Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas

Narrated by: Alan Carlson
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The catacombs of ancient Rome served as houses of worship for Christians. When surveyed in the early 1800s, the sewers of Paris yielded gold, jewels, and relics of the revolution. And thousands of people lived in the subway and train tunnels of New York City in the 1980s and '90s.  

What secrets do the Las Vegas storm drains keep? What discoveries wait in the dark? What's beneath the neon?  

Armed with a flashlight, tape recorder, and expandable baton, Las Vegas CityLife writer-editor Matthew O'Brien explored the Las Vegas flood-control system for more than four years.  

Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas chronicles O'Brien's adventures in subterranean Vegas. He follows the footsteps of a psycho killer. He braces against a flood. He parties with naked crack-heads. He learns how to make meth, that art is most beautiful where it's least expected, and that there are no pots of gold under the neon rainbow. 

©2017 Huntington Press (P)2018 TalkingBook

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Get really inside Las Vegas

A wonderful work done in the tradition of some of the greatest investigative reporters.You are taken to the results of the excess
of not only Las Vegas but American style Capitalism.

The Narrator helps make the material not only enjoyable but interesting.



This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

9 people found this helpful

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Captivating first-person account of hidden Vegas

Matt O'Brien's gripping narrative of the shadowy lives being led under the Las Vegas Strip is as interesting and compelling as it is sobering. This is subject matter that sorely needed to be brought to light and the author does a terrific job of describing a scene that few of us could otherwise imagine. Suspenseful, well-written, and moving, this first-person account gave me an entirely new perspective on the culture of Las Vegas.

4 people found this helpful

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A Must Read!

Matthew O'Brien has done an extraordinary job in taking the grittiness and somber realities of homelessness and presented the issue in a way that makes one want to help. Anyone who writes about homelessness is usually very good at telling the story. The very best writers tell the story and inspire action. Matthew inspires action.

One need not be in Las Vegas to be compelled to action. Matthew's writing is exceptional and the images his words create do not leave your mind. That is powerful writing.

Beneath the Neon is a terrific book on so many levels. And best of all, some day, someone will read the book and literally, change the world because of it.

2 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyed this

Great premise! So fascinating to hear stories of what actually happens underneath the city of Las Vegas. Definitely check this one out!

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating and insightful

A fascinating recounting of an adventure that takes place in a part of Las Vegas I never knew existed. Matthew O'brien is a descriptive writer who brings the tunnels under Vegas and their inhabitants to life. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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An Interesting look at what lies beneath Las Vegas

As a kid my friends and I would explore the storm drain that snaked under the relatively new homes in our neighborhood. It was a great adventure: creepy and pitch black with cobwebs and slime. No other humans, no hidden maps or pirate hoards, just kids trying to not freak out and run as we battled our imaginations. This book explores the seasoned storm drains of Las Vegas, complete with the living things that inhabit them. It is fascinating. A glimpse at another world and culture. Since completing this book I have found myself thinking a lot about it. This walk through humanity casts light on social conditions and the true pioneering spirit for survival when battling sickness, addiction and poverty.

The narrator is perfect. He is spot-on with the voices, bringing a variety of characters to life. Kudos to the author for the follow-up at the end. It was interesting learning the fate of some of the inhabitants. This audiobook was provided to me for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

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A new reality

investigation, journalist, homelessness, hopelessness, las-vegas, nonfiction

Matt goes into the flood control drains beneath the surface of Las Vegas in 2004, originally to follow the trail of a convicted deranged murderer. It became something more for him as he met the men who lived down there, some of them for several years. Each chapter is the result of interviews and experiences in a particular drain. The descriptions of sights, sounds, and impressions are as clear as if drawn with more than pen and ink. Well done!
Alan Carlson narrates as convincingly as if he was the writer, and that's a very good thing.

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4/5 Stars: Honest Look at a Harsh Reality

By Matthew O’Brien

Narrated by Alan Carlson

Summary: Matthew O’Brien chronicles his experiences exploring the depths of the underground society that exists in the flood drains beneath Las Vegas.


Additional Comments:

- To be honest, not sure why anybody would want to explore the tunnels beneath Las Vegas for the heck of it, but it makes for an interesting audiobook.

- We get a good mix of personal life tales. They sort of blend together after a while.

- The people there are like the homeless anywhere else. They have hopes, dreams, and often, addictions to deal with. Some have fought in wars. Some get visits from their families. Some are downright crazy.

- Nonfiction’s not really my thing, but since I’d mentioned the tunnel people in a book, I gave this one a shot. Overall, I’m glad I did, even though I can’t in good conscience include the book on my promo list of clean works.

- Content warnings: Very strong language. To be fair, in many cases, it fits as part of the recorded conversations this guy had with real people.

- Descriptions of life inside the tunnels are good. It’s interesting to see how people make it by hustling credits or selling their bodies for food or drugs. Besides the fact that you’re one strong rain from drowning, it’s a pretty nice place to be homeless in terms of temperature being steady.


Conclusion: An honest look at a harsh reality. The book doesn’t offer many answers to the problem of homelessness, nor should it. What it offers is a chance to give a voice to those who for one reason or another call the storm drains beneath Las Vegas home. If you can deal with strong language, I highly recommend it.

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Amazing

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I typically don't listen to non fiction because life is boring. This wasn't boring. It was so good it almost makes me want to do something with my life.

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Beneath the Neon: A Gripping Must Read

Beneath the Neon was a detailed, incredible look at the underbelly of Las Vegas life. This audiobook is a must listen. For all the bright lights and big nights, the other heartbeat of Vegas is the storm drains or tunnels. After listening to all these folks stories, even though it doesn't seem possible, it's almost as if they find some of security living in the tunnels. Perhaps they feel safe from being mugged or worse on the streets and find solace being underground. Most of their situations feel hopeless but it's just like the one guy said, God wanted him there at the time. It appears that many of these people aren't criminals at all, they've just wound up homeless for whatever reason. It's not for me to judge and I suppose some were just the black sheep of their families. That's no crime, it's just sad. Given a chance I even think that a lot of these people would thrive if they had a place to live, a job, and healthcare. They seemed pretty nice. This audiobook was so good. It gave them a voice and I would recommend this all day. Mathew O'Brien is an excellent author.

Alan Carlson gave these people a voice. He did an amazing job narrating this audiobook. Each person that was interviewed had a distinct personality and as I listened I could almost picture them. It was all absolutely outstanding.

I was gifted this audiobook.