Fifteen-year-old Vernon Gregory Little is in trouble, and it has something to do with the recent massacre of 16 students at his high school. Soon, the quirky backwater of Martirio, barbecue capital of Texas, is flooded with wannabe CNN hacks, eager for a scapegoat.
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The surprise winner of the 2003 Man Booker Prize, DBC Pierre's debut novel, Vernon God Little, makes few apologies in its darkly comedic portrait of Martirio, Texas, a town reeling in the aftermath of a horrific school shooting. Fifteen-year-old Vernon Little narrates the first-person story with a cynical twang and a four-letter barb for each of his diet-obsessed townsfolk. His mother, endlessly awaiting the delivery of a new refrigerator, seems to exist only to twist an emotional knife in his back; her friend, Palmyra, structures her life around the next meal at the Bar-B-Chew Barn; officer Vaine Gurie has Vernon convicted of the crime before she's begun the investigation; reporter Eulalio Ledesma hovers between a comforting father-figure and a sadistic Bond villain; and Jesus, his best friend in the world, is dead--a victim of the killings. As his life explodes before him, Vernon flees his home in pursuit of a tropical fantasy: a cabin on a beach in Mexico he once saw in the movie Against All Odds. But the police--and TV crews--are in hot pursuit.
Vernon God Little is a daring novel and demands a patient reader, not because it is challenging to read--Pierre's prose flows effortlessly, only occasionally slipping from the unmistakable voice of his hero--but because the book skates so precariously between the almost taboo subject of school violence and the literary gamesmanship of postmodern fiction. Yet, as the novel unfolds, Pierre's parodic version of American culture never crosses the line into caricature, even when it climaxes in a death-row reality TV show. And Vernon, whose cynicism and smart-ass "learnings" give way to a poignant curiosity about the meaning of life, becomes a fully human, profoundly sympathetic character. --Patrick O'KelleyFrom the Back Cover:
"If Huckleberry Finn were set on the Mexican-American border and written by the creators of South Park, it might read something like this."-San Francisco Chronicle
When sixteen kids are shot on high school grounds, everyone looks for someone to blame. Meet Vernon Little, under arrest at the sheriff's office, a teenager wearing nothing but yesterday's underwear and his prized logo sneakers. Moments after the shooter, his best buddy, turns the gun on himself, Vernon is pinned as an accomplice. Out for revenge are the townspeople, the cable news networks, and Deputy Vaine Gurie, a woman whose zeal for the Pritikin diet is eclipsed only by her appetite for barbecued ribs from the Bar-B-Chew Barn. So Vernon does what any red-blooded American teenager would do; he takes off for Mexico.
Vernon God Little is a provocatively satirical, riotously funny look at violence, materialism, and the American media.
Winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel
A New York Times Notable Book
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
DBC Pierre is the pen name of Peter Finlay, who was born in Australia in 1961 and divided most of the first twenty-three years of his life between Texas and Mexico City. He lives in Ireland.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Book Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP88467970