The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Review)

There’s a line from my favourite song titled, “Wake” which goes, “Don’t bargain when you’re weak. Don’t take that sharp abuse. Some patients can’t be saved, but that burden is not on you.” Throughout this novel, we embrace the limits of freedom and the reality of what it is to be raised by the streets. To learn how to fall in love in a different world and understanding the hearts of the young boys and girls who find life on the sidewalks. “The Prince of Venice Beach” is laced with the honesty of “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakaueur mixed with a lyrical score by Peter Silberman of The Antlers. There’s a bittersweet and gut-wrenching romance to what it’s like for young detective and Omaha runaway, Cali. to face other runaways and to understand some people aren’t looking to be found but moreover, looking to be saved. 

“The Prince of Venice Beach” reminded me when I wandered the day and night from West Hollywood to Venice Beach last fall. I had gone on a solo trip down south stateside and everything in Blake’s writing is filled with rich dimension and vibrant descriptions to sounds, characters, and events. For those who enjoy adventures, getting away from the noise and taking on the world with no boundaries, let this novel be one of the books you pack on the trip. 

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