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The Resource Beautiful ruins : a novel, Jess Walter

Beautiful ruins : a novel, Jess Walter

Label
Beautiful ruins : a novel
Title
Beautiful ruins
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Jess Walter
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • The story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 ... and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later, featuring an Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet, the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant
  • "Beautiful Ruins is a glorious read for book lovers ... Jess Walter has quietly and expertly built a career over six novels that puts him at the forefront of great American writers. Beautiful Ruins is the emerald among the pearls."--Selections from a review by best-selling novelist Adriana Trigiani
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2012.
  • Library Journal Best Books, 2012.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2012.
Review
  • Edgar Award–winning author Walter's well-constructed, bittersweet romance begins in April 1962, when a young innkeeper, Pasquale Tursi, puts up the "ethereal" American actress Dee Moray, who has arrived supposedly sick with stomach cancer at the remote Italian port of Vergogna. She has come from the extravagant Rome location of Cleopatra along with the philandering, tempestuous co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (Walter's title is taken from a description of Burton at 54). Pasquale soon discovers that 20th Century–Fox's chief troubleshooter, the young Michael Deane, has in fact whisked Dee, pregnant with the married Burton's child, away from the public eye to avoid scandal. Predictably, Pasquale falls in love with the beleaguered, vulnerable Dee, who is under pressure from Deane and the studio to get a discrete abortion in Switzerland. Fifty years later, the elderly Pasquale shows up on a Hollywood back lot looking for information about Dee's present whereabouts, much to the consternation of Deane, now a largely washed-up figure. The twisty narrative rolls on to show what actually became of Dee and her son, Pat Bender, a middle-aged, small-time performer. The Hollywood glitterati, led by the duplicitous Deane, come off looking thoroughly jaded and shallow compared to the stately, chivalrous Pasquale in Walter's (Citizen Vince) quirky and entertaining tale of greed, treachery, and love. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Associates. (Jun.) --Staff (Reviewed May 14, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 20, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Walter's newest book (after The Financial Lives of the Poets ) will have readers checking out Richard Burton movies and Cinque Terre guidebooks after marveling at his imagination and spot-on characters. It's 1962, and Dee Moray, an American starlet, has just fled the tumultuous Roman set of Cleopatra to hole up in a dilapidated hotel in an obscure Italian seaside village. Pasquale Tursi, the young proprietor of the Hotel Adequate View, is instantly smitten. Flash-forward 50 years. Claire, the ambitious yet practical young assistant to the once-legendary producer Michael Deane, is enduring another Wild Pitch Friday. A screenwriter desperate to sell his script ("Donner! An epic story of resiliency!") and an older Italian man bearing Deane's tattered business card both appear at Claire's door. Walter expertly traces the lines among these characters, using keen wit and snappy dialog to express the theme that "life was a glorious catastrophe." VERDICT The pop-culture references and wistful tone will please Nick Hornby fans and build Walter's following. Not to be missed. [See Prepub Alert, 12/19/11.]— Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA --Christine Perkins (Reviewed April 1, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 06, p75)
  • /* Starred Review */ Hollywood operators and creative washouts collide across five decades and two continents in a brilliant, madcap meditation on fate. The sixth novel by Walter (The Financial Lives of the Poets, 2009, etc.) opens in April 1962 with the arrival of starlet Dee Moray in a flyspeck Italian resort town. Dee is supposed to be filming the Liz Taylor-Richard Burton costume epic Cleopatra, but her inconvenient pregnancy (by Burton) has prompted the studio to tuck her away. A smitten young man, Pasquale, runs the small hotel where she's hidden, and he's contemptuous of the studio lackey, Michael Deane, charged with keeping Dee out of sight. From there the story sprays out in multiple directions, shifting time and perspective to follow Deane's evolution into a Robert Evans-style mogul; Dee's hapless aging-punk son; an alcoholic World War II vet who settles into Pasquale's hotel to peck away at a novel; and a young screenwriter eagerly pitching a dour movie about the Donner Party. Much of the pleasure of the novel comes from watching Walter ingeniously zip back and forth to connect these loose strands, but it largely succeeds on the comic energy of its prose and the liveliness of its characters. A theme that bubbles under the story is the variety of ways real life energizes great art--Walter intersperses excerpts from his characters' plays, memoirs, film treatments and novels to show how their pasts inform their best work. Unlikely coincidences abound, but they feel less like plot contrivances than ways to serve a broader theme about how the unlikely, unplanned moments in our lives are the most meaningful ones. And simply put, 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. A superb romp. (Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012)
Biographical or historical data
A former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, as of September 2015, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 30 languages, and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Esquire, McSweeney's, Details and many others.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10078927
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1965-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Walter, Jess
Dewey number
  • 813/.54
  • [Fic]
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3573.A4722834
LC item number
B43 2013
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Hotelkeepers
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Americans
  • Americans
  • Hotelkeepers
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Italy
  • Hotelkeepers
  • Actors
  • Americans
  • Man-woman relationship
Label
Beautiful ruins : a novel, Jess Walter
Link
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jess-walter/beautiful-ruins/?gclid=CjwKEAjw1MSvBRDj2IyP-o7PygsSJAC_6zoduehF4pINMJS4kTZ920GP_1d96993BqKIfBeThPpSlxoCfirw_wcB
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Includes P.S. insights, interviews & more
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn795757290
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Harper Perennial edition.
Extent
337, 16 pages
Isbn
9780061928178
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)795757290
Label
Beautiful ruins : a novel, Jess Walter
Link
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jess-walter/beautiful-ruins/?gclid=CjwKEAjw1MSvBRDj2IyP-o7PygsSJAC_6zoduehF4pINMJS4kTZ920GP_1d96993BqKIfBeThPpSlxoCfirw_wcB
Publication
Copyright
Note
Includes P.S. insights, interviews & more
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn795757290
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Harper Perennial edition.
Extent
337, 16 pages
Isbn
9780061928178
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)795757290

Library Locations

    • Stayton Public LibraryBorrow it
      515 N First Avenue, Stayton, OR, 97383, US
      44.799165 -122.794497
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