Tuesday, June 10, 2008
49. "Beautiful Children" - Charles Bock
I'm all for second chances, so here we roll...
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more if:
1. I recognized my son in the behavior of the runaway kid character;
2. My son hadn't threatened to run away when we took away TV privileges (yes, I know);
3. Being a mom, I constantly worry about behavior issues and future lives and kidnappings and runaways and drug use and pornography and-and-and.
All of the beautiful children in this book are stereotypical and based on pop culture... the author tells us this in a later chapter. I missed finding out the ends of their stories, though. After 400+ pages, I felt that I was owed that.
However, the wonderful, seedy backdrop of Las Vegas is described and depicted in brilliant shapes and colors and tones, which is what drew me in after I had called it a day.
I don't doubt the author's intent to write a novel that was of post-post-modern style. I just don't think it worked as well as he wanted. The family's story is heart-breaking and vivid, while the comic book author was useless. The Washington Times critic said that this book needs to be read twice to be understood. Twice? Seriously? The first time was painful enough, thanks.
2.0 out of 5.0 Vegas Bombs.