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Publisher's Summary

One Saturday night in Las Vegas, 12-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; and 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, providing a glimpse into a microcosm of modern America. Beautiful Children is an odyssey of heartache and redemption, heralding the arrival of a major new writer.

©2008 Charles Bock; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

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