Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

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Beautiful Ruins

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Apr 02, 2013
Number of Pages: 352
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The No. 1 New York Times Bestseller Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins is a gorgeous, glamorous novel set in 1960s Italy and a modern Hollywood studio. 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. ‘Magic…A monument to crazy love with a deeply romantic heart’ New York Times ‘A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor’ Booklist ‘Hilarious and compelling’ Esquire

More books by Jess Walter

1. Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories 2022

by: Jess WalterSteph Cha
Release date: Nov 01, 2022
Number of Pages: 320
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A collection of the year’s best mystery and suspense short fiction selected by #1 New York Times bestselling author and guest editor Jess Walter and series editor Steph Cha. New York Times bestselling author and “superb storyteller” (Boston Globe), Jess Walter flexes his genre chops and selects twenty short stories that represent the best examples of the form published the previous year.

2. The Angel of Rome

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Jun 28, 2022
Number of Pages: 288
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins and The Cold Millions comes a stunning collection about those moments when everything changes—for the better, for the worse, for the outrageous—as a diverse cast of characters bounces from Italy to Idaho, questioning their roles in life and finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places. We all live like we’re famous now, curating our social media presences, performing our identities, withholding those parts of ourselves we don’t want others to see. In this riveting collection of stories from acclaimed author Jess Walter, a teenage girl tries to live up to the image of her beautiful, missing mother. An elderly couple confronts the fiction writer eavesdropping on their conversation. A son must repeatedly come out to his senile father while looking for a place to care for the old man. A famous actor in recovery has a one-night stand with the world’s most surprising film critic. And in the romantic title story, a shy twenty-one-year-old studying Latin in Rome during “the year of my reinvention” finds himself face-to-face with the Italian actress of his adolescent dreams. Funny, poignant, and redemptive, this collection of short fiction offers a dazzling range of voices, backdrops, and situations. With his signature wit and bighearted approach to the darkest parts of humanity, Walter tackles the modern condition with a timeless touch, once again “solidifying his place in the contemporary canon as one of our most gifted builders of fictional worlds” (Esquire).

3. The Cold Millions

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Oct 27, 2020
Number of Pages: 352
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“One of the most captivating novels of the year.” – Washington Post NATIONAL BESTSELLER A Best Book of the Year: Bloomberg | Boston Globe | Chicago Public Library | Chicago Tribune | Esquire | Kirkus | New York Public Library | New York Times Book Review (Historical Fiction) | NPR’s Fresh Air | O Magazine | Washington Post | Publishers Weekly | Seattle Times | USA Today A Library Reads Pick | An Indie Next Pick From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins comes another “literary miracle” (NPR)—a propulsive, richly entertaining novel about two brothers swept up in the turbulent class warfare of the early twentieth century. An intimate story of brotherhood, love, sacrifice, and betrayal set against the panoramic backdrop of an early twentieth-century America that eerily echoes our own time, The Cold Millions offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation grappling with the chasm between rich and poor, between harsh realities and simple dreams. The Dolans live by their wits, jumping freight trains and lining up for day work at crooked job agencies. While sixteen-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his older brother, Gig, dreams of a better world, fighting alongside other union men for fair pay and decent treatment. Enter Ursula the Great, a vaudeville singer who performs with a live cougar and introduces the brothers to a far more dangerous creature: a mining magnate determined to keep his wealth and his hold on Ursula. Dubious of Gig’s idealism, Rye finds himself drawn to a fearless nineteen-year-old activist and feminist named Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. But a storm is coming, threatening to overwhelm them all, and Rye will be forced to decide where he stands. Is it enough to win the occasional battle, even if you cannot win the war? Featuring an unforgettable cast of cops and tramps, suffragists and socialists, madams and murderers, The Cold Millions is a tour de force from a “writer who has planted himself firmly in the first rank of American authors” (Boston Globe).

4. Smoor, slipstream

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Mar 02, 2016
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Smoor en Slipstream zijn twee novelles over wanhoop en veerkracht, waarin de dramatiek van de liefde op een humoristische wijze centraal staat.

6. We Live in Water

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Feb 12, 2013
Number of Pages: 192
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ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2019 From the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter—a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him a bookseller and reader favorite These twelve stories—published over the last five years in Harper’s, The Best American Short Stories, McSweeney’s, Playboy, and other publications—veer from comic tales of love to social satire to suspenseful crime fiction, from hip Portland to once-hip Seattle to never-hip Spokane, from a condemned casino in Las Vegas to a bottomless lake in the dark woods of Idaho. This is a world of lost fathers and redemptive conmen, of meth tweakers on desperate odysseys and men committing suicide by fishing. We Live in Water is a darkly comic, heartfelt collection of stories from a “ridiculously talented writer” (New York Times), “one of the freshest voices in American literature” (Dallas Morning News).

7. Ruby Ridge

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Jun 26, 2012
Number of Pages: 416
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“The most comprehensive, even-handed and best written account of Ruby Ridge currently in print.” — Washington Times From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter, here is the story of what happened on Ruby Ridge: the tragic and unlikely series of events that destroyed a family, brought down the number-two man in the FBI, and left in its wake a nation increasingly attuned to the dangers of unchecked federal power. On the last hot day of summer in 1992, gunfire cracked over a rocky knob in northern Idaho, just south of the Canadian border. By the next day three people were dead, and a small war was joined, pitting the full might of federal law enforcement against one well-armed family. Drawing on extensive interviews with Randy Weaver’s family, government insiders, and others, Walter traces the paths that led the Weavers to their confrontation with federal agents and led the government to treat a family like a gang of criminals.

8. Citizen Vince

by: Jess Walter
Release date: May 29, 2012
Number of Pages: 320
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From the highly acclaimed new crime novelist: a story of witness protection, petty thievery, local politics, and murder—set against the turbulent backdrop of the 1980 presidential election It’s the fall of 1980, the last week before the presidential election that pits the downtrodden Jimmy Carter against the suspiciously sunny Ronald Reagan. In a seedy suburban house in Spokane, a small-time crook formerly from New York, Vince Camden, pockets his weekly allotment of stolen credit cards and heads off to his witness-protection job at a donut shop. A the shop he takes a shine to a regular named Kelly, who works for a local politician. Somehow he finds himself and the politician in a parking lot at three in the morning, giving the slip to a couple of menacing thugs. And then he crosses the path of a young detective—and discovers his credit-scam partner, lying dead in his passport-photo office with a Cheerio-size bullet-hole in his head. No one writing crime novels today tells a story or sketches a character with more freshness or elan than Jess Walter. Citizen Vince is his funniest and grittiest book yet.

9. Land of the Blind

by: Jess Walter
Release date: May 29, 2012
Number of Pages: 320
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“A mystery novel of profound depth.” — Booklist (starred review) “Walter is at his incisive best. . . . Hypnotically compelling.” — Publishers Weekly In this fiendishly clever and darkly funny novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter explores the bonds and compromises we make as children—and the fatal errors we can make at any time in our lives. While working the weekend night shift, Caroline Mabry, a weary Spokane police detective, encounters a seemingly unstable but charming derelict who tells her, “I’d like to confess.” But he insists on writing out his statement in longhand. In the forty-eight hours that follow, the stranger confesses to not just a crime but an entire life—spinning a wry and haunting tale of youth and adulthood, of obsession and revenge, and of two men’s intertwined lives.

10. Over Tumbled Graves

by: Jess Walter
Release date: May 29, 2012
Number of Pages: 400
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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year “Riveting. . . . Without ever taking the easy way out, the book explores the battle of good vs. evil on very human terms.” —Washington Post Book World Dark in mood and rich in character, Over Tumbled Graves by #1 New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter is that rare thriller that manages to be at once viscerally gripping and deeply provocative During a routine drug bust, on a narrow bridge over white-water falls in the center of town, Spokane detective Caroline Mabry finds herself face-to-face with a brutal murderer. Within hours, the body of a young prostitute is found on the riverbank nearby. What follows confronts our fascination with pathology and murder and stares it down, as Caroline and her cynical partner, Alan Dupree—thrown headlong into the search for a serial murderer who communicates by killing women—uncover some hard truths about their profession . . . and each other. Rich with the darkly muted colors of the Pacific Northwest skies, Over Tumbled Graves established Jess Walter as a novelist of extraordinary emotional depth and dimension.

11. Joint Venture

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Jan 01, 2012
Number of Pages: 320
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12. McSweeney’s Issue 37

by: Jonathan FranzenJ. Malcolm GarciaEtgar KeretNelly ReiflerJess Walter
Release date: May 01, 2011
Number of Pages: 252
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Presents a collection of stories from around the world, including five stories set in Kenya.

13. The Zero

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Oct 13, 2009
Number of Pages: 368
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National Book Award Finalist The breakout novel from a writer of extraordinary talent: In the wake of a devastating terrorist attack, one man struggles to make sense of his world, even as the world tries to make use of him Brian Remy has no idea how he got here. It’s been only five days since terrorists attacked his city, and Remy is experiencing gaps in his life—as if he were a stone being skipping across water. He has a self-inflicted gunshot wound that he doesn’t remember inflicting. His son wears a black armband and refuses to acknowledge that Remy is still alive. He seems to be going blind. He has a beautiful new girlfriend whose name he doesn’t know. And his old partner in the police department, who may well be the only person crazier than Remy, has just gotten his picture on a box of First Responder cereal. And these are the good things in Brian Remy’s life. While smoke still hangs over the city, Remy is recruited by a mysterious government agency that is assigned to gather all of the paper that was scattered in the attacks. As he slowly begins to realize that he’s working for a shadowy intelligence operation, Remy stumbles across a dangerous plot, and with the world threatening to boil over in violence and betrayal, he realizes that he’s got to track down the most elusive target of them all—himself. And the only way to do that is to return to that place where everything started falling apart. In the tradition of Catch-22, The Manchurian Candidate, and the novels of Ian McEwan, comes this extraordinary story of searing humor and sublime horror, of blindness, bewilderment, and that achingly familiar feeling that the world has suddenly stopped making sense.

14. The Financial Lives of the Poets

by: Jess Walter
Release date: Sep 22, 2009
Number of Pages: 320
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“Darkly funny, surprisingly tender . . . witheringly dead-on.” — Los Angeles Times Named one of the year’s best novels by: Time • Salon.com • Los Angeles Times • NPR/Fresh Air • New West • Kansas City Star • St. Louis Post-Dispatch A comic and heartfelt novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins and Cold Millions about how we get to the edge of ruin—and how we begin to make our way back. What happens when small-time reporter Matthew Prior quits his job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse? Before long, he wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, spying on his wife’s online flirtation, and six days away from losing his home. . . . Until, one night on a desperate two a.m. run to 7-Eleven, he falls in with some local stoners, and they end up hatching the biggest—and most misbegotten—plan yet.

15. Every Knee Shall Bow

by: Jess Walter
Release date: May 15, 1996
Number of Pages: 480
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Relates the true story behind the shootout at Ruby Ridge between white supremacist Randy Weaver and federal agents, a confrontation that left Weaver’s wife and only son dead. Reprint. TV tie-in.

16. In Contempt

by: Christopher A. DardenJess Walter
Release date: Jan 01, 1996
Number of Pages: 620
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Offers a personal perspective on the O.J. Simpson trial and shares the author’s observations on legal strategy, racial issues, and the principal lawyers, officials, and witnesses involved in the case

Last updated on Friday, September 9, 2022