Literary Las Vegas: Cymru Roberts

Growing up in Las Vegas isn't always a pleasant adventure. A local author who writes under the pen name Cymru Roberts channels his experiences coming of age in Sin City in the novel "The Dark Prince." The book follows buddies who get tangled up in the city's drug trade. For more information, follow the author at

Excerpt from "The Dark Prince"

A notable exception was when his US Government Honors class took a field trip to watch the Nevada State Senate candidates' debate. It was held in the clubhouse of the same gated community that housed Rik's apartment.

The auditorium was lined with pictures from when the PGA used to hold annual tournaments there in the '70s. Like the high rise, it had the same retro swank that emanated a ghostly, forgotten luxury.

The debate consisted of five candidates in all: two from the Gaming Party, two from the Developers Party and a retired university professor with a no-nonsense face and thick Southern accent.

Cameron was unfamiliar with the technical issues discussed and argued over, so he didn't come away with much of an opinion. His major observation was that one of the Developer cronies' teeth was actually that yellow, not gold fronts like he had first suspected. The university professor was mocked for her accent as she explained that rampant unchecked growth in Las Vegas was dangerous.

When the debate concluded, nothing was solved; no one had changed the opinions he or she had before they had entered, and no new ideas were born. Cameron's class gathered outside the auditorium to decide where to go to lunch. He stood away from them, looking out the huge windows at the sprawling golf course. He could see the Stratosphere in the background, tucked into the trees. In the hazy overcast afternoon the city looked like a photograph from the past. A picture of how things used to be. Taking in the vision for all of its beauty, Cameron couldn't help feeling sad.