A NovelBook - 2012
From Library Staff
multcolib_troutdale Feb 15, 2015
A story that transports you at once to Italy and Hollywood, California; between the 1960s and the present. A lovely story of life and longing. Pick it up just for the cover - it's beautiful. - Sarah O.
multcolib_dianaa Apr 09, 2014
This romantic and enjoyable novel follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet. Beautiful Ruins has it all, good characters, lyrical and witty writing, several fantastic settings, and-- bonus!- a very funny cameo by Richard Burton.
A tragicomedy about flawed humans, true love and hubris, illustrating the author's assertion that "life is a glorious catastrophe."
A decades-spanning madcap romp with cameos by the cast of 'Cleopatra.'
multcolib_recommends1 Apr 30, 2013
Former Hollywood stars languish on the coast of Italy in a book that Booklist called "A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor."
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
Page 63: "in most of Europe, the peasant class disappeared thirty, forty years ago, but not in Italy. Finally, after two wars, houses spill into the flats and river valleys outside the city walls. But as the walls come down, so does Italian culture, Carlo. Italy becomes like any other place, over-run with people looking for the 'Italian experience.'"
“And even if they don't find what they're looking for, isn't it enough to be out walking together in the sunlight?”
SummaryAdd a Summary
The story begins in 1962. 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 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 dying.
And 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 earlier.
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. 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.
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