Beautiful Ruins: A Novel (Paperback)

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July 2012 Indie Next List


“In 1962, a young Italian innkeeper unwittingly ends up taking part in the Hollywood 'clean up' of a love affair on the set for the film Cleopatra. Fast forward to present day Los Angeles; Pasquale Tursi shows up at the studio of a legendary Hollywood producer to find out the fate of the actress he met so briefly, so long ago. The 'beautiful ruins' refer not only to the stunning descriptions of the Italian coastline, but also to the winding path a life can take and the sweet middle ground that we sometimes discover when our dreams don't pan out.”
— Sarah Harvey, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Description


The #1 New York Times bestseller—Jess Walter’s “absolute masterpiece” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author): the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 and resurfaces fifty years later in contemporary Hollywood.

The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962...and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. 

About the Author


Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, and Citizen Vince, the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Praise For…


“A monument to crazy love . . . Walter [is] a believer in capricious destiny with a fine, freewheeling sense of humor.”
New York Times

“Walter is a very, very funny writer and can do Hollywood satire with the best of them. But this is also a novel with a live, beating heart, full of sympathy for its characters and a gut wisdom…You’ll want to explore these Ruins.”
Newsday

“Walter vividly draws a world both tender and cutthroat, where ambition battles reality, daydreams fight doldrums and sometimes win.”
Interview

“A marvel, an absolute gem of a beach read that is both hilarious and heartbreaking.”
Huffington Post

“Expertly scratches the seasonal itch for both literary depth and dazzle.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Entrancing…Walter’s turns of phrase are as brilliant as his plot twists, making for a compelling, fun read.”
People

“Lyrical, heartbreaking, and funny . . . Walter closes the deal with such command that you begin to wonder why up till now he’s not often been mentioned as one of the best novelists around. Beautiful Ruins might just correct that oversight.”
Kansas City Star

“Beautiful . . . A shining, imaginative tale . . . Beautiful Ruins shows novelists how it is done.”
The Plain Dealer

“His [Walter’s] characters are long-suffering, prone to failure and sometimes at death’s door. But the verve and enthusiasm of this novel, from its let’s-go-everywhere structure to the comedy in the marrow of its sentences, are wholly life-affirming.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A beautiful narrative . . . This writer is a genius of the modern American moment.”
Philadelphia Inquirer


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061928178
ISBN-10: 0061928178
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013
Pages: 368
Language: English
Series: P.S.