Vernon God Little

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Overview

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 ...

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Vernon God Little

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Overview

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 2003 Man Booker Prize

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Lethem
"Read [this book] not only for its dangerous relevance, but for the coruscating wit and raw vitality of its voice."
The New York Times Book Review
"Pierre renders adolescence brilliantly, capturing with seeming effortlessness the bright, contradictory hormone rush of teenage life."
The New Yorker - Joyce Carol Oates
"An unexpectedly moving first novel ... Raucous and brooding, coarse and lyric, corrosive and sentimental in about equal measure."
San Francisco Chronicle
If Huckleberry Finn were set on the Mexican-American border and written by the creators of South Park, it might read something like this.
Joyce Carol Oates
…[An] unexpectedly moving first novel…Pierre has a flawless ear for adolescent-boy speech.
—The New Yorker
Sam Sifton
…a dangerous, smart, ridiculous, and very funny first novel…Pierre renders adolescence brilliantly, capturing with seeming effortlessness the bright, contradictory hormone rush of teenage life.
—The New York Times Book Review
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156029988
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/15/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

DBC Pierre

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.

Biography

DBC Pierre was raised in Mexico between the ages of 7 and 23, although he has also traveled extensively. He lived a very privileged life in the milieu of that 2 percent of Mexico that holds the country's wealth and spent much time in the USA. Despite a very unrealistic, or "fairy-tale" childhood, he found himself more in tune as a child with the other 98 percent of Mexicans, and increasingly escaped home to run with the street crowd. When, at 16, his father fell gravely ill, he was largely entrusted with the family home, its cars and staff, and without recourse to counsel or reason, in his grief embarked upon a life of blithe self-destruction, alongside another half dozen junior rakes. Only two of them survived their twenties, and then only just:

"Mexico, with its contrasts, its crushing poverty and sparkling wealth, its institutionalised corruption and cultural wisdom, its love of life and its embracing of death, undoubtedly set me on a path toward the deep end, philosophically and emotionally speaking. A fast and careless life had put me in tune with the common man, for whom a throw of the dice would mean life or death. When, as a teenager, I set out for Texas to bring cars over the border, I saw that the same divides applied to the richest country on earth. Truest kinship was found in a group of homeless derelicts who camped under a bridge beside where I used to stay. It is in their broken-down lives that the seeds for Vernon were planted."

DBC Pierre has worked as a designer and cartoonist and currently lives in Ireland. Vernon God Little, his first novel, was awarded the 2003 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and the Booker Prize.

Author biography courtesy of Faber and Faber Ltd.

Good To Know

Pierre's true-life journey from debt-ridden drug addict to Booker Prize winner has been a stranger-than-fiction ride. He told the Guardian, "For nine years I was in a drug haze, on a rampage of cocaine, heroin, anything I could get. I am not proud of what I have done and I now want to put it right."

During his dark years of gambling and drug addiction, he once even sold the house of his best friend—and stole the proceeds.

In addition, he ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt by taking part in a scheme to find Montezuma's gold in Mexico.

He has said that the £50,000 check awarded with the Booker Prize would go about one-third of the way to settling his outstanding debts.

Pierre landed a publishing deal for his first novel one hour before the first plane hit the World Trade Center on September, 11, 2001. "Ever since, I feel like there's some dark destiny swirling around the book," he said.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Peter Finlay (real name)
    2. Hometown:
      Ireland
    1. Date of Birth:
      1961
    2. Place of Birth:
      Reynella, Australia

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2004

    where was the humor?

    Felt it had a lot of gratuitous bad language and sexual content. A real downer with nothing redeeming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

    Vernon God Little is the Truth

    Funny, disgusting, and completely truthful, Vernon God Little shows us what the media has warped our minds into and how it can make the guilty innocent and the innocent accessories to murder. Vernon Little lives with his mother, who believes that money is everything. When his best and only friend shoots 16 students at their school and then himself, he is accused of being a party to the murders. Things go from bad to worse, so he sets off for Mexico.
    The second half of the book is much more solemn and sad than the comical first part, but I was never so satisfied by an ending than with this one. It's a wonderful book all around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008

    Funny and refreshing

    I found this book refreshing and hilariously funny. The main character is a true anti-hero, struggling to survive in an unjust Kafkan world. Tough to read 'cause you both laugh and cringe. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2006

    Tough love

    It's a painful book to read because it's just so painfully real. Love the language. Love to incredibly dark sense of humor. I'd recommend this book for people who can take tough love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    Big Disappointment

    I picked up this book because it seemed to be an interesting premise and the price was right. However, I was very disappointed and nearly did not finish the book. The first half of the book is very difficult to get through. It fails to captivate and the language used, which is a regional dialect by a teenager from a small Texas town peppered with profanity, makes it more difficult. The story is fairly predictable with stereotypical characters, none of whom are very interesting. The story picks up after the second half of the book (the language becomes much more clear), but none-the-less it is too little too late for Vernon God Little.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2005

    Entertaining!

    I, as a teenager really liked this book. It was blunt and realistic. Vernon thought similar to any teenage boy and it showed how arrogant adults can be sometimes. The way everything happened in the book could happen in real life. I really really enjoyed reading it and i did laugh out loud!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2004

    Oddly Funny Yet Disgusting

    Hm... well, 'Vernon God Little' is a very different kind of book. I thought it was a bit disgusting, and the writing style kind of irritated me and was difficult to read. I do give the author credit though for writing something really different. I like that. This is not your average teen romance novel thing. It may involve teens, but it's a grossly different tale. I thought the book was okay. It was funny in some, and just disgusting in others. Not recommended for people with no sense of humor, no sense of imagination, or low tolerance for odd things. I'd give this book more of a 2.5, but I'll just round up and say '3'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2004

    Worth the ending

    I have to admit that the beginning of the book was dragging. The writing seemed to ramble on and I couldn't stay focused. At the pivotal point of the story, though, I couldn't put the book down. It was worth getting through the beginning.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2004

    Very disappointing.

    Selected as the monthly read by the nine members of our Book Club, and found by all to be extremely disappointing. Not only did we not find any humor in either the story or the characters, we also felt the writing left much to be desired, and most reluctantly trudged through the story, just trying to get to the end. The characters had no redeeming qualities and it was exceedingly hard to come close or anywhere near trying to identify with them. In fact, several readers said that they actually 'didn't even care what happened to Vernon' in the end -- push the button! Too bad so many trees had to be cut down in order to print this crass piece of writing. A complete waste of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2004

    Absolutely Fabulous

    You will not be disappointed! This book is a riot! The main character is so real and so hillarious. The author, DBC Pierre, incredibly transformed himself into the voice of quirky teen with all the attitudes of a somewhat illiterate and not quite street smart 15 year old. Finding himself caught up as an accessory to murder, 15 year old Vernon Little unwhittingly decides that it is better to dissapear than to confess what he knows of the crime. Fate somehow continuously thwarts all his attempts to flea the small, stiffling, Texas town of Martirio where everyone is related or knows everyone else. What a tangled web he weaves when he gets snagged in a web of deceit and grafts committed by himself and by a newly arrived con artist who has plotted to take advantage of the bored and horribly pretentious towns women (including Vernon's mother). Vernon's adventure is what is slowly giving him a 'learning' in street smarts. I don't want to give away too much so I'll just say that yoo need to read this book. The speech is so hillarious. I can't wait for another book by this author. A definite must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    Sorry

    Maybe I expected A Confederacy of Dunces.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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