Are you looking for something to read? Here’s the deal: Random House will offer Charles Bock’s debut novel, Beautiful Children, released Jan 08, for FREE to download online starting Wednesday at this website. Other retailers will also offer the ebook for free at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble (!) The tides maybe turning here in targeting online consumers and I like getting stuff for free.
Random House spokesman, Stuart Applebaum said that they would be “[sacrificing] a few sales in the expectation that a wider sampling opportunity will build consumer awareness and more business for our booksellers and our authors” [snip] You know this is great and traditionally, print sales haven’t been harmed thus far in offering “free samples” to consumers. It’s a baby step but a step in the right direction. I will be downloading my copy just because I can. The plot sounds somewhat interesting. Just what is Beautiful Children about? Here is the back blurb:
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. The people of Beautiful Children are “urban nomads,” each with a past to hide and a pain to nurture, every one of them searching for salvation and barreling toward destruction, weaving their way through a neon underworld of sex, drugs, and the spinning wheels of chance.
In this masterly debut novel, Charles Bock mixes incandescent prose with devious humor to capture Las Vegas with unprecedented scope and nuance and to provide 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.
Looking over the Amazon.com reviews, the novel seems to be moderately accepted by fans with lukewarm praise from critics. Who knows, maybe the next free ebook may be a nice romantic suspense novel by a new and upcoming writer. [fingers crossed]. Who knows where this may lead. Maybe debut authors work will be sampled first by the online community before reaching the print masses. Sounds like a plan to me.