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I first learned about Matthew by watching him on the new TV show "Ready for Love". I had read a few raving reviews for his book and decided to check it out. I finished it in about 48 hours - it was hard to put down! I feel that I have learned many valuable things - primarily the keys to creating a wonderful relationship that LASTS. This is much more than just dating advice -it's relationship advice, which is of the most interest to me. I believe every woman could learn something from this book, no matter what phase of life or relationship status they are in. I am inspired and hopeful, and look forward to putting the tools I have learned to use!
When I got this tablet it instantly installed ice cream sandwich update and have enjoyed it from day one. Perfect for browsing, movies, games, music, etc. Brilliant screen and made of high quality materials. Was worrried about wi-fi from other reviews but have not experienced any problems. Processor is fast. Definitely a great purchase.
When I read something like "A literary miracle" on the front cover of a book, I'm both intrigued and wary. Like, what does that even mean? Literary miracle. Well, after having read Beautiful Ruins, I understand.
It seems something of a miracle that the Jess Walter was able to create such depth in his stories and his characters in a single book and even in single chapters. The book starts in a tiny village in Italy in 1962, from the perspective of a young hotelier who inherited the hotel when his father passed away. Pasquale, the young hotelier, is excited when his friend Orenzio brings a beautiful young American actress, Dee Moray, to his hotel, for whom Pasquale quickly falls. It was well written and believable.
However, after reading the chapter, I was worried that I was not going to really enjoy this one because I was not really in the mood to read another foreign literary masterpiece that is dry and boring and too dense to really care. Not that the first chapter was those things -- I was just concerned that it was going to be given the high praise and where the book started.
After another day or two, I picked up the book again and started reading the second chapter. The second chapter is in Hollywood, "recently" (say, around 2010), from the perspective of a young girl (late-20s) who is disillusioned about life, hollywood, and her future. It was fresh and modern and believable. It was not dry, boring, or too dense to really care. Claire is trying to find herself in Hollywood, after landing her dream job as assistnat to the legendary but somewhat washed up Michael Deane, and after landing her dream boyfriend - the gorgeous but stripper-obsessed idiot in her bed, she's realized that the glitter and the glamour are not all they're cracked up to be. With a new job prospect from a small new museum, Clair is considering whether it's time to throw in the towel on film production and cut her losses. When the new museum happens to be primarily funded by the church of scientology, it gives Clair just enough pause to give herself an ultimatum: Either she finds the one film she's been dreaming she would make on Wild Pitch Friday (where the pitches are unlikely to be for glorious masterpieces), or she quits both her job and her boyfriend and takes up the job building the new museum.
And then I lost track of the chapters and time as I tore through the rest of the book.
The various chapters are told interchangeably from the perspectives of Claire, Pasquale, Michael Deane (even through the memoir his agent told him they could never publish, but which Deane gives to Claire to read), Dee Moray and her son Pat Bender. Each perspective is believable -- the view from a 1962 Italian Pasquale's eyes is just as convincing as the view from a 2010-ish Hollywood Claire's eyes, is just as convincing as the memoir written from Michael Deane explaining the whole "mess." Walter even incorporates famous people and movies -- Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatria -- to add to the realism of the tale, without ever crossing lines into the impossibility (i.e., he did not change any known facts, he just added in details into the pockets and unknowns that could be... who knows... feasible).
The perspectives are all over the place, the times are all over the place, the stories are all over the place, -- front to back and back to front, and yet it is a cohesive, believable, perfectly timed story. A miracle. Even more.... he managed to actually tie together all of the characters from the 1940s to 2010, from all over the world, without it being "too convenient." I was so impressed with Walter. It felt like just a series of life events that ultimately brought all of the characters together within one story. But it did not feel forced or contrived. It just felt... natural. Like yeah, that's what happened.
And then you find yourself nearing the end of the book. But, oh no, there are too many strings to tie up!! He's going to leave me hanging, I just know it.... ahhh, i hope he at least wraps up ____, and ____. And ___. But how can he! Too few pages.... You keep reading.
And he does it. and it feels a little bit like a miracle. Not everything is neat and bowtied, but it's all done just enough to leave the reader at peace. With all of the stories, and all of the different lines, and all of the different characters, resolved just enough to close the book and go to sleep. All is well.
A literary miracle. Now I understand...
(this and other reviews at AllBookReviewer.blogspot.com)
Downloaded this book onto my Kindle for recent 10 day trip to Spain (Barcelona, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada). Although I had arranged several private tours, the information in the book was invaluable in guiding me through places that were not on the tour (in some cases I found the book more informative than the guides). The only weakness is that the lodging and restaurant selections were weighted more toward economy scale; I did however eat at several of the suggested restaurants and was not disappointed.
I saw Lyn-Genet on Dr. Oz and immediately ordered the Kindle version of her book. Finished reading it in two days and started the 3-day cleanse yesterday. I deviated slightly because I didn't have the ingredients for the flax granola the first morning and I have had one cup of coffee both mornings. Still, I lost 2 pounds in just my first day, which is really nice and totally worth the effort of preparing the meals. We'll see how it continues from here, but so far I am impressed with the results and the book overall was extremely informative. I am looking forward to having a little cheese, a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate once the cleanse is over!