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Download Beautiful Children: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Beautiful Children: A Novel Audiobook, 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 (1,352 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Bock Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9780739358788
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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

  • 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 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
  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 1/23/2014

    " Great book. Insider look at Las Vegas and being a homeless kid. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tamiya Shane | 1/18/2014

    " i did not at all like this book i did not even get through it all. i felt it was to jumpy and it did not keep me into it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alice | 1/16/2014

    " Meh. I don't really get what the hype was about. The best thing about this book: it captured certain moments between teenagers (the "deep conversation") with hilarious accuracy. The worst: not all characters were believable, and it read like a pamphlet at certain points (on "the problem of teenage street kids"). Like I said. . .meh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 1/16/2014

    " 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.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashlee | 1/15/2014

    " a little sad but great writing and description of a world that is rarly looked at "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Atty | 1/15/2014

    " A well written first novel. It was about the unglamorous and often seedy underbelly of Las Vegas. Character development trumps plot. It was compelling, but I respect the writing more than I enjoyed it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Poppy | 1/14/2014

    " Um, really boring. I had no empathy for any of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Usen | 1/14/2014

    " At time all over the place, this book come together quite nicely in the end. I flew through the last 100 pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brodi Miles | 11/30/2013

    " This was disturbing and a real account of events. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katherine | 11/25/2013

    " i didnt like the characters so it was hard for me to get into "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/20/2013

    " I thought the book was introspective and a good take on Vegas. Charles Bock is one to watch! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renee | 9/29/2013

    " Struggled to get through this book. Dark interesting..but I am not sure I would really recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexa | 9/25/2013

    " Beautifully written. This is an engaging story with well-drawn, believable characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Wyckoff | 7/20/2013

    " This is a okay book. It was kind of hard to really get into. If you have a lot of time to read it slowly it would be a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamcarey | 6/22/2013

    " Gritty tale of teenage runaways in Las Vegas. Haunting...stuck with me long after I finished it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 marcy vernier | 5/27/2013

    " Maybe it was me, maybe it was my mood but I stopped reading this just a few chapters in. I just couldn't care about any of the characters. In fact, I downright despised them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 5/25/2013

    " I found this book to be incredibly engrossing. There are so many great characters to follow that I think it would make a great book-to-film transition. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathy | 11/19/2012

    " I didn't finish this book one of only two books that remember not finishing, read about 100 pages and decided it was too yucky,depressing and weird. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debra | 6/9/2012

    " This book reached high but fell flat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Georgia Guthrie | 11/17/2011

    " The characters in this book were very compelling, but the overall storyline of each was pretty sad and in some cases disturbing. It was hard for me to get through this book. I'd say it's worthwhile, but you should be in a good emotional state before reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Mcallister | 5/12/2011

    " Did not like the charecters in this book. A friend recomended it before I went to Vegas since it was based there.Did not finish it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 3/7/2011

    " Great book. Insider look at Las Vegas and being a homeless kid. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jenna | 2/20/2011

    " Now I know why this book was on the sale rack. Snoozer! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Colin | 2/14/2011

    " This book is very raw - excellent narration coupled with horrible, stereotypical dialogue. Too many character threads with poor resolution. I really wanted to like this book, but it just wasn't possible. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cow | 1/23/2011

    " Tried reading this a few times, and gave up. It's just not my cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mr. Sidel | 9/16/2010

    " It was big and messy, but I really liked this book. The protagonist was a ADHD adolescent runaway and neither sympathetic or unlikeable, but through his exploits the book deviates into exploration of some darker elements in 21st century America.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brodi | 9/1/2010

    " This was disturbing and a real account of events. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Valerie | 8/18/2010

    " Sensational and very disturbing, this novel is set in the Las Vegas subculture of pornography, drugs, and runaway children - not for the faint of heart. Reading this book confirmed what I already knew - I never want to visit Las Vegas! "

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About the Author

Charles Bock was born in Las Vegas. He has an MFA from Bennington College and has received fellowships from Yaddo, UCross, and the Vermont Studio Center. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Mark Deakins is an actor whose television appearances include Head Case, Star Trek: Voyager, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His film credits include Intervention, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Devil’s Advocate. He recently wrote, directed, and produced the short film The Smith Interviews.