Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Violent Jesus: "21st Century Comedy in the Presence of Death"

"You want to know how terrific this book is?
It's like the Osbournes invited the Simpsons
round for a root beer, and Don DeLillo dropped
by to help them write a new song for Eminem'
-Andrew O'Hagan

In addition to spotting this item pictured at Dollar Tree today (shopping for posterboard and props for this weekend's class )..

I found a book..
No wonder it was at Dollar Tree. It looks to be prophetic and offensive...and thus banned or discounted like lots of good stuff like that,,
(Right, SpyScott?)!

The price was right...
(though it is a penny on Amazon)
it has a violent character named Jesus.... "riotously funny and puts lust for vengeance, materialism, and trail by Media squarely in the dock." (front sleeve)

...and the blurbs on the back cover sold it (and any recommendation by Lethem is good).

From Wikipedia:

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."

Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn wrote:

"Read Vernon God Little not only for its dangerous relevance, but for the coruscating wit and raw vitality of its 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 Finlay as "a man with no discernible literary talent whose vulgarity of mind was deep and thoroughgoing".

Here you go:

"Vernon God Little: A 21st Century Comedy in the Presence of Death"


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 German translation of the book is titled Jesus von Texas (Jesus of Texas)..

..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.

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