Jess Walter's latest novel, Beautiful Ruins (2012), is one of his better novels. This novel uses several different modes of narration to tell the story of several people over time. This includes flashbacks, documents, etc. One strand of the narrative takes place in Italy in 1962 when Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were making the film Antony and Cleopatra, and is one of the stronger sections of the novel. Walters can pinpoint this as the time in which paparazzi and the notion of celebrity took a foothold in the entertainment business. Other strands take place in Hollywood, Seattle, Sand Point Idaho, etc. I felt the novel was pretty solid throughout, however, the part about one character's son as a indie rock star,womanizer,substance abuser came off as contrived to me. Overall, it worked and was a compelling tale of people struggling to make their way in the world. This book was listed on several top 10 of 2012 lists and deservedly so.