by Jess Walter
Pasquale is an insecure young man drifting dreamily through life in his small, Italian fishing village. Dee Moray is an up-and-coming starlet on the set of Hollywood’s infamous epic, the Richard Burton and Liz Taylor vehicle, Cleopatra. Pasquale and Dee would seem to have little in common, but in author Jess Walter’s capable hands, their journey from 1962 to the present is a fanciful treat. Ruins isn’t perfect; there are passages that resemble an old Doris Day-Rock Hudson farce with contrived situations, but Walter’s hopscotching, time-traveling story is mostly funny, bittersweet, and wise.
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