By: Jess Walter
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
Formats: Hardback, Audio and Electronic
Age Group: Older Teens and Adults
Review: I’d like to first thank TLC Book Tours for having me on the tour and HarperCollins for sending me the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
As an aspiring screenwriter, I absolutely fell in love with Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. While reading the book, I kept thinking what a great movie it would mak
Beautiful Ruins is a story about love, forgiveness, redemption and courage — most of all courage. Courage to say things you want to, courage to do the things you’ve dreamed of and courage to take risks.
Set in various time periods with stories that interweave and connect into a masterpiece of writing, Beautiful Ruins will stay with you long after you turn the final page. This is the first time I’ve read a novel by Jess Walter and I immediately went to the internet to check out what else he’s written. When I read the 2nd Chapter, which introduces one of the main characters, Claire Silver, an assistant to an aging film and television producer who has turned his sights to reality programming, I felt exactly as her. Where did all the movies go? Oh, yes, there are still movies, but they are usually CGI, toy-marketed, comic book crap that appeals to 15 year-old boys. Don’t get me wrong, I love Batman, but I’m with Claire who loves a good story and not something computer generated with stunts and stunts. I could go on and on about this, but I want to back to Beautiful Ruins.
It’s not just a story about Claire. It’s about Pasquale Tursi, a young Italian who falls helplessly for an American film actress, Dee Moray, who visits his small village during the 1960s, and Michale Deane, the film producer who is linked to both Pasquale and Dee. Oh, and there’s Shane Wheeler who becomes involved in the whole shebang when he goes to Deane’s office to pitch a script. There’s other characters but I don’t want to spoil the story.
Beautiful Ruins moves back and forth between 1962 Italy and present day, including other time periods and locations. Walter’s descriptions are clear and vivid, his characters fleshed out with flaws that make them seem like real people. I loved the relationships with each of the characters, their perspectives on life and the entertainment industry.
I never knew where the story was heading or what kind of path each character was leading me down – some filled with hope, some filled with longing and regret and some filled with ruin. The title has various connotations. Some of my favorite scenes were in Italy and of course, Los Angeles. I got a huge kick out of Claire and Michael’s inside view of Hollywood and Michael and Pasquale’s outsider view. What a terrific novel! Read this! Now!
I’m giving BEAUTIFUL RUINS 5 “Diaries” for being simply…well..beautiful!
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