Picks and Pans Review: Beautiful Children

updated 03/03/2008 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/03/2008 01:00AM

by Charles Bock |

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CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEWED BY JOANNA POWELL

NOVEL

This edgy first novel is producing big buzz—and for good reason. Bock, the son of Las Vegas pawnbrokers, writes gorgeously about the odd lowlifes who populate his city's seedy underbelly. But at its core, his tale concerns runaways like Newell, 12, who mysteriously disappears during a night out with an older, unstable friend. Bock's debut is a disturbing, unforgettable portrait of the doomed "beautiful children" of the street.

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