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Beautiful Children by Charles Bock
Beautiful Children is set in Las Vegas and it begins with rebellious 12-year-old Newell Ewing running away from an unhappy home and becoming one of the homeless children in the city. His mother scours the city for him while his father is kept busy with his work and pornography addiction. Newell hangs out with his older friend, Kenny, and they meet up with Bing Beiderbixxe, a cartoonist with a love for sociopathic video games. Ponyboy is 20 years old and delivers pornographic tapes by bicycle and tries to convince his stripper girlfriend, Cheri, to have sex on camera. Charles Bock's debut novel showcases the Las Vegas tourists never see and its citizens who live on the undersides of its glittering facade. Beautiful Children has received mixed reviews with the New York Times says, "In Beautiful Children, Bock’s vision and voice create a fictional landscape as corruptly compelling as Vegas, and as beautiful as the illusions its characters cling to for survival - illustrating what he calls 'the nobility inherent in struggles that cannot be won.'"