Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Every once in awhile you read a book that just crawls into your DNA where it will stay for the rest of your life. So it was with BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN by Charles Bock. I hesitated reading it at first because its topic involves a child that goes missing, and as a parent, I already have that fear deeply ingrained in me and didn't know if I wanted to actually, y'know, face the fear writ on the page. But, in the hands of someone as skillfully righteous as Bock, the disappearance becomes something far more than a plot device, but the opportunity for an artist to explore and describe aworld in which we are living, but most of us are not, hopefully, living in.
It's been reviewed extensively and most of the reviews are right in that this is a major book by a major new artist. Bock has written a book that examines just how easily America can break a fragile soul. His journalistic skill is as enviable as his audacious technique - he can pull a narrative apart and put it together again in amazing ways. Not that I feel that I have to always draw things back to Jack London, but in THE PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS, London disappeared into the London underworld of 1902 and came out with a book full of the outrage at the way a society systematically destroys the spirit of an underclass. BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN is a fitting literary successor over a hundred years later. It's obvious Charles has spent much time out amidst the people he's writing about. Get this book. It will stay with you.
Thanks to Charles, we have delivered a box of signed copies of BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN to troops in Afghanistan. You can support Charles by buying his book. Remember, any purchase you make in the OWL store goes to helping us get more great books to our troops.
Posted by Paul Malmont at 11:17 AM