READ THIS! {Updates & Reviews}

This month, to start off the READ THIS! Book Club for the new year, we are reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.

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I haven't finished the book yet, but so far, I'm really enjoying it! Have you started reading along? Here are some reviews to pique your interest, or to encourage you as you're finishing up this novel.

David Langness, for Paste Magazine, writes, "Big, broad, highly effective satire like this doesn't appear often - it takes great skill and nuance to create it. When you read Beautiful Ruins, you'll taste flavors of our great satirists - George Orwell, Ambrose Bierce, H.L. Mencken, Jane Austen, Frank Zappa, Garry Trudeau, Flannery O'Connor, George Carlin, Walt Kelly, Stanley Kubrick, even Twain himself. I expect they're all smiling along with Horace [the Roman satirist] at this wonderful, funny tale." 

Maureen Corrigan, for NPR, writes, "And then a literary miracle like Beautiful Ruins appears, and once again I'm a believer. Jess Walter doesn't fall into ruts. Every novel of his that I've read, and admired, has been exuberantly different from its predecessor. [...] And now, there's Beautiful Ruins - a sweeping stunner of a narrative that roams from Italy in the early 1960s to Hollywood and the American Heartland in the present. The foremost 'beautiful ruin' of the title is self-destructive actor Richard Burton, but, indeed, the entire novel is a kaleidoscopic collection of 'beautiful ruins,' both architectural and human." 

Steve Almond, for Boston Globe, writes, "Jess Walter's new book, "Beautiful Ruins," opens with a lonely Italian hotelier named Pasquale Tursi catching sight of an American starlet, who has come to stay in his tiny coastal village. He falls instantly and hopelessly in love. It's an absurd notion, he knows, but he can't help feeling that he's summoned this vision "from old bits of cinema and books, from the lost artifacts and ruins of his dreams, from his epic, enduring solitude ... Life, he though, is a blatant act of imagination." This last phrase aptly describes Walter's audacious sixth novel, which weds the grand dramatic impulses of the cinematic blockbuster to the psychological interiority of high literary art. The result is a page-turner that doubles as an elegant meditation on fame, desire, duty, and fate."

Not just another typical hollywood novel, Beautiful Ruins is being hailed as a "literary miracle" and as a "beautiful" novel that is not to be missed. I hope you'll join me in reading this fantastic novel!




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