The story begins in 1962. Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and views an apparition: a beautiful woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an American starlet, he soon learns, and she is dying.
And the story begins again today, half a world away in Hollywood, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot searching for the woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before.
Gloriously inventive, funny, tender and constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a novel full of fabulous and yet very flawed people, all of them striving towards another sort of life, a future that is both delightful and yet, tantalizingly, seems just out of reach.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 07 / 2013
- 129 x 198mm
I read this while I was on Holiday in Italy last year, then my wife read it, then my mother in law read it. We all loved it. It is an infinitely slow love song, Hollywood expose, mystery and hipster passion play. AND it has some of the funniest set pieces I've read for years. The name of the hotel on the Cinqueterre coast is Hotel Adequate View. TV and Movie producer Michael Deane's cosmetic surgery is described as giving him the face of a nine year old Filipino girl. It will make you laugh and cry. A cast of misfits and desperate seekers after unreachable goals are taught a simple lesson by the simple unflustered decency of an elderly former hotel keeper from Liguria. Read it. You will feel better about the world.