One Saturday night, in a city surrounded by desert and oversaturated with glitter is Newell Ewing. With his older, socially maladjusted mate Kenny, the two embark on Newell's first Saturday night out on the town in Vegas. Newell is twelve years old. Before the sun rises Newell has disappeared, never to be seen again.
Newell's suburbanite parents, Lincoln and Lorraine, are racked with mounting grief as their marriage begins to unravel during the unfathomable year that follows his disappearance.
Bing Biderbixxe is an illustrator on a professional visit to Sin City on a hot summer day. He meets Cheri Blossom, a stripper known for her eye-popping pyrotechnic stage performance. Offstage, her drug- and porn-running boyfriend, Pony Boy, is cheating on her.
With exacting suspense and original technique, Bock's panoply of Vegas dispossessed quietly exert their influence on Newell's fate.
From the new suburban shimmer of the Ewing home, to the gaudy misery of Vegas strip clubs, to the desperate holes and punk-rock desert parties where an underclass of the marginal and meek are ignored and forgotten, Charles Bock takes us on a trip to the dark heart of America.
Beautiful Children mines the humanity of its characters as it rushes head on towards a spectacular tragedy and powerful redemption.
Charles Bock was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has an MFA from Bennington College and has received fellowships from Yaddo, UCross and the Vermont Studio Centre. He lives in New York City with his wife.
Ravishing and raw...What should be said of the results of his labors? One word: bravo! As corruptly compelling as Vegas, and as beautiful as the illusions its characters cling to for survival...
The New York Times Book Review
His ability to share a deep understanding of America . . . gives the book a whiff of greatness
'It's wholly original - dirty, fast and hypnotic.'
Has great energy and some lovely writing. Bears comparison to Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections or Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe novels.
Sydney Morning Herald
The brilliant sentence-on-sentence prose gives the book its power an impressive novel
The London Paper
Beautiful Children careens from the seedy to the beautiful, the domestic to the epic, all with huge and exacting heart.
Jonathan Safran Foer
It is stunning, near genius. Beautiful Children is brutal, erotic and like a wild potentially dangerous rideit could crash at any moment. The language has a rhythm wholly its owna nervous kind of be-bob. It is as though Bock saved up everything for this momenta major new talent.
A. M. Homes
Beautiful Children is a fucking mind-blower! It is so good practically every sentence shines. You've got a sensation on your hands.
Sean Wilsey, author of Oh The Glory Of It All
Beautiful Children is one of the finest first novels I have ever read. Brilliant, simmering, erotic, this dark adventure takes the world apart and offers it to you, piece by heart-stopping piece.
Allison Smith, author of Name all the Animals
Rich and compelling