Nominated by:

Jacksonville Public Library, USA

Seattle Public Library, USA

San Francisco Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Harper Collins, USA

Beautiful Ruins

Jess Walter      

2014 Longlist

From the moment it opens—on a rocky patch of Italian coastline, circa 1962, when a daydreaming young innkeeper looks out over the water and spies a mysterious woman approaching him on a boat—Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, Beautiful Ruins is gloriously inventive and constantly surprising—a story of flawed yet fascinating people navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Jess Walter is the author of five novels, including The Zero, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, and Citizen Vince, winner of the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. He has been a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN USA Literary Prize in both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR best books of the year and have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in Spokane, Washington.

Librarians’ Comments

This unforgettable epic is filled with beautiful prose and lush imagery. By turns joyful and heart wrenching, Jess Walter’s novel will stick in the mind long after the reading is finished.

Spanning many decades and countries, Walter’s latest novel is cinematic, brightly coloured and a real meditation on fate and relationships.

Walter has a way of writing people – more than just characters – that make you laugh and hope and ache and feel caught up in their stories, rendered in prose that is rich and witty.

Related Entries