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BEAUTIFUL RUINS draws you in from the first page, combining disparate worlds--1960s Italy, modern day Hollywood and London, the Europe of WWII, even 1840s California--and characters into a can't-put-it-down page turner that culminates in a satisfying, and far from stereotypical, ending I couldn't wait to get to ... And wasn't disappointed when I did. A rarity with sweeping epics that dole out bits and pieces of the story to keep you guessing.
Fast-paced and frothy enough (lots of sex and drama) to be a beach book, it's smartly written, exquisitely detailed and will stick with you far longer than a typical potboiler. Jess Walter has woven a web of intriguing characters, richly realized, fully flawed and altogether believable. You even find yourself rooting for the rotters. I found it to be almost a lite version of a Wally Lamb epic with some of the same structure, spot-on characterizations and wide-ranging (in time and subject matter), yet intricately connected, story lines.
I don't want to give away a minute of the journey BEAUTIFUL RUINS takes you on via flashbacks, flash-forwards and manuscripts scraps, other than to say I enjoyed every word. That despite the fact that the original description of "from Italy to Hollywood" left me apathetic. In short, it was a story I didn't even know I was dying to hear until Walter started telling it.
Worth seeking out, this one is keep-you-up-all-night-reading good! This was my first experience with Walter's work, but I'll definitely be seeking out more by this author in the future.
I have been wanting a tablet for a while but couldn't afford an IPad. My kids gave me money for my birthday and they along with many friends recommended this tablet instead of the IPad for many reasons. I am glad I listened to them. I love it. There are so many free apps that I can download. I even use it during my therapy sessions as a speech therapist.