Book Review 38: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

14 Aug

Beautiful Ruins is, ostensibly, about Hollywood. And how it seems to corrupt all it touches. The book alternates between two time periods.  First, the story begins in 1962, when a beautiful, blond American starlet in a moment of need happened upon an isolated Italian island, and its lonely, isolated hotel owner.  And then picks up again, in modern times, when an aging Hollywood producer legend is working with a young, ambitious woman who realizes her career is not heading in the direction she hoped.

I understand why people rave about this book.  The plot itself is intriguing – a young starlet led astray and deceived by those she trusted; an aging Hollywood tycoon who may or may not make it right; the young upstart just trying to make something of herself at her day job. There’s also something surprisingly dark about this book. To me, it felt like this book was about what happens when you give up on your dreams. When you stop acting and return home and marry a car salesman. When you take a commercial movie industry job when you want to make meaningful, independent features. When you’re marriage ends and you realize you can’t keep conning your way through life.

Definitely worth a read.

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One Response to “Book Review 38: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter”

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  1. HelloKatieO’s #CBR5 Reviews 38 – 53 | Cannonball Read V - December 26, 2013

    […] Review 38: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter […]

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