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 Beautiful Ruins

by Jess Walter

"Hollywood operators and creative washouts collide across five decades and two continents in a brilliant, madcap meditation on fate.... A theme that bubbles under the story is the variety of ways real life energizes great art--Walter intersperses excerpts from his characters' plays, memoirs, film treatments and novels to show how their pasts inform their best work. Unlikely coincidences abound, but they feel less like plot contrivances than ways to serve a broader theme about how the unlikely, unplanned moments in our lives are the most meaningful ones." -- Kirkus