Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Jess Walter's novel takes us on a delightful trip to the coast of Italy, Hollywood and the depths of a failed writer's imagination. Intertwining plots take us from an isolated, dying Italian fishing village, where a hopeful hotel proprietor plays host to a dying "Cleopatra" starlet to contemporary Los Angeles, where the proprietor shows up seeking his long-lost love. Of course, there's an aging producer, an idealistic script reader and a screenwriter intent on making a feel-good Donner movie. Laugh-out-loud lines spring up in the narrative, which isn't afraid to provide such detours as a chapter of an unfinished World War II novel and the Donner pitch. It all moves merrily along with Walter's light, clear prose. This would be a fun present for a movie buff.

1 comment:

Dwayne Johnston said...

I cannot tell you how much I loved Beautiful Ruins. Jess Walter contemplates how we live our lives mired in the past or anticipating the future, but I was totally engrossed in the present while reading this wonderful novel.

Dwayne Johnston (Seattle DUI Attorney)