November 2, 2017 at 12:08 pm #4430
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.November 6, 2017 at 6:27 am #4443
I am determined to get to this one! I hope to start this week.November 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm #4449
Almost done…I’m enjoying it so far.November 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm #4452
Just finished this before we head out on our travels. I don’t have too much time to reflect on it now, but I’ll head back in here when I get back.
I enjoyed this book. I liked it, and it entertained me and kept me interested. I really liked how the book was about all of these different “characters” surrounding this old Hollywood stuff. Definitely right up my alley. The ending fell apart a little bit for me, and was the most problematic. But, as a whole, I really enjoyed reading this one.November 29, 2017 at 7:50 am #4547
Okay, I’m back…
I really enjoyed the idea of a fictional actress, Dee, from Liz’s “Cleopatra” movie. I enjoyed how JW came up with the story and tied it to the movie being filmed in Italy, adding Pasquale to the mix. I have seen Cleopatra several times, and I always enjoy it. Liz & Richard’s relationship and that whole film was such big scandalous news back in the day. My Mom says she remembers hearing about it all the time. I’m a Liz fan, so kind of wish she had made at least one appearance in the book. Richard, oh boy! I can totally picture him acting the way he did in the book. He just struggled with alcohol so much, it’s amazing that he was able to put out the films he did. An old-Hollywood hot mess!
I enjoyed the book overall. I thought it was fast and easy to read. I did not love the time-jumping. I am not a fan of time-jumping in books unless it absolutely adds the feel and plot of the book. It seems like so many books nowadays employ this technique, and I think I’m just kind of tired of it. Call it time-jumping fatigue 🙂
Character-wise, I enjoyed Pasquale most of all. He felt the most developed and interesting to me. I love when he stands up to the hotel mafia guy. Loved that!
The ending, oh boy, was a hot mess! I did not like it at all. It was wonky and choppy and cheesy. The rhythm of the book completely fell off for me at the end. When I read Jess’s story for how he wrote the book, and how long it took him, and how many times he re-worked sections, including the ending, then I understood why the ending was such a mess. All of the behind the scenes reasons show in the end.
November 29, 2017 at 9:50 am #4559
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by GWTW1939.
I finished this one up last night and liked it overall.
My favorite parts were the ones in Italy with Pasquale. The time, the scene and all of it was romantic and inviting. I loved that he was able to be a father to his son.
Michael Dean – no. He just reminded me how manipulative and swarmy Hollywood is. Ick. That was his character through and through. I didn’t care either way for Clare or for Shane’s characters. I didn’t think they brought much to the story.
I totally agree – the ending was a mess. LOL I did the audio book and the ending left me scratching my head.November 30, 2017 at 8:53 am #4574
Michael Deane is so sleazy. Ick! JW does a good job of presenting Deane as I picture many of the old-time producers. There is a great old movie called “The Bad and the Beautiful” starring Kirk Douglas as a Michael Deane-type producer that came to mind a lot when I was reading this book. Deane reminded me a LOT of that movie.
Yeah, the ending was bad. This is a good example of how a terrible ending can kind of “ruin” the rest of the book.November 30, 2017 at 11:24 am #4578
The ending made me think of Albus’ “chapter” that he wrote and how Dee said that maybe that was all he had to write, or something to the effect. The ending of this book felt like that – like the author wrote what he had to wrote and just left it at that.December 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm #4582
Yes! Agree. There is a parallel between Albus and Jess Walter himself. I think he did refer to that, kind of putting himself into that character a bit.
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