Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2003
Teenager Vernon Gregory Little's life has been changed by the Columbine-style slaughter of a group of students at his high school. Soon his hole-in-the-wall town is blanketed under a media siege, and Vernon finds himself blamed for the killing. Eulalio Ledesma is his particular nemesis, manipulating things so that Vernon becomes the fulcrum for the bizarre and vengeful impulses of the townspeople of Martirio. After a truly surrealistic set of events, Vernon finds himself heading for a fateful assignation in Mexico with the delectable Taylor Figueros...
I hardly know what to say about it even though I've been assaulting my husband with updates as the story unfolds as I listed to it in two days straight.
It's un-put-downable, it deserved the Booker prize 100% & everyone should read this book.
In spite of the sad setting for the book the story unfolds in a bizarre but strangely (very, very strangely) believable form.
The story of Vernon Little epitomises American culture as viewed from the outside. Vernon is 15, we quickly discover he is a caring & fairly intelligent teenager - though very much a teenager. He's accused as accessory to murder on spurious reasoning & distinct lack of evidence & yet the case continues.
I loved this book (in case you didn't guess already). In spite of many "No - I do not believe this" moments - you do believe it. In a world where reality television is as popular as it is there is nothing in this book that surpasses the ridiculousness of reality.
But it does highlight the ridiculousness of reality & that is what makes the book wildly funny.
The narration is superb, it does not let the story down.
Go along for the ride. You will never be sorry you did.
A sad day caused by a sad and confused teenager begins this sequence of bad ideas followed by bad decisions. Vernon Little lives in a world full of awful people. His unfortunate circumstances, and the ignorant people that surround him lead him through a litany of mistakes, digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself until he finds himself on death row. I loved the very dark humour of this book, and the narration perfectly paints a picture of these unlikeable characters, in contrast with the unfortunate Vernon, who you root for, seemingly without much hope, as he really doesn't help himself. You have to hope that the representation here of the flaws in the criminal justice system in this southern American town is based on fiction, but you are left wondering...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If this book had not been a book club book I would have not finished this title, it was very disappointing and would have got a lower rating had certain aspects not improved as the book went along. I have no problem with bad Language in a book however until Vernon had his spell in prison and the writing style changed I felt the language was just there for the sake of it and did not add anything to the story and plot. My overall rating was improved because of that improvement and there were some good bits of the book. The Norator however was fantastic and read the book very well, he brought out the characters personalities really well and I felt that his performance deserved a higher rating for the over all reading experience also. This is one book I probably would not recommend and as I stated at the beginning of my review had it not been for a book discussion I will be attending on it, I highly doubt I would have even finished.
struggled to make it past the three first chapters the first time around but decided to try again after having it warmly recommended by a good read. so glad i did!
I can understand the comparisons to Catcher in the Rye.
In brief - the language is visceral, the characters mostly unsympathetic (the protagonist and Ella being notable exceptions), and the plot is infuriating at times and then finally satisfying.
If you are of a sensitive disposition you may not enjoy the book. If you are not the. This book will deliver belly laughs coupled with some great insights into human nature and our societies. And to top it all, there's a heartwarming story there too.
The performance is very good, a couple of the voices were less believable given the descriptions of the characters, but mostly highly amusing at the least and spot on at the best. Vain Gurie in particular has the most wonderful noise.
I would encourage any sophisticated and mature reader to indulge in this book.
read it years ago when it came out and listening on Audible did not disappoint.
now my dilemna is should I listen to Ludmilla or something else read by the narrator of this?
I caught part of a BBC Word Book Club show on the radio where this book was being reviewed. On the strength of that I bought the audiobook. I was not disappointed and thought the performance by Nick Landrum was particularly good. I'm telling ya :-)
loved this from start to finish, well written and beautifully read. Didn't want it to end. recommend it to anyone who just loves a good story. brilliant
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
A story about a very dim boy being caught up in the system and taking a fall for something. If you like watching or reading about people being bullied then this is a story for you. I had to give up after about 6 hours - This is one of the very few audio books I have ever given up on!
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Narration was good
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
The story is about a mentally defenceless boy being accused of a crime.
If you could sum up Vernon God Little in three words, what would they be?
Dark, twisted, hilarious.
What other book might you compare Vernon God Little to, and why?
The closest I can get is to say it's like 'Catcher In The Rye' if it had been written by Warren Ellis.
Have you listened to any of Nick Landrum’s other performances? How does this one compare?
This is my first time listening to one of Nick Landrum's performances but he does an excellent job and I certainly hope to listen to more books he has narrated.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
'If you think you're having a bad day, watch this and think again.'
Any additional comments?
Don't be put off by the tragic nature of this book's inciting incident. It is extremely well written and genuinely funny. Definitely the best book I've read this year.
started to listen to this book, and was bombarded with swearing words. It felt like 90 % of the language are f-words, supplemented by other not less strong swearing words. gave up to listening after an hour, impossible to grasp the story line through the jungle of swearing language. unplesant experience..
1 of 2 people found this review helpful