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Beautiful Ruins : Penguin Essentials - Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins

By: Jess Walter

Paperback | 3 May 2013 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance


RRP $22.99



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The story begins in 1962. Somewhere on 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 views an apparition- a beautiful woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an American starlet, he soon learns, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away in Hollywood, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot searching for the woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before. Gloriously inventive, funny, tender and constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a novel full of fabulous and yet very flawed people, all of them striving towards another sort of life, a future that is both delightful and yet, tantalizingly, seems just out of reach. 'You're going to love this book. New York Times Book Review 'Hilarious and compelling. Esquire 'Nothing less than brilliant.' Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk '. . . ambitious, large-hearted exhilarating novel that leaves you wanting more.' The Times '. . . sly and sophisticated beach read.' The Guardian '. . . there's reason this book spend several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list- it is quite simply the ultimate brainy beach read.' Harper's Bazaar
Industry Reviews
Just about the perfect summer read. It is intelligent and thought-provoking, but also a lot of fun. Reading hours fly by and reaching the final page feels like a genuine wrench * Sunday Times *
Ambitious, large-hearted, exhilarating novel that leaves you wanting more . . . Very, very funny * The Times *
Beautiful Ruins is a novel unlike any other you're likely to read this year -- Nick Hornby
Romantic, very funny...Turbo-charged satire meets a Garcia Marquezesque love story. What's not to like? * Daily Mail *
Walter creates an epic here - one that took him 15 years to write. The end result, however, is well worth the wait * Observer *
A sparkling summer read * Telegraph *
Thoroughly enjoyable, a tender, funny, ridiculous tale which has love at its core and a keen satirical edge to cut through the lovely, lush romanticism * Sunday Express *
You're going to love this book * New York Times Book Review *
A brilliant, madcap meditation on fate * Kirkus Reviews *
A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor * Booklist *
The beach read of the summer * Vogue *
Hilarious and compelling * Esquire *
Magic. Walter is a believer in capricious destiny with a fine, freewheeling sense of humour . . . A monument to crazy love with a deeply romantic heart * New York Times *
Poignant, comical and marvellous * San Francisco Chronicle *
Larger-than-life characters, billowy romance and crafty satire ... Any book that includes Richard Burton as a character is fine by us * Esquire *
Cinematic and utterly romantic . . . the big beach read for summer * Sunday Times *
My absolute favourite read this year -- Nick Curtis * Evening Standard 'Books of the Year' *
A bravura feat -- Peter Kemp * Sunday Times 'Books of the Year' *
The beach read of 2013 * Grazia 'Books of the Year' *
Think Il Postino with a walk-on part for a comically drunk Richard Burton -- Peter Brookes * The Times 'Books of the Year' *
Walter's account of the filming of the Burton/Taylor classic Cleopatra is a playful imagining of emotional history and hidden lives just out of view. Be warned, this is a novel that may make any festive guests somewhat anti-social as I read it in two days flat -- Olivia Cole * GQ 'Books of the Year' *

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