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Beautiful Ruins
JESS WALTER

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
2589 reviews (2012) (352p)
Amazon Best Books of 2012: Top 100 Editors' Picks #54
Publisher's Weekly Best Books of 2012: Fiction #12
New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 #1
Library Journal Best Books 2012: More of the Best #1
Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2012: The Top 25 #1
Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2012: Adult Fiction (25) #9
Hudson Booksellers Best Books of 2012: Fiction #9

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Book Description

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.


Other Award Winning Books by Jess Walter
The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
61 reviews (2009) (304p) (TIME)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
The Zero by Jess Walter
32 reviews (2006) (336p) (NBA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Jess Walter Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 1 The Zero ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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Pulitzer Prize | National Book Critics Circle Award | National Book Award | PEN/Faulkner Award | Man Booker Prize | Contact