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.
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