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Download Beautiful Children: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Beautiful Children: A Novel, by Charles Bock Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1,351 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Bock Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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—heralding the arrival of a major new writer.

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Quotes & Awards

  • One word: bravo. The New York Times Book Review
  • Truly powerful . . . Beautiful Children dazzles its readers on almost every page. . . . [Charles Bock] knows how to tug at your heart, and he knows how to make you laugh out loud, often on the same page, sometimes in the same sentence. Newsweek
  • Exceptional . . . This novel deserves to be read more than once because of the extraordinary importance of its subject matter. The Washington Post Book World
  • Magnificent . . . a hugely ambitious novel that succeeds . . . Beautiful Children manages to feel completely of its moment while remaining unaffected by literary trends. . . . Charles Bock is the real thing. The New Republic
  • A wildly satisfying and disturbing literary journey, led by an author of blazing talent. The Dallas Morning News
  • Wholly original—dirty, fast, and hypnotic. The sentences flicker and skip and whirl. Esquire
  • An anxious, angry, honest first novel filled with compassion and clarity . . . The language has a rhythm wholly its own—at moments it is stunning, near genius. A. M. Homes
  • From start to finish, Bock never stops tantalizing the reader. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Rich and compelling . . . captures the hallucinogenic setting like a fever dream. Los Angeles Times
  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jess | 1/25/2014

    " Great writer. Not so in to the story. overrated in my opinion. But i feel like that about all the books that get really hyped up.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Billy Maise | 1/23/2014

    " It was ok... There wasn't really much of a plot, just a bunch of characters wandering around for a night in Las Vegas, getting into shenanigans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Debbie | 1/9/2014

    " Supremely fucked up, flawed characters, flawed world, I seem to like these elements. Honestly, I can't really detail what it was about this book that I enjoyed so much, I just did. I actually put it down a couple of times because I wanted it to last. Certain parts read slower than others, but that always happens when there are like 6 main characters being expressed in a book. Well, unless the author sucks at creating their characters with different voices. Anyway, not for the easily disturbed, this book is overtly about a 12 year old boy that goes missing, and covertly about the underground of Las Vegas. Underground meaning the hidden culture beyond all the flashy lights and tourist traps. It reads a bit like a mystery, which is not my type of book. But I found myself pretty curious to know how it was going to end. And honestly, the end itself was a bit anticlimactic, but I found it satisfying so that's all that matters to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andrew | 1/5/2014

    " Meandering tale of the lost lives of runaways in Las Vegas. How it effects the families and those on the road. Intersecting story lines, some better than others. Longish. "

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