Titah's Reviews > Vernon God Little

Vernon God Little by D.B.C. Pierre
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's review
Jul 02, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: comic writing lovers

Finished reading this novel last week, but needed more time to start writing this review. Still amazed. Here we are...

If you are not got acquainted with American slank, you will feel a little bit annoyed by the excessive use of American teenagers lingo. Obviously, this is a novel that can be included in the Guinnes Book of Records as the novel with most f-word (in all of its forms). I had estimated that at least there would be some 800 f-words in this novel (of course I am using sampling techniques). But, amazingly, seemed that Mr. Dirty But Clean Pierre could read his reader's mind. Unexpectedly, the f-word vanished in the last one-third part of the novel (so I wrong, because I assumed that the population of f-word in this novel is homogenous). I won't tell you why this drastic change happened. You should read it by yourself. It's just amazing, how a little, unimportant thing of using or not using f-word can give impact on the interpretation (yeah, at least for me) of the whole story.

Apart from the difficulties with the vocab/lingo, the story is very interesting. Mr. Finlay (the real name of DBC Pierre)surely a good story teller. He can make me engaged to his novel. Actually, I could not help reading the last one-third of this novel some five hours non-stop, while the next day I had a helluva works to do.

To make it short (if you want a more detail review, just visit Wiki), this novel is about a 15 (turned to 16) years old boy, Vernon Gregory Little, who was suffered from his best friend's mass-murdering, because of his bowel movement (can't you imagine that???). Opened with the interogation and ended with the revealation of what's really happened, climaxed in the execution process, the novel is just an effortless prose of Mr. Pierre, positioning himself as a nasty, sarcastic, full of angst, yet attracting your sympathy, teenage boy. The phrases, which seemed like a produce of unthoughtful thought, are just mesmerizing, make you ponder hard. "If things don't happen unless you see them happening, do they still happen if you think they're gonna - but don't tell nobody...?" Does this sentence really HAVE meaning??? Or is it just a clumsy thought of a depressed teenager?

Unanimously, this novel categorized as a dark comedy. You know I'm in a kind of hating a dark story, while I like comedies. But now, I think that I just love the marriage of the two. While sometimes I think the imagination of Mr. Pierre came to wild (isn't it absurd that the people of America chose the one to be executed through SMS voting??? Oh my, I just can't stand it! Right, it is a satirical, dark, comic novel. But, I'm really disturbed by this American Idol parody!), the rest of his imagination, his invention on the use of English words, his playing with G in the middle name of Vernon Little (Vernon Go-to-hell Little, Vernon Godzilla Little, Vernon Gay Little, Vernon Gonzalez Little, etc) showed his genius.

If I have to make a comparisons, I can compare this novel to 'Wonderboys' by Michael Chabon. Both stories are messy, while Chabon's can be considered as a civilized novel. This novel can also be compared to Arundhati Roy's "The God of Small Things" (no, not because both have the word 'God' in their titles), for its inventive, flexible, experimental use of English words/phrases, while Roy's can be considered as a contemplative one and Pierre's as a not serious one.

Finally, my homage to the jury of Man Booker Prize 2003. You certainly know how to pick the winner. (FYI, four of five jury voted for this novel to be the year's winner).
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Marius Hancu While reading Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, you may want to see my questions related to it as answered in the alt.usage.english (AUE) Usenet newsgroup. My thanks to the participating AUE members. The focus of my questions was the language: rare words, funny or original expressions, special or strange constructs — as I saw them, from within my own idiosyncrasies.

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