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Mooie kinderen Tekijä: Charles Bock
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Mooie kinderen (vuoden 2009 painos)

Tekijä: Charles Bock

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5752939,251 (3.03)28
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.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:catherinepetre
Teoksen nimi:Mooie kinderen
Kirjailijat:Charles Bock
Info:Amsterdam De Bezige Bij 2009
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Luettu, ei oma
Arvio (tähdet):****
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Beautiful Children (tekijä: Charles Bock)

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    Heinäsirkan aika (tekijä: Nathanael West) (Anonyymi käyttäjä)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 29) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ok.

it took me forever to finish this book. the beginning sucked me in, with startling characterization, not the least being the character of las vegas itself. my brother lived in vegas for a few years, and i first visited when he was still getting settled, in a house with old friends of mine. i got the residents' view of a town i had been quietly fascinated with, from a distance, for oh so long. disneyfication was already in full swing, and the sleaze was being replaced by "fun family fare", but the excess was present enough to enthrall an east-coast girl with limited knowledge of gambling and desert environments. it was enough to get me to forget the waste, the expense, the sheer gross ego of it. the despair and destruction of the place was still there. but all of this is just by way of explanation for why i picked up the book in the first place.

i originally grabbed a free copy that came into the bookstore to send to my brother, to see what he would have to say about it. written by someone who grew up in las vegas, and who i apparently went to college with, if only for a year, i thought he might enjoy such attention drawn to a place where he had such a horrible and sometimes not so horrible time. then i wondered, would he really? would he even want to look that closely at a place he gladly left?

then somehow we ended up with many free copies coming into the bookstore, like an omen, like a calling. the damn thing just kept coming. then the reviews were printed, and the raves were like a flood, just like the free copies. so, i thought, its worth a shot.

i sent a copy to my brother and kept one to read, after realizing that no one else in the store had the time or inclination to read all these free copies. and at first i really did enjoy the characters, the starkness of the heat, the clear, bold lines of story, desperation, a lost child who is, well, kind of a jerk.

then i hit a point that stopped me kind of dead. i put the book aside, but not entirely. i left it at my boyfriend's house, and it just kind of kept sitting there, not leaving, being read a paragraph at a time, when i was there and remembered it.

it wasn't one exact and defined point that stopped me. but i began to reach a [b:critical mass|2956|The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|Mark Twain|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1161831948s/2956.jpg|1835605] of ridiculousness, where the "hey look at this! its weird!" seemed to overrun the lush heat of character and storyline. my housemate and i discussed the rave reviews we had read, and realized that they all came from a new york that was far away, and as entranced with the idea of las vegas as i used to be, but for a different reason. "people grow up there? that's weird! this book is great! so many weird things happen! and its written by someone who GREW UP there!"

the new york times called it "avidly seedy" and mention that the author "grew up in the city’s equivalent of a real world," just for instance.

granted, i had been just as guilty in the "categorizing from afar" department in my youth. still, there is something vaguely disturbing to me about the hype surrounding this book. something voyeuristic and lurid.

that same housemate that had discussed reviews with me seemed to think it too conservative in its concern for the children, as it does have a lot to do with runaways, but i'm not so sure that i agree. in some ways the author was trying to capture his hometown, and all the strangeness and everyday of the place. lost children is definitely a theme, but i don't see it as such a conservative viewpoint.

what rankles me is the unrealistic and supposedly shocking sexual and interpersonal behavior that is supposed to denote what a town of extremes it is. it is almost as if the author was worried his las vegas wasn't going to be "vegas" enough, so he let loose with the the weird. the story seems to disintegrate into attempts to shock and dismay, and i grew more and more annoyed as the characters became less and less substantial. the stripper with special effects, the punk boyfriend and his tattoos, the fat porn king, the pregnant street junkie. it all got less and less defined, more and more cartoonish.

well, i finally forced myself to finish it, and i suppose the end itself would have been quite nice if i hadn't dragged it all out over months and months. i think there is a lot of wonderful things there, but i also think it is a book that doesn't quite know what the hell its doing. which is fine. its just not for me.

p.s. i just read a few other reviews, and i was surprised by the fact that so many people hated the book because newell was such a jerk of a kid. to me, it was one of the book's redeeming qualities, that this kid is missing, and peoples' lives are in disarray because of it, but the kid in question is, well, not all that likable and sort of a huge, selfish asshole. in fact, one of the most touching passages, for me, was when lincoln admits that he knows his kid was developing into not so nice a person. there is too much delicate handling of children in fiction. sometimes kids are just jerks, like everyone else. youth does not make you automatically angelic. sheesh. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
A book about missing kids appealed to me because I know people who took that path. I related to the kids who made bad choices and then just kind of gave up their dreams and rolled with what came their way.

There are shocking looks at the Vegas underground- strip joints and the amateur porn scam. There are the parents of a missing boy who can't figure out how to make their lives work again.

Overall, I was disappointed in the lack of direction and follow through with the characters.

Although this was an interesting book, ultimately it's just depressing with no upside and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I can think of. ( )
  SoubhiKiewiet | Mar 20, 2018 |
I don't know how to review this book. I was not expecting to dislike every character, even the missing kid, Newell. I hated that I liked him least of all. The premise of the story is twelve year old Newell goes missing on the streets of Las Vegas. Vegas gives Bock a huge canvas to work with. Think about it: the seedy and spectacular people, the gritty and shiny atmosphere, the ever-lurking potential for danger around every corner. It's Sin City, after all! Bock does take advantage of the expanse of his canvas but not in a good way. It's almost like he had too much space so he overfilled it with garbage. Story lines are jumbled and discombobulated. Like marbles scattering in a hallway, Bock careens from one time and place to another. Yes, there are criminals, strippers, homeless kids, drug addicts, pawnshop owners, gamblers, sex addicts, comic book illustrators, beggars, liars, thieves...all of them sad and pitiful. The center of this story is supposed to be focused on a missing kid. Yes, the parents are grief stricken and the marriage suffers, but not enough attention is paid to the here and now of that intense drama. Instead, Bock delves into what intense sadness does to to a sex life. There are no FBI agents anxiously hovering over wire-tapped telephones while hand wringing, pale faced parents look on. There are no episodes of pounding the streets, littering them with Have You Seen Me? fliers. Instead, Bock focuses on the underbelly of the beast; a world where pedophiles and pornographers feel at home. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 13, 2017 |
I don't know how to review this book. I was not expecting to dislike every character, even the missing kid, Newell. I hated that I liked him least of all. The premise of the story is twelve year old Newell goes missing on the streets of Las Vegas. Vegas gives Bock a huge canvas to work with. Think about it: the seedy and spectacular people, the gritty and shiny atmosphere, the ever-lurking potential for danger around every corner. It's Sin City, after all! Bock does take advantage of the expanse of his canvas but not in a good way. It's almost like he had too much space so he overfilled it with garbage. Story lines are jumbled and discombobulated. Like marbles scattering in a hallway, Bock careens from one time and place to another. Yes, there are criminals, strippers, homeless kids, drug addicts, pawnshop owners, gamblers, sex addicts, comic book illustrators, beggars, liars, thieves...all of them sad and pitiful. The center of this story is supposed to be focused on a missing kid. Yes, the parents are grief stricken and the marriage suffers, but not enough attention is paid to the here and now of that intense drama. Instead, Bock delves into what intense sadness does to to a sex life. There are no FBI agents anxiously hovering over wire-tapped telephones while hand wringing, pale faced parents look on. There are no episodes of pounding the streets, littering them with Have You Seen Me? fliers. Instead, Bock focuses on the underbelly of the beast; a world where pedophiles and pornographers feel at home.

Maybe it's because I listened to this on audio. Maybe it's because the sex scenes were practically pornographic. Maybe it's because the story couldn't stay linear for two minutes. Maybe it's because I couldn't find a character to love or even like. I suspect, if I look for the truth closer to home, I didn't like Beautiful Children because, for all of his over the top, down and dirty descriptions of Las Vegas, when it came right down to it, he was describing my cousin's last home. My cousin could have been that homeless kid on page 122. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 11, 2017 |
This book got a lot of great buzz when it came out, but I'm afraid to say I just didn't understand why. Perhaps it was because I was expecting something much different. This book is raw--very raw--just this side of pornography in some places. Much of the talk of sex felt gratuitous to me. The book is really a collection of stories that switch back and forth, some interspersing with others but they do not necessarily all tie in together. It does draw the reader along, it does paint a very vivid picture of the underbelly of Las Vegas and the reader cannot help but feel sorry for almost all of the characters. I cannot think of a single person I would recomment it to, though. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Charles Bockensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Deakins, MarkReadermuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

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.

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