Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins


*Esquire's Best book of 2012
*NPR-Fresh Air best Novel of 2012
*Audible and Salon best audio book of 2012
*New York Times Notable Book of the Year
*Washington Post Notable Book of the Year
*In UK, Guardian, Times and Sunday Times Best Books of the Year
*Best books of the year: Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Seattle Times, The Oregonian, St. Louis Today, Kansas City Star, Goodreads, Hudsons, Barnes and Noble, Amazon

“A high-wire feat of bravura storytelling ... You’re going to love this book … The surprising and witty novel of social criticism that flows away from its lush, romantic opening offers so much more than just entertainment ... stirs the heart and amuses as it also rescues us from the all too human pain that is the motor of this complex and ever-evolving novel … Walter is a talented and original writer.” Helen Schulman, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"A literary miracle like Beautiful Ruins appears, and once again I'm a believer ... 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." Maureen Corrigan, NPR'S FRESH AIR

“Weds the grand dramatic impulses of the cinematic blockbuster to the psychological interiority of high literary art. The result is a page-turner that doubles as an elegant meditation on fame, desire, duty, and fate ... Walter has planted himself firmly in the first rank of American authors. He has crafted a novel with pathos, piercing wit and, most important, the generous soul of a literary classic … 'Beautiful Ruins' will endure.” – Steve Almond, THE BOSTON GLOBE

"A lyrical, heartbreaking and funny novel (that) ends with a 12-page bolt of brilliance, a perceptive, moving and altogether superb piece of writing. Walter closes the deal with such command that you begin to wonder why up till now he’s not often been mentioned as one of the best novelists around. 'Beautiful Ruins” might just correct that oversight.' -- Kevin Canfield, KANSAS CITY STAR

"Jess Walter has already proven that he’s one of our great comic writers ('Financial Lives of the Poets'), a cerebral postmodernist ('The Zero') and a savvy plotter of thrillers ('Citizen Vince'). Now he has his masterpiece, 'Beautiful Ruins,' an interlocking, continent-hopping, decade-spanning novel with heart and pathos to burn, all big dreams, lost loves, deep longings and damn near perfect." -- David Daley, SALON

"A near-perfect rendezvous ... a novel whose decade- and continent-hopping ingenuity expertly scratches the seasonal itch for both literary depth and dazzle ..." -- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (A-)

“Jess Walter … is a genius of the modern American moment … As always in Walter, there's a lot to laugh at amid the tragedy, and a lot to think about … you're gonna have fun with this novel.”--Susan Balée, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

"A monument to crazy love ... deeply romantic (with) vividly etched characters." -- Janet Maslin, NEW YORK TIMES

"Poignant, comical and marvelous … a mix of satire and love story." – Tom Nolan, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"Wonderfully sprawling ... vividly draws a world both tender and cutthroat, where ambition battles reality, daydreams fight doldrums and sometimes win." -- Royal Young, INTERVIEW MAGAZINE

"Superb … Walter makes each character memorable … the verve and enthusiasm of this novel, from its let's-go-everywhere structure to the comedy in the marrow of its sentences, are wholly life-affirming." – Mark Athitakis, MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE

"Walter is a prodigiously gifted writer. His sentences nearly sing … what unfolds is ambitious, and a lesser writer could never have engineered such masterful jumps through time." -- Christopher Bollen, LA REVIEW OF BOOKS

"Lively prose, sharp transitions and an entertaining cast of characters." -- Allegra Goodman, WASHINGTON POST

"... a great read ... Too much contemporary literary fiction suffers from what I call the "last third problem." … Jess Walter's "Beautiful Ruins" shows novelists how it is done ... a beautiful novel. " -- Anne Trubek, CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

"Ambitious ... (with) an ensemble of memorable characters ... Beneath Walter's black comic's mask beats the brain of an ethical philosopher and the heart of a romantic." -- Mary Ann Gwinn, SEATTLE TIMES

"A witty, sharply observant writer ... Walter's having so much fun with this stuff it becomes infectious ..." -- Jeff Baker, OREGONIAN

"A brilliant, madcap meditation on fate ... Walter’s prose is a joy—funny, brash, witty and rich with ironic twists. He’s taken all of the tricks of the postmodern novel and scoured out the cynicism, making for a novel that's life-affirming but never saccharine." KIRKUS (starred review)

"Comic, tender, smart ... the perfect vacation read." CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"High entertainment ... atop a bedrock of hard reality … a complex, delectable story." Margaret Gunning, EDMONTON JOURNAL

"Perfectly executed ... Walter tells his story elegantly (with) precise brushstrokes, echoing the appropriate rhythm of each location ... a spectacular story of love, frustration, selfish intent, and the patience of the human heart." -- Melody Datz, THE STRANGER (Seattle)

"A marvel, an absolute gem ... Surprises abound but Walter keeps his plot tethered to reality, resonating and reverberating and building to a conclusion that is as satisfying as it is gratifying." -- Nina Sankovitch, HUFFINGTON POST

"Magestic ... alternately poignant and laugh-out-loud funny ... a delicious summer read." -- Matt Buckingham, WILLAMETTE WEEK

“Energetic, entrancing … Walter’s turns of phrase are as brilliant as his plot twists, making for a compelling, fun read." PEOPLE

"Gloriously and darkly funny ... coming to understand what's going on in Beautiful Ruins brings the thrill of epiphany. Walter's sardonic wit and mischievous intelligence shine out to the very end." -- Katherine A. Powers (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR/​BN REVIEW)

“so effortlessly engrossing that its considerable technical accomplishments take a backseat to its more conventional charms … a great novel.” – PORTLAND MERCURY

"Hilarious and compelling." -- ESQUIRE

"Irresistable." -- O Magazine

“A beautiful story.” – HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"... so appealing we’d be idiots not to buy it ... A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor."
BOOKLIST (starred review)

"Walter’s newest book will have readers ... marveling at his imagination and spot-on characters ... Not to be missed." LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

"Well-constructed…quirky and entertaining tale of greed, treachery, and love.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Why mince words? Beautiful Ruins is an absolute masterpiece.” RICHARD RUSSO, Empire Falls

“This is a blockbuster, with romance, majesty, comedy, smarts, and a cast of thousands.” DANIEL HANDLER, Why We Broke Up

"... nothing less than brilliant, a tour de force that crosses decades, continents, and genres, to powerful and often hilarious effect." BEN FOUNTAIN, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

"... characters so exhilaratingly human that you want to break out into cheers and sobs ... to be untouched by Beautiful Ruins might well be like having no inner life at all." REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

Books

Story Collection
Seattle Times: "So freakishly, fiendishly good it isn't fair." --Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. --Long List Story Prize and Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize.
Novels
New York Times Book Review: "A high-wire feat of bravura storytelling." --#1 Bestseller --Esquire Book of the Year --NPR Fresh Air Novel of the Year --New York Times Notable.
Esquire: "Brilliant--and brilliantly funny." --Time #2 Book of the Year
Kirkus: "A brilliant tour de force." --National Book Award Finalist --PEN/USA Literary Fiction Finalist --LA Times Book Prize Finalist --Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award
Chicago Tribute: "Immensely entertaining." --Edgar Allan Poe Award best novel --Finalist ITW Thriller Award
"Funny, philosophical and original." The London Times
"Riveting ... outstanding ... tremendous emotional impact." Washington Post Book World
Nonfiction
"A stunning job of reporting." -- New York Times Book Review