Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful ruins (Audiobook)
Written by Walter Jess
Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

I said it before and I’ll say it again: I love a good dose of contrast in books. Beautiful Ruins contrasts between the charms of a small Italian coastal village in 1962 and the cynical world of modern day Hollywood where everyone is pitching for the latest reality TV show.

The cover and title of this book are a bit misleading – it looks like it’s going to be a romantic story set in that coastal Italian Village, but that’s only the half of it, I think I would have tired of it quickly without the contrast of flicking between the romantic past and the shallow present. It’s got a great cast of characters also:

  • Pasquale Tursi an Italian Hotelier with grand notions of making a beach and a tennis court beside his small empty hotel.
  • Alvis Bender, an American war veteran / failed novelist / successful drunk philosopher
  • Pat Bender, a has been musician, who’s on the brink of being a full time waster
  • Shane Wheeler, a wannabe playwright who manages to get a pitch with a casting agent…
  • Claire Silver, Film school graduate, whose soul sinks further with every ‘reality tv’ pitch she has to listen to.
  • Michael Deane: a horrible, a plastic-faced, movie exec, who puts a price tag on everything
  • Richard Burton – yes Richard Burton!
  • And Dee Moray – the Hollywood Starlet who links them all together through the past, present, Italy & Hollywood.

I really liked it – and it’s quite different than the cover makes it seem.

The audio is quite good, and won awards but thank God the Irish character is a minor role, that accent was woeful

4/5 stars

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