I stumbled across a front-page story on National Public Radio's site a couple days ago. To my pleasant surprise was a feature story and interview of my friend Matt O'Brien about his wanderings underground in Las Vegas. The story and radio interview, titled "Sucked Into The Tunnels Beneath Las Vegas," can be heard and read here.
Matt’s research is a five-year, hands-on study of a different kind for Las Vegas' underworld; this one isn't connected to the Mob. His book Beneath the Neon, released in 2007, was reviewed by local media as well as national, including Salon.com. And CBS weighed in too. Getting on NPR, however, was a real coup.
It's amazing what a national presence brings. Sales rankings on Amazon for Beneath the Neon rose to between 1,000 and 2,000, which is an incredible ruler for how it's doing online -- very well, in my book. A few days later, it was back down to 10,000 (which is still very much a respectable sales ranking).
Matt's a humble guy and kept the news of the story mostly to himself.
"Is it on your blog?" I asked him.
"Nah, I didn't want to look like I was bragging."
"Brag," I told him. "Post it."
Being the modest guy he is, the NPR story still isn't posted on his blog, so I'm blogging it for him by posting it to my own blog. Here's to you, Matt. Congratulations.