Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beautiful Ruins~ Teaser Tuesday

Hosted by MizB at should be reading.

Here's how to play:

*Grab your current read,
*Open to a  page,
*Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page,
*Please no spoilers!
*Share the title and author.

Hollywood, California

Before sunrise--before Guatemalan gardeners in dirty dinged lawn trucks, before Caribbeans come to cook, clean, and clothe, before Montessori, Pilates, and Coffee Bean, before Benzes and BMW's nose onto palmed streets and the blue-toothed sharks resume their endless business--the gentrification of the American mind--there are the sprinklers: rising from the ground to spit-spray the northwest corner of Greater Los Angeles, airport to the hills, downtown to the beaches, the slumbering rubble of the entertainment regime..." (p.15)

"In Santa Monica, they call to Claire Silver in the predawn quiet of her condo--psst hey--her curly red hair splayed out on the pillow like a suicide. They whisper again---psst hey-- and Claire's eyelids flutter; she inhales, orients, glances over at the marbled shoulder of her boyfriend, sprawled asleep on his 70 percent of the king-size. Daryl often cracks the bedroom window behind their bed when he comes in late, and Claire wakes like this--psst hey-- to water spritzing the rock garden outside..."  (p.15)

 "Faced with such decisions (college, boyfriends, grad school), Claire has always been a pro-con lister, a seeker of signs, a deal-maker--and she makes a deal with herself now, or with Fate:  Either a good, viable film idea walks in the door today--or I quit...) (p.17)

"Then Claire starts for the bathroom, officially adding Daryl to her deal with Fate, like a hostage (Bring me a great film idea today or the strip-clubbing boyfriend gets it!)..." (p.19)

"And that's when a single wistful thought escapes her otherwise made-up mind: a wish, or maybe a prayer, that amid today's crap she might hear just one...decent...pitch--one idea for a great film-- so she won't have to quit the only job she's ever wanted in her entire life. 
(p. 19)
Outside, the sprinklers spit laughter against the rock garden." 

From Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins

Maureen Corrigan of NPR's Fresh Air calls this novel:
"A literary miracle...A sweeping stunner of a narrative...The entire novel is a kaleidoscopic collection of 'beautiful ruins,' both architectural and human. This novel is a standout not just because of the inventiveness of its plot, but also because of its language."

And another claims that it "shows novelists how it is done." 

I've been jonesing to read this book since last year and heard spectacular things about it. But only this weekend did I realize it is the same author as the one my husband has been raving about from the book he's reading (Land of the Blind). 

I'm only on Chapter 3 but in awe of his writing!


  1. Please let me know Kirsten, what your final verdict is. Is the story better than the writing, etc. I have a hard time with fiction nowadays and only want to read it if it is phenomenal on the whole.

  2. Oh how I envy YOU and anyone else that has enough time to read a good novel! KIRSTEN MA BELLE!!!!! Bonsoir! It is so great to see your comment chez moi! I have been crazy busy with a new but fabulous teaching job, just teaching French at the secondary level. I am very happy but it is time-consuming at the moment. Yes, we are having poetry workshops held at our home twice a month now! Wouldn't it be fun to read/write in a larger group?

    Sending you many hugs my friend! Anita

  3. Oh, I always love when you do these!


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