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BEAUTIFUL RUINS AUDIO REVIEW
le 8 janvier 2013
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m a huge fan of audio books. Many are so well done that it is very much like hearing a finely tuned performance. Such has been the case with actor Edoardo Ballerini and is again with his amazing narration of Beautiful Ruins in which he speaks flawless Italian and also voices “the clumsy speech of Americans with an uncertain grasp of the language.” Salon deems his narration the best heard all year, so don’t miss it.
An experienced performer Ballerini has a host of awards on his mantel including an Audie Award and a handful of Earphones Awards from AudioFile Magazine. Plus, he is well remembered for his work in TV and film - The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, etc. Beautiful Ruins is sure to garner him one more award.
This surprising, inventive, spacious tale opens in 1962 when gossip mongers are thriving on the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the set of “Cleopatra.” A blonde, beautiful American starlet, Dee Moray, who has been cast as La Liz’s lady in waiting arrives at the Hotel Adequate View on the Italian coast. She, too, has been involved in a tryst or two on the movie’s set and now believes she is dying of stomach cancer. Pasquale Tursi, the young proprietor of the hotel immediately falls madly in love with Dee.
In a short while we meet a motor mouthed young publicist along with Richard Burton who is a bit in his cups. Pasquale has no idea what to think of this pair.
Fast forward fifty years when an elderly Italian comes to the office of the publicist who has become an important producer. The Italian is seeking information about Dee who came to his hotel many years ago, and so begins a big screen story of those who have populated Hollywood during the past half century. Their stories are fascinating, lush with hopes, dreams, disappointments and humor all related with Walter’s flawless eye and satirical bent. He brilliantly explores our common humanity, the joys and sorrows we share as revealed through the lives of the people in the remarkable Beautiful Ruins.
- Gail Cooke