The character of Las Vegas


  First things first.
  Joe McGinniss Jr.'s "The Delivery Man" is set in Las Vegas. You can probably guess what the book is full
of then.
  Drugs ... sex ... money ... unhappiness.
  Since I live in Las Vegas, this bothered me. I get tired of this town being stereotyped as a place that sucks out your soul.
  That said, the book is fairly entertaining, probably more so if you aren't from Las Vegas.
  Chase returns to Vegas, his hometown, after going to college in New York. He's a failed artist and teaches at Centennial High School. His childhood friends are all losers. Michele is an escort. She and a guy start a business providing teen prostitutes to men across the city ... the Lakes specifically and frequently. (I didn't know there were so many pervs in the Lakes. Guess they're everywhere.)
  Chase ends up joining the business, driving (delivering) the girls to their appointments. Predictably, the story is filled with drug and alcohol abuse as well as violence. Some of the girls were Chase's students at Centennial. I hope that is fiction. I know Las Vegas has had its share of molester teachers, but that's just sick.
  The non-Strip references to Las Vegas are fun, but McGinniss gets some of his directions wrong, which again, is only irritating to me because I live here. Nonlocal readers won't care.
  The book is dark, portraying this generation of kids as being so focused on wealth they'll do anything to get it. No one takes responsibility for his or her own decisions, and even when there are alternatives, the easy, destructive road is chosen.
  "The Delivery Man" is a sad commentary on today's youth, one I hope does not represent the majority of Las Vegas young people.