Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two more days!

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of Huntington Press’ pre-publication special and bought a copy of My Week at the Blue Angel. (Apparently, they’re selling well.) The special runs through Oct. 29. For more info:

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Sunday Times

Christina Lamb of the Sunday Times wrote a story about the tunnels and Nick Kindon cut a cool video clip. Unfortunately, you need to subscribe to the paper to read the story and see the clip. Oh well. Here’s the link:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pre-publication special!

Huntington Press is offering a pre-publication special on My Week at the Blue Angel. Through Oct. 29, they’re selling the book for $7.50 (half off) and shipping it for $3 (regularly $7). Check out the special here:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Huntington Press news release

The book is at the printer, but should ship out soon. Here’s the Huntington Press news release announcing the publishing of the book:


Matthew O'Brien to Release Creative-Nonfiction Collection Revealing Unexpected, Darker Side of Las Vegas

Las Vegas—Matthew O'Brien's creative non-fiction collection My Week at the Blue Angel: And Other Stories from the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas (Huntington Press, $14.95) will hit shelves on November 1st. The book chronicles O'Brien's off-the-beaten-path adventures into gritty and surprising Vegas settings, such as the central sewage plant, the blue-collar strip club Larry's Villa, the Blue Angel Motel, and the drainage tunnels under the Strip.

By boldly delving into the broken and disenfranchised side of the city, O'Brien uncovers unexpected beauty in the hidden world beyond the neon facade.

The book also features more than 30 artistic shots from veteran photographer Bill Hughes.

O'Brien's first book, Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas (now in its fifth printing), told the story of the shocking number of people living in the drainage tunnels underneath Las Vegas, garnering attention from more than 100 media outlets, including Publisher's Weekly, Der Spiegel, ABC News, Le Monde, the BBC, CNN, and The New York Times.

Inspired to help the people living in the tunnels, O'Brien founded the Shine a Light community project in 2009. In collaboration with HELP of Southern Nevada, the project provides housing, drug counseling, and other services to the underground homeless. For more information on Matthew O'Brien's books and outreach program, visit


Heidi Olson

Nevada Magazine mention

Nevada Magazine included My Week at the Blue Angel in its annual roundup of books. Also included in the roundup: Dead Neon, which is co-edited by my friend Jarret Keene; The Making of Modern Nevada by the late Hal Rothman; and Raw Edges by Phyllis Barber (who wrote one of my favorite Las Vegas-related books, How I Got Cultured).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The redesign

Yes, my website has been updated and redesigned! Thanks for noticing.

Design Canopy’s Anthony Carcelli and I collaborated—OK, he did most of the work—and this is what we came up with. We’re both pretty happy with it. I especially like the colors, background photo (by Bill Hughes), “Intro” feature (click on the arrow) and My Week at the Blue Angel page. Please surf the site and let me know what you like (or dislike).

Also, someone said the “Matthew O’Brien Author-Journalist” header at the top left of the homepage is not showing up on their computer. Please let me know if it’s not showing up on yours.


MTV mention

The latest episode of MTV’s “The Buried Life” mentions Beneath the Neon. About six minutes into the show, the hosts say they read the book and two of them decide to explore the underground flood channels. They meet Rick (aka “Iron”) and help him reunite with his daughter, whom he’d not seen for several years, and meet his granddaughter.

The tunnels and Rick are only featured briefly (about six minutes in and at the very end), but it’s a touching story, nonetheless.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Panel discussion and book launch

Judging by early indications, it looks like we’ll have a decent turnout for the Vegas Valley Book Festival panel discussion and book signing. Several friends and family members are coming to town for the event (and other festivities) and a lot of locals seem interested in attending, as well. I’m starting to get excited.

Again, the festival will be held Nov. 3-7, mostly at the Historic Fifth Street School in downtown Las Vegas. My panel discussion is titled “Storytelling in the Modern Southwest” and will take place at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, in the school’s auditorium. (Novelist Tod Goldberg is moderating the panel and Southern California short story writer Victoria Patterson is also on it.) I’ll release and sign copies of my latest book, My Week at the Blue Angel: And Other Stories from the Storm Drains, Strip Clubs, and Trailer Parks of Las Vegas (Huntington Press, November 2010), after the hour-long discussion.

Some of the out-of-towners are staying at Luxor ( on the south Strip and the Stratosphere ( just north of the Strip and convenient to downtown. Other options include (very affordable) the Golden Gate ( and El Cortez (, (affordable) the Sahara ( and Riviera ( and (relatively expensive) Harrah’s ( and the Mirage (

For more information about the book festival, visit (Heads up: They’re still updating the site.)

Please let me know if you need any more info. Hope to see you there!