Search This Blog

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Book From Jess Walter: "The Beautiful Ruins."

The Beautiful Ruins is the new novel from Jess Walter, author of Citizen Vince, The Zero, and The Financial Lives of the Poets.  You can check out a NYT review of The Beautiful Ruins here.  Reviewer Janet Maslin writes, "[T]hink of 'Beautiful Ruins' in terms of its most powerful figure:  Elizabeth Taylor.  She does not appear anywhere in the book except in one snapshot . . . But she is only one or two degrees of separation from most of the vividly etched characters.  And the repercussions of her notoriously erratic behavior change the lives of all of them."  Sound intriguing.

I am definitely going to read The Beautiful Ruins, having greatly enjoyed Mr. Walter's previous books. My review of The Financial Lives of the Poets is here.    


  1. The "beautiful ruins" of this affecting story include not only its physical setting, in a tiny coastal village destined for extinction (Porto Vergogna or the Port of Shame), but also the larger than life characters, including a "real" Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who appear as supporting actors to the main story of the more ordinary cast: the arrestingly beautiful blonde starlet Dee Moray and the young innkeeper who falls for her, Pasquale Tursi, and many many other memorable characters, their children, their friends, their colleagues.

  2. Thanks for your analysis, Italia. You have a distinctive, and familiar, writing style.