Beautiful Children

Abridged / Go to Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Charles Bock

Narrated By: Unknown

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: January 2008

Duration: 9 hours 7 minutes


One Saturday night in Las Vegas, twelve-year-old Newell Ewing goes out with a friend and doesn't come home. In the aftermath of his disappearance, his mother, Lorraine, makes daily pilgrimages to her son's room and tortures herself with memories. Equally distraught, the boy's father, Lincoln, finds himself wanting to comfort his wife even as he yearns for solace, a loving touch, any kind of intimacy.

As the Ewings navigate the mystery of what's become of their son, the circumstances surrounding Newell's vanishing and other events on that same night reverberate through the lives of seemingly disconnected strangers: a comic book illustrator in town for a weekend of debauchery; a painfully shy and possibly disturbed young artist; a stripper who imagines moments from her life as if they were movie scenes; a bubbly teenage wiccan anarchist; a dangerous and scheming gutter punk; a band of misfit runaways. These "urban nomads," each with a past to hide and a pain to nurture, weave their way through a neon underworld of sex, drugs, and the spinning wheels of chance.

In this masterly debut novel, Charles Bock captures Las Vegas with unprecedented scope and nuance, providing a glimpse into a microcosm of modern America. Beautiful Children is an odyssey of heartache and redemption–heralding the arrival of a major new writer.


  • cdfmg

    Maybe Bock is the Sex Pistols of fiction writing and he's invented a new genre. Or maybe neither Bock nor the Sex Pistols invented anything and they're just dragging us down. In any event, if you're a runaway, a homeless person, a "fringe dweller", or intend to become one, you might relate to this. Doubt it, but anything's possible. If you aren't in the foregoing group, it is unlikely you'll enjoy meeting or hearing about these characters. It also is unlikely that you'll enjoy the thesaurisian descriptions of every minute detail of every thought of every uninteresting and unlikeable street urchin, exotic dancer, comic book ilustrator, pedophile, etc. Although not every sentence includes at least two, sometimes three similes, many many did, like a book written by an english major near completion of his sophomore year, like a winged bird taking flight from doldrums of his confinement, like a river winding gently (moderately/softly/prettily/slowly/sweetly) to the plain.