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Beautiful Ruins

Cover of Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

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: the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.
"Why mince words? Beautiful Ruins is an absolute masterpiece." —Richard Russo
"A ridiculously talented writer." —New York Times
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: the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.
"Why mince words? Beautiful Ruins is an absolute masterpiece." —Richard Russo
"A ridiculously talented writer." —New York Times
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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.

Reviews-
  • New York Times "A monument to crazy love . . . Walter [is] a believer in capricious destiny with a fine, freewheeling sense of humor."
  • Newsday "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 agut wisdom...You'll want to explore these Ruins."
  • Interview "Walter vividly draws a world both tender and cutthroat, where ambition battles reality, daydreams fight doldrums and sometimes win."
  • Huffington Post "A marvel, an absolute gem of a beach read that is both hilarious and heartbreaking."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Expertly scratches the seasonal itch for both literary depth and dazzle."
  • People "Entrancing...Walter's turns of phrase are as brilliant as his plot twists, making for a compelling, fun read."
  • Kansas City Star "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."
  • The Plain Dealer "Beautiful . . . A shining, imaginative tale . . . Beautiful Ruins shows novelists how it is done."
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune "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."
  • Philadelphia Inquirer "A beautiful narrative . . . This writer is a genius of the modern American moment."
  • Library Journal (starred review) "A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor. . . . reimagines history in a package so appealing we'd be idiots not to buy it."
  • Publishers Weekly "Well-constructed...quirky and entertaining tale of greed, treachery, and love."
  • Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and creator of Lemony Snicket "This is a blockbuster, with romance, majesty, comedy, smarts, and a cast of thousands. There's lights, there's camera, there's action. If you want anything more from a novel than Jess Walter gives you in Beautiful Ruins, you're getting thrown out of the theater."
  • Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk "[N]othing less than brilliant, a tour de force that crosses decades, continents, and genres, to powerful and often hilarious effect....A masterful novel of love, loss, and hard-won hope that satisfies on every level."
  • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction "Within a page-turner of a plot, these triumphantly vulnerable characters leap off the page to take up permanent residence in your inner life. The effect is so powerful that to be untouched by Beautiful Ruins might well be like having no inner life at all."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "A brilliant, madcap meditation on fate. . . . Walter's prose is a joy-funny, brash, witty and rich with ironic twists. He's taken all of the tricks of the postmodern novel and scoured out the cynicism, making for a novel that's life-affirming but never saccharine."
  • Boston Globe "A novel with pathos, piercing wit and, most important, the generous soul of a literary classic. . . . Walter has planted himself firmly in the first rank of American authors."
  • Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air "A literary miracle."
  • The Stranger "Beautiful Ruins is satisfying and delicate, a spectacular story of love, frustration, selfish intent, and the patience of the human heart."
  • New York Times Book Review "[A] high-wire feat of bravura storytelling. . . . [Walter's] mixture of pathos and comedy stirs the heart and amuses as it also rescues us from the all too human pain that is the motor of this complex and ever-evolving novel."
  • Salon "His masterpiece . . . an interlocking, continent-hopping, decade-spanning novel with heart and pathos to burn, all big dreams, lost loves, deep longings and damn near perfect."
  • Selma Blair, the New York Post "It is a powerful and lush book."
  • People "A great getaway of a novel."
  • Nashville Scene "Beautiful Runs is itself a showcase for Walter's outrageous literary gifts in virtually every genre and style. . .No wonder critics have been outdoing each other with superlatives. . ."
  • Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife "[An] enchanting novel. . . Sweeping effortlessly back and forth between Italy and current-day Hollywood, and between various modes of storytelling, Walters builds a world that won't soon let you go."
  • Becky Aikman "Combines satisfying, old-fashioned storytelling with a modern sensibility."
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    HarperCollins
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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