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  • Published: 3 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241986509
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

Beautiful Ruins




The gorgeous, glamorous New York Times bestseller set in 1960s Italy and modern-day Hollywood - now a Penguin Essential.

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.

  • Published: 3 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241986509
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Jess Walter

Jess Walter has written four novels, most recently The Zero which was shortlisted for the National Book Award. He lives in Spokane, Washington with his family.

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Praise for Beautiful Ruins

Romantic, very funny . . . Turbo-charged satire meets a Garcia Marquezesque love story. What's not to like?

Daily Mail

Just about the perfect summer read . . . Reading hours fly by and reaching the final page feels like a genuine wrench

Sunday Times

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