Vernon God Little
|Vernon God Little|
|Genre(s)||Black comedy, Satire|
|Publisher||Faber and Faber|
|Publication date||20 January 2003|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||288 pp (hardcover edition)
288 pp (paperback edition)
|ISBN||ISBN 0-571-21515-7 (hardcover edition)
ISBN 0-571-21516-5(paperback edition)
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Vernon God Little|
Plot synopsis 
The title character is a fifteen-year-old boy who lives in a small town in the U.S. state of Texas. When his friend Jesus Navarro commits suicide after killing sixteen bullying schoolmates, suspicion falls on Vernon, who becomes something of a scapegoat in his small hometown of Martirio. Fearing the death penalty, he goes on the run to Mexico.
Themes and style 
The character of Vernon as a troubled teenager has drawn comparisons with the character Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye novel. There are also significant similarities with Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The book is written in contemporary vernacular - with the use of foul satirical language and a witty irony. The town in which Vernon lives, Martirio, is ironically given the Spanish word for martyrdom.
Publication and distribution 
Formerly an artist, cartoonist, photographer and filmmaker, and later accused of being a conman and thief following the wild, drug-fuelled international rampage of his twenties, Pierre wrote the novel in London after a period of therapy, personal reconstruction and unemployment. He states the novel was a reaction to the culture around him, which after his own reorientation in life seemed to be full of the same delusional behaviours and self-entitlements which brought his own earlier downfall.
The book was originally drafted as the first part of a trilogy which his UK publisher advised against, but which Pierre has loosely pursued in two subsequent works set 'in the presence of death', and dealing with contemporary, media-infected themes: Ludmila's Broken English (2006), and the final part of the End Times Trilogy, Lights Out In Wonderland (2010). This third book follows to their conclusion many of the questions underlying Vernon God Little, and returns to the first-person narrative of a young man set apart from his culture, this time in Europe.
Vernon God Little was translated in over 40 territories worldwide under a variety of titles.
The German translation of the book is titled Jesus von Texas (Jesus of Texas).
Out of 4,000 Britons polled, 35% of those who started reading this book did not finish it.
Awards and nominations 
Published in 2003, the novel was awarded the Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction which included the £50,000 prize. Upon winning the prize, Pierre said that the money was "a third of what I owe in the world" and promptly used it to repay old debts. It also won the first novel award in the 2003 Whitbread Awards.
The British Mail On Sunday wrote: "Not since first reading John Kennedy Toole's masterpiece A Confederacy Of Dunces, have I laughed so much, or felt such sheer delight at the discovery of a wholly fresh comic voice."
The Times wrote: "A satire brimming with opprobium for.. [the] demi-culture of reality television, fast food and speedily delivered death... a bulging burrito of a book."
John Carey, Merton professor of English Literature at Oxford University, and chairman of Booker judges in 2003 said: "Reading [Pierre's] book made me think of how the English language was in Shakespeare's day, enormously free and inventive and very idiomatic and full of poetry as well."
Theodore Dalrymple wrote that the novel "was a work of unutterably tedious nastiness and vulgarity" that "manifested itself even in its first sentence, and grew worse as the first paragraph progressed"; Dalrymple described the author as "a man with no discernible literary talent whose vulgarity of mind was deep and thoroughgoing".
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations 
In 2004 The Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, performed the international premier stage adaptation by Andrea Hart and directed by Kenny Miller. In 2005, Variety reported that Pawel Pawlikowski was working on producing a film adaptation of the book, with FilmFour Productions. Rufus Norris directed a stage adaptation, by Tanya Ronder, at the Young Vic theatre in 2007 starring Colin Morgan as Vernon and Penny Layden as Vaine.
- "Author Pierre wins Booker prize". BBC. October 15, 2003.
- Sam Sifton (November 9, 2003). "Holden Caulfield on Ritalin". New York Times.
- Dalrymple, Theodore (January 3, 2004). "Escape from barbarity". The Spectator. "The Booker Prize winner was a work of unutterably tedious nastiness and vulgarity, written by a man with no discernible literary talent whose vulgarity of mind was deep and thoroughgoing, to judge by the interviews he gave after the award. It was symptomatic of the state of our country that the judges, all of them upper-middle-class, and one of them a distinguished professor of English, could not see the terrible meretriciousness of the book they chose, that manifested itself even in its first sentence, and grew worse as the first paragraph progressed. Any kind of mediocrity would have been preferable, but they were probably scared not to side with vulgarity. Fear of appearing elitist in this country is now greater than any desire to preserve civilisation."
- Adam Dawtrey (January 18, 2005). "Pawel Pawlikowski". Variety (Reed Business Information).
- Pulver, Andrew (22 October 2012). "Werner Herzog to bring Vernon God Little to the big screen". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Werner Herzog to adapt Vernon God Little into film". BBC News. 2012-10-223. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- Review of Vernon God Little at The Guardian
- Review of Vernon God Little in bulgarian at The Literature Today (Book blog in Bulgaria)
|Awards and achievements|
Life of Pi
|Man Booker Prize recipient
The Line of Beauty