Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Vernon God Little

by DBC Pierre

“A dangerous, smart, ridiculous, and very funny first novel . . . Pierre renders adolescence brilliantly, capturing with seeming effortlessness the bright, contradictory hormone rush of teenage life.” —Sam Sifton, The New York Times

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 288
  • Publication Date August 07, 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-7095-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.95

About The Book

Hailed by the critics and lauded for its riotously funny and scathing portrayal of America in an age of trial by media, materialism, and violence, Vernon God Little was an international sensation when it was first published in 2003 and awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

The memorable portrait of America is seen through the eyes of a wry, young, protagonist. Fifteen-year-old Vernon narrates the story with a cynical twang and a four-letter barb for each of his townsfolk, a medley of characters. With a plot involving a school shooting and death-row reality TV shows, Pierre’s effortless prose and dialogue combine to form a novel of postmodern gamesmanship.

Tags Literary


“If Huckleberry Finn were set on the Mexican-American border and written by the creators of South Park, it might read something like this.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“[An] unexpectedly moving first novel . . . Pierre has a flawless ear for adolescent-boy speech.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker

“When school shootings happen, people want to know why, but who would expect to get the answer from a comedy? . . . Vernon’s wicked eye and still more wicked tongue crank the banalities of small-town Southern life into a corkscrew of the grotesque. . . . The juvenile nastiness of Vernon’s speech is one of the truest things about it, but his voice is also capable of poetry, extended metaphor, even metaphysical conceit.” —Madison Smartt Bell, The Boston Globe

“[A] dangerous, smart, ridiculous and very funny first novel . . . there is a jagged, punk-rock sensibility to Pierre’s prose, absolutely his own . . . Pierre renders adolescence brilliantly, capturing with seeming effortlessness the bright, contradictory hormone rush of teenage life. ” —The New York Times

Catcher in the Rye for a generation raised on the whip-smart satire of The Simpsons.” —GQ Magazine

“Pierre has channeled the most afflicted and endearing hero since Rushmore‘s Max Fischer.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Irreverent . . . in a hilarious yet oddly touching manner, Vernon God Little brings its timeless, twisted young protagonist to the front of an illustrious class that includes creations by Salinger, Russell Banks and C.D. Payne.” —Time Out New York

“Set in a landscape of Bar-B-Chew Barns and overpriced sneakers, Vernon‘s satire is almost too fat to steer, culminating in a merciless slapstick cluster bombing of ‘reality entertainment’’s scatological vulgarity.” —Village Voice

“[The book’s] antihero is drolly hilarious—he’s the bastard child of Holden Caulfield and Ignatius Reilly . . . Pierre’s raucous farce skewers the media for their shameless exploitation of tragedy and small-town folk for their small-mindedness; it’s a profane plea for sanity in our crazed times.” —Texas Monthly

“This post-modern picaresque tale has everything: incredible velocity, hilarious satire, an unforgettable voice, even a neat denouement.” —Esquire (UK)

“Raw and vital, this novel, as Vernon so righteously says, ‘fucken rocks.’” —Elle Magazine

“This is a strange vibrant thing with its own unique voice; thoroughly seductive, and deeply, darkly, comic.” —Joseph Connolly

“Scatological, irreverent, crass, and very, very funny, the novel is told at an absolutely manic pace and will have readers wincing even as they laugh out loud. Pierre is a comic anarchist with talent to spare.” —Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

“Like the best satires, it makes you feel faintly guilty for laughing, which intensifies the pleasure of reading . . . Vernon himself is a brilliant comic creation: hapless, unlucky, cynical, often tragic.” —Carrie O’Grady, The Guardian

“J.D. Salinger took 10 years to perfect Holden Caulfield’s voice, Pierre just 19 months to hone Vernon’s.” —Tatler

“A satire brimming with opprobrium for . . . [the] demi-culture of reality television, fast food and speedily delivered death . . . a bulging burrito of a book.” —The Times (London)

Vernon God Little is one of the most engaging first-person narrators since Catcher in the Rye‘s Holden Caulfield, by whom he is surely inspired.” —Daily Mail

“A showpiece of superb comic writing . . . Out of the detritus of a morally bankrupt society, Pierre has fashioned a work of comic art.” —The Sunday Telegraph

“This is a book about finding the good in yourself and in other people.” —The Independent

“Pierre could write Proulx into the ground.” —The Observer (London)

“Pierre’s cynical, truculent account of his experience has already earned the novel comparison with Catcher in the Rye.” —The Week

“[T]his book, with its dangerously comic look at a schoolyard massacre, appears primed for cult antihero status. Pierre’s carefully balanced satirical tone teases the reader through the novel’s seeming implausibility.” —The Sydney Morning Herald

“This is satire at its very finest.” —The Sunday Tribune (South Africa)

“[Pierre’s] use of language is distinctive, his character’s voice at times spellbinding, and a warmth for his characters seeps through the rage.” —Scotland on Sunday

“Ideal book for fans of The Catcher in the Rye—this is the 21st century version.” —The Sunday Express

“You want to know what this terrific book is like? 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, author of Missing and Our Fathers

“Read Vernon God Little not only for its dangerous relevance, but for the coruscating wit and raw vitality of its voice, which recalls maybe Flannery O’Connor on an overdose of amphetamines and cable television.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn