Unfolding from the bygone era of 1950s Las Vegas through the turbulent decades that followed, this epic novel examines the universal search for identity and reward in a world where the good life always seems out of reach. The streets of early Las Vegas are a tough place for a boy to grow up. Pete Elkins is fatherless, living in a cramped apartment with his mother, a party-girl with a penchant for falling in love with the wrong kind of man; and his older sister, who has grown up too fast from trying to parent both her brother and their reckless mother. Pete is headed for serious trouble when he is befriended by Willy Bobbins, a casino owner with a murky past and even murkier business practices. But Willy is also deeply compassionate and wise, and he soon becomes a surrogate father for the lonely Pete. Gradually, Pete becomes involved with Willy's troubled family and comes to know both the scope of his mentor's power and the depth of his vulnerabilities.
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