I honestly don’t know what the judges were thinking awarding the Booker Prize in 2003 to Vernon God Little. Not that it is not occasionally mildly entertaining but it has a gimmicky one-trick pony stamped all over it. And that trick is not all that to be fair.
The subject matter is serious – high school shooting – American teenagers’ favourite pastime, but the style is humorous. The author is under the impression he can make his narrator, a Texan boy, authentic by making him say ‘fucken’ three times on every page. And while Vernon Gregory Little might make a witty observation every now and then, he generally comes across as a cartoon. And so does everybody else in this book – they are just a bunch of badly drawn clichés. Imagine a choreographed reality TV taken to extreme, and then have someone create a parody of it and that’s what Vernon God Little is.
As I said it could all be mildly entertaining but then DBC Pierre inserts those serious bits, because, you know, Vernon’s friends have all been shot and he is accused of murdering them and facing Death Row, and then DBC Pierre expects me to empathise, which is a preposterous as if South Park creators expected me to cry each time they kill Kenny.
Maybe it’s me. Because some people seem to think it was gripping and powerful. I just didn’t get it. I thought it was trite.
But at least, given that Vernon moves between Texas and Mexico, I got to cook some Tex-Mex yummy junk food. And what’s more Tex-Mex than nachos? Here they are with home-made guacamole and salsa (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...). I think I need to stop reading so many American books before I cause some serious damage to my cholesterol levels.