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There are currently 3 reader reviews for Beautiful Ruins
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A Tedious and Disappointing Read
This book was my book club's selection. I did not like it. After the first 50 pages I was ready to stop reading. I did plod on though. The book got slightly better near the end and I managed to finish it. I didn't like the story line. It was confusing and very disjointed. The randomness of the various story lines came together at the end but I felt like it was contrived. The only thing I liked was the description of southern Italy but it wasn't enough to sustain my interest. When my book club did discuss the book, there were divergent opinions. Some people loved it, some hated it, and others shrugged and said it was ok. I would not recommend it and even though it was meant to be satirical, I didn't think it was well written. I read that the author took 15 years to write this book and he kept changing the storyline every few years. I think he should've just stopped writing.
Jess Walters is one of contemporary fiction's most talented writers. Every book he has written is different and engaging. This story, that traverses continents and times in compelling ways, tells the story of an Italian innkeeper in a decrepit town on the sea. When his path crosses that of a Hollywood actress, events fold along unpredictable paths until they converge to a seamless whole. "Beautiful Ruins" is a moniker for the actor Richard Burton, whose story of fame and self-destruction is familiar to many.
This novel shines light on the lives of its complex characters, each a beautiful ruin in some way, who yet manage to repair themselves and become whole again. I am so glad I managed to read this book which I missed when it was first published in the summer of '12.
I was very disappointed in this novel. For all the hype and drum rolls I heard, I expected an interesting and phenomenal read – boy was I wrong!
It’s hard to explain but I actually found the story confusing at times and at other times rambling on and on and on but really not going anywhere. I will admit that I skipped and just skimmed through some of the chapters just so my misery could end a tad sooner.
Giving an undesirable review of a book bothers me greatly but when I began this book review blog I vowed to be honest. And, just because I didn’t enjoy Beautiful Ruins doesn’t mean that you won’t. I’ve read many glowing reviews so I know a lot of people did enjoy it thoroughly and I sincerely hope that you will too.