Vernon God Little

“It’s hot as hell in Martirio, but the papers on the porch are icy with the news.”

Recipient of the Man Booker Prize in 2003, Vernon God Little is a dark comedy which pokes fun of the “redneck” American culture.

Tagged by many as a cross between Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye, Vernon God Little, combines the themes of the classic “growing up” novel with the picaresque narrative.

Being compared to The Catcher in the Rye, some have even said that Vernon Little is the 21st century equivalent of Holden Caulfield. As the story unfolds, Vernon Little, the 15-year-old anti-hero of the novel, narrates the tragedy that recently shook his small Texan town and how it affected his life tremendously. As he struggles to make sense of the events, he is convinced that the only way to survive and to stay sane is to escape to Mexico, where he can “make good.”

Vernon God Little is an irreverent novel which pokes fun of American culture, including trailer parks, the so-called freedom of the media, reality shows, violence, materialism, and the life and trials of American teens. Told from the point of view of Vernon, a dysfunctional, high school student, the narrative is riddle with expletives, colourful expressions, panty-dominated thoughts and outlandish ideas, (or sometimes, lack of it), that only a 15-year-old boy can get away with.

Vernon God Little is a “love it or hate it” kind of book, which, given a chance, will have you laughing out loud in some parts or crying from frustration in others, all the while making you shake your head in disbelief.

Personal rating: 4 / 5

Vernon God Little ~ DBC Pierre 2003. Harcourt, Inc. 277 pages

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