Thursday, December 22, 2005

Books & Art 2005 - IV

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre (Book 15): This was borrowed off someone’s bookshelf after a sparkling dinner last weekend and I finished it in less than 24 hours. I had to call the owner just to tell them that this is possibly the best book I’ve read all year. It’s a book I didn’t buy or borrow before because I was convinced that the hype surrounding it was the precursor to a gentle let-down. And the authors' name gave me no confidence whatsoever (I know I know, whats in a name and all that - shame on me)

I was sooo wrong. Since it won the Man Booker Prize in 2003 and I’m years behind in catching up with it, there are a zillion reviews of the book, so choose one from here, here or here.

All I will say is this: It’s a book set in modern day America with a plot based on the rampant availability of guns, juvenile problems, materialism, dyfunctional families, media focus, small town biases and a multitude of scary everyday issues. Vernon Gregory Little narrates the story begining from when his life is irrevocably changed by the Columbine-style slaughter of a group of students at his high school by his best friend Jesus Navarro. The plot finds Vernon charged with the killing despite his innocence and soon he is in the media spotlight, surrounded by his ridiculaous mother and her conman boyfriend Eulalio Ledesma. Vernon is caught up in a chain of events that leads to Mexico, a scary assignation with college girl Taylor Figueros, dying minutes on death row and beyond.

It’s a brilliant book, readable over and over. The plot moves quickly, the language is very teen and the mind is boggled by the attractive simplicity of it. If you haven’t read it, do. Now.

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