscurity then eternal demise unless someone captures the evergreen of its glory in art, which I guess is perhaps what Jess Walter means by using the symbolic beautiful ruins and fading painting therein I know this makes me a sap, but I d have to say this novel could best be described as A Heart Stabbing Elaboration of Beauty


  7. says:

    In 2006, Janet Maslin of the NY Times said, Jess Walter is a ridiculously talented writer That s been a blurb on every book he s written since I can see why, especially since I happen to agree This, his most recent novel, showcases these talents well The writing is effortless, the plot is engaging, the characters are memorable, and it s full of fun and insight The social commentary is awfully good, too, meaning I approve of the targets he pokes at The story begins in the early 1960 s in a remote fishing village just beyond Italy s fashionable Cinque Terre Young Pasquale, fresh out of college, has come back home to run his family s small hotel A beautiful American actress named Dee arrives mistakenly as a guest She was originally in Rome for the filming of Cleopatra Though Pasquale s English is not great, and he s also a bit shy, his earnest good intent makes an impression But she s sick dying We then cut to contemporary America Hollywood the epicenter of both glitz and schlock Claire is a film loving assistant at Michael Deane s studio Deane, a cheeser of some repute, began his career as a production assistant for Cleopatra, later became a big time producer, then fell off the pace awhile before getting his groove back via reality TV Walter s skewering of this broadcast idiocy is something all but the lowest of brows can appreciate Anyway, Claire is about to give up when two visitors show up One is a young writer hoping to pitch his sensationally bleak movie idea and the other is an older Italian gentleman there to see Michael So that s how it sets up We then get the back story that brings us up to the present And what a story it is One of the characters is an American writer a car salesman, really who visits Pasquale s hotel annually with the intention of writing a book, but in practice to drink wine He did manage a chapter, though, and the truth is it s very good We also witness some touching scenes where Pasquale and Dee connect, if only briefly, at soul level Then there was the whole Cleopatra circus Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton or Lizard as I like to think of them in this era of Brangelina took some managing, and Deane was the man tasked with the job The Welshman was a handful with his unslakable thirsts His cameo role was one of the highlights of the book Fast forwarding a few decades we meet Pat who is all about wine, women and song At least the song part had at one time provided an income He s in rather dire straits when we meet him, though Naturally, his story connects with the others Back in Hollywood, agendas are identified and actions are taken Now, in the time honored tradition of keeping important plot points to one s self, I hereby button my lip.I ve been a Jess Walter fan for several years now He s one of those writers who s found the sweet spot between flourishes and flow He never appears to be trying too hard while giving us bright, shiny nuggets in an entertaining way Richard Russo identified this talent early in Walter s career, which is meaningful since Russo is another writer I d put in that category My expectations for a Walter book are high In fact, I may have rounded down from 4.5 stars to 4 because I know his capabilities The shortcoming in this work, I felt, was in his character development He tended to trade depth for breadth With as many as 8 POV characters, it would have been nice digging deeper into a select few But hey, let s end this on a positive note This is a very readable book by a ridiculously talented writer.


  8. says:

    Some authors can juggle intertwined characters and a disjointed assembly of characters in a way that starts making sense, allowing them to pull all the characters and plot together effortlessly at the end Kate Atkinson, among others I did not feel that Jess Walter had that skill the characters did not appeal to me and if I hadn t been reading for my book group, I probably would not have bothered to finish.


  9. says:

    Last week, I was dreading seeing my dental hygenist Not just for the usual reasons I brush floss 3 times a day, yet she has to scrape and scrape with her little implements, and it makes me feel like an unclean swine but, because we always talk about books I knew she would ask about what I was currently reading, and I had no clue how to describe the magic of Beautiful Ruins in between all that scraping and suctioning.Even now when my mouth is NOT crammed full of tubes and metal hooksI m not sure how to describe it In 1962, Dee Moray, an aspiring actress whose mysterious illness has gotten her booted from the set of Cleopatra, arrives at a tiny Italian coastal village There she meets Pasquale Tursi, a young man who dreams of turning his town into a resort an American getaway, parasols on the rocky shore, camera shutters snapping, Kennedys everywhere Pasquale is waiting for life to come and find him. Jumping to recently in Hollywood, we meet Michael Deane, a has been film producer, a scythe on the wall of a tractor plant. He s been reduced to producing reality TV fare like Rich MILF, Poor MILF and Paranoid Palace we take mental patients off their meds, put them in a house with hidden cameras His assistant, Claire, spends her days listening to pitches for films that will never be made, and sifting shit for the corn.Going back to the sixties, we ll also be spending time with an author who s spent years perfecting just the first chapter of his book, and with Richard Burton himself, a heavy drinking, hard living, actress dipper, who burns to tell the real, inside story of Burton Taylor and their giant turd of a movie These great characters are twirled together in a book that also manages to contain part of a memoir, a film synopsis about the Donner Party, the first chapter of another book, and a play all leading to a final chapter that neatly sums up EVERY storyline, and is one of the most perfect things I ve ever read The best way to describe this entrancing book Steal some lines from its pages These are completely out of context but still wonderful Life picks up speed like a boulder rolling down a hill, easy and natural and comfortable, and yet beyond control somehow it all happens so fast, you wake a young man and at lunch are middle aged and by dinner you can imagine your own death.So don t inhabit the vast, empty plateau where most people live, between boredom and contentment.embrace the sweet lovely mess that is real life. What a sweet lovely mess it is


  10. says:

    A favorable review today in The New York Times said Jess Walter s new book is like a film script, but to my way of thinking it is like Walter as a one man performance artist, who suddenly pulls all kinds of horns, drums, bells and other props out of his bottomless pockets to illustrate a point, to make us laugh, to break into our attention and to declare are we entirely mad His work is brilliantly interpreted and performed by Edoardo Ballerini on audio, and to hear the thick and heavy tones of Richard Burton declaiming in a small outboard floating off the coast of Italy is to feel a stab of remembered joy Fifteen years from conception to production, this is Walter at his crazy, mad, funny, piercing best, for he skewers us and our lives by reflecting popular culture back at ourselves, but showers us with tender mercies at the end The novel covers a time frame from the early sixties through at least the last decade, and covers at least as many personalities as years But what a wild and happy party it is, with all the usual suspects love, greed, envy, pride, lust, infidelity and, I ll say it again, finally love It s a love story, we hear as Hollywood producer Michael Deane pitches his latest to the studio executives at the end of the book And I guess it always is, in the end, for that is all that really matters.Take this trip, and if you have eschewed listening on audio for whatever reason, throw aside your inhibitions and do yourself a favor This is performance art, and may be listened to with great effect We have a nubile Hollywood actress with a bit part in an Elizabeth Taylor film, a Hollywood producer, a small Italian coastal village, a young man pitching a story you get the idea There is lots going on but it always with the greatest clarity that we can see that life isn t always easy and that we usually find our hapless ways despite, or perhaps because of, our questionable choices.


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