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Having reviewed over 1100 books on this blog, I have now written one myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. It is available on Kindle through Amazon. Read it and find out whether this critic can write. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Monday, 26 January 2009

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

Winner of the Man booker Prize 2003!

This book is set in the fictional(?) town of Martirio (which is the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese word for martyrdom), the Barbecue Sauce capital of central Texas and concerns Vernon, the survivor of a multiple school shooting perpetrated by his best friend, a gay Mexican called Jesus. Vernon has been arrested as accessory although he is soon released thanks to an honest Judge and an incompetent cop who both belong to the town's leading family. The misadventures of Vernon as he is hounded by a reporter more concerned with career than truth and tormented by his mother and her bizarre lady friends read like a strange mix of "A Confederacy of Dunces", "Catcher in the Rye", "Good Times, Bad Times" and "Decline and Fall". Viewed in one way it is a boy's cry for help in a dysfunctional world. Viewed in another way it is a very black comedy. His relationship with his mother is exactly like that of every adolescent boy: helpless infuriated, unbelieving yet loving and protective.

I guess Vernon is Jesus (not the Jesus who wears silk panties and shoots the school up) and Taylor is Judas. Lally is the devil. I'm OK with the court and the quite nice judge who tries to help Vernon but in the end washes his hands. Death Row is presumably Hell though Vernon is there for rather longer than three days. I have no idea what part the old con plays, nor Mr Nuckles.

Brilliant. Well worth the Booker.

Jan 2009. 274 pages

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