4 of the Greatest Books and Movies Set in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is an iconic city that makes a vibrant backdrop for many genres. It’s no wonder that the destination has featured prominently in numerous books and movies. Take a well-rounded look at Vegas through the diverse viewpoints offered in these top books and movies, then book your own retreat and experience it yourself.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Image via Flickr by InSapphoWeTrust

The Delivery Man

The Delivery Man offers a dark perspective on what it means to live and grow up in Las Vegas. Following the lives of young adults who have spent their lives in Vegas, the novel explores how the culture of sin city led to their current illegal professions and cynical outlooks. Exploring the underbelly of the city, which is’t exactly well-hidden, this novel looks at Vegas through the eyes of a local and reveals something far less shiny than what’s on the exterior. The Delivery Man was the first novel published by author Joe McGinniss Jr.

The Desert Rose

In The Desert Rose readers meet Harmony, a showgirl who’s well on her way out of the spotlight, though she hasn’t quite realized it yet. At 39, she’s nearly exhausted her shelf life on the Las Vegas stage. Despite the harsh topic and the unforgiving lights of Vegas, the book has a sweet, tender feel provided by Harmony’s own personality, which laments her losses without complaining about them.

Author Larry McMurtry is best known for the novel Lonesome Dove, which was a 1985 Pulitzer Prize winner. He also co-wrote the adapted screenplay for the Academy Award winning film Brokeback Mountain.

Ocean’s 11

Ocean’s 11 features a star-studded cast that could make nearly any plot look nice. The eleven-member heist team organized by Danny Ocean (George Clooney) sets out to rob the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand. With Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, and Julia Roberts starring as the main characters, the film is filled with humor, intrigue, and ample eye candy. Though Ocean’s 11 is a remake of a 1960 film, this franchise spawned two sequels to complete the trilogy.

With the focus set on some of the most extravagant casino hotels in the city, don’t be surprised if you finish the film with an urge to stay in the city yourself. Get your own taste of Vegas by booking a room at one of these hotels online. Just stay away from planning your own heist while you’re there.

The Hangover

While many books and films portray Vegas’s darker side, The Hangover takes a look at the city from a more entertaining point of view. This movie follows four bachelors as they experience the wildest side of the city imaginable. The bachelors, comprised of Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis, wake up with no memory of their wild night. Only a confusing collection of clues remains, including a tiger in the bathroom and an impaled mattress outside. The film was an instant hit, spawning two sequels.

If you’re gearing up for a Vegas vacation yourself, these choices will give you an interesting new look at the city.


Olivia Watson

Olivia is a world traveler who has been to 27 countries in just over 15 years. She loves to share her knowledge of traveling to help others travel safer, cheaper and have more fun.

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