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P Moss searches for our city’s soul in ‘Vegas Knockout’

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Las Vegas’ favorite Renaissance man, P Moss, is back with another book. His last full-length work, Blue Vegas, is a novel. This one, Vegas Knockout, is a “novel in stories.” That means a common narrative (a blockbuster boxing matchup) weaves through the chapters, as Moss introduces us to an eclectic cavalcade of characters. There’s the out-of-town journalist, the little Elvis, the elderly Chinese chef, the nightlife kingpin and the pancake-obsessed clown—each affected by the big fight in one way or another.

Moss knows his subjects and locations from the inside out. So when he writes, “One day Kid got hungry from waiting and wandered down the street into Frankie’s Tiki Room,” we feel confident that that’s precisely where Kid went. Because P Moss owns Frankie’s Tiki Room. The Double Down Saloon, too. Told you he was a Renaissance man!

Vegas Knockout’s press release says the book “searches for the soul of a city built on vice” and “explores the most existential questions of the neon oasis.” Well, Vegas writers have been on this search for the past 100 years. And most in the local lit community would say they’ve all come up short. But if anyone stands a chance at succeeding, wouldn’t it be the guy who owns the Double Down?

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