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Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins

Jess Walter Beautiful Ruins
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Main description:

From the moment it opens—on a rocky patch of Italian coastline, circa 1962, when a daydreaming young innkeeper looks out over the water and spies a mysterious woman approaching him on a boat—Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, Beautiful Ruins is gloriously inventive and constantly surprising—a story of flawed yet fascinating people navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

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“[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.”

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“[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.”

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“[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.”

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Beautiful Ruins is satisfying and delicate, a spectacular story of love, frustration, selfish intent, and the patience of the human heart.”

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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. . .”

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

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“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.”

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“A great getaway of a novel.”

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“A literary miracle.”

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

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

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“A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor. . . . reimagines history in a package so appealing we’d be idiots not to buy it.”

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“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.”

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

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“Combines satisfying, old-fashioned storytelling with a modern sensibility.”

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

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

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“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 i

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. 

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