Unfolding from the bygone era of 1950s Las Vegas through the turbulent decades that followed, this epic novel examines the universal search for identity and reward in a world where the good life always seems out of reach. ""Suppose that the Great Gatsby had raised a foster son, and further suppose that that son was raised in the casinos of Las Vegas and the open spaces of Montana: Here we would have the protagonist of H. Lee Barnes's wonderful novel of loyalty, heartbreak, and redemption."" - Mary Clearman Blew, author of All But the Waltz The streets of early Las Vegas are a tough place for a boy to grow up. Pete Elkins is fatherless, living in a cramped apartment with his mother, a party girl with a penchant for falling in love with the wrong kind of man, and his older sister, grown up too young from trying to parent both her brother and their feckless mother. Pete is headed for serious trouble when he is befriended by Willy Bobbins, a casino owner with a murky past and even murkier business practices. But Willy is also deeply compassionate and wise, and he soon becomes a surrogate father for the lonely Pete. Gradually, Pete becomes involved with Willy's troubled family and comes to know both the scope of his mentor's power and the depth of his vulnerabilities. The Lucky is a powerful novel about growing up, moving from mob-dominated Las Vegas to Willy's beloved Montana ranch - which hides secrets of its own - to the battlefields of Vietnam. But the novel's greatest strength lies in its vivid and unforgettable character - casino workers and entertainers, cowboys, soldiers, petty criminals, spoiled rich kids, thrill-seekers, and the hopeless, helpless poor. And most of all, the colorful, enigmatic, and ultimately tragic figure of Willy Bobbins, a man who helped build Las Vegas but instead lost himself along the way.