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Charles Bock is author of the best-selling novel "Beautiful Children" (2008). The New York Times Book Review, in a six-page spread, described it as having "an almost Dickensian amplitude," and the Washington Post praised his[…]

It’s all of pop culture..and instant gratification.”

Question: Why does Las Vegas inspire so many writers? 

Charles Bock: I remember reading being Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas probably when I was 15, 14 my older brother’s - it was one of my older brother’s books and I took it and start to read it and I didn’t get it at all, it was a way over my head, but I liked it. I really liked it in the bats.

And just there is John O’Briens book its just heartbreaking especially when you know that the end the man came to and some other things. His sister is a writer, who has written about him a fair amount and some of its just makes you want to collapse, because its just heartbreaking.

But a lot of writers in the past 10 years have put moments of books in Las Vegas. [Don] DeLillo just last year put part of Falling Man there and Hardy Anderson’s Turn of the Century and William T. Vollmann’s - The Royal Family of the top of my head. These are three that are quick fiction run through there.

And I think part of it is that at this moment or in the past 10 years it’s become all of pop culture. All of the American trait for instant gratification and all the, we want it now, and we want the bigger, better, faster, louder thing. Vegas has crystallized it. And that makes it interesting for anyone to come and check out.

For me that was a starting point. What are the lives of the people who keep this going, who live in love and have all the hopes and dreams that all of us do in and who are keeping this industry alive.


January 30, 2008