February 28, 2008

Surprise bestseller "Beautiful Children" is free online for next two days

Beautiful Children, by Charles Bock

Thanks to "The Millions" for originally bringing this to my attention...

Are you familiar yet with surprise bestselling novel Beautiful Children by Charles Bock? It's a relentlessly dark look at the "urban nomads" that populate large cities (Las Vegas in this case); all the runaway teens, drug addicts, abused spouses and other washouts that congregate in any large urban area, struggling for happiness and security in a world that affords them little of either. Anyway, citing Radiohead's recent experiment as a primary influence, the folks at Random House have decided to give away a free PDF copy of the book at their website, no strings attached, other than that the offer disappears again in two days, or in other words the evening of February 29th. Move fast, you downloading Nerdy McNerd!

I'll warn you upfront, that opinions online regarding this book run the full gamut; I've now seen it called everything from a magical meditation on loss to hackneyed "male feminist" tripe, and it's alarming just how many members of GoodReads hated the main character and admit the secret glee they had every time something bad happened to him, never a good sign from an audience. That said, I've downloaded the book too, and will be reading and reviewing it for CCLaP sometime in the next couple of months; and I probably would've never done so if not for this recent online promotion, which I suppose makes the online promotion ultimately a success. Here's hoping we'll see similar things from other publishers soon, and that they'll leave the files online a little damn longer next time.

Filed by Jason Pettus at 8:49 AM, February 28, 2008. Filed under: Arts news | Literature | Literature:Fiction |