You know the book is going to be one big cliché when the opening line is: “It's as hot as hell in Martiro, but the papers on the porch are icy with the news.” Start rolling your eyes now…

I had a really difficult time with this book. It appears that D.B.C. Pierre watched and re-watched every single episode of Jerry Springer to come up with the colorful array of characters in Vernon God Little. All the women are obese and nobody is very smart. People say thing like, “Ol’ Keeters down tha road done made-up summa that thar stuff-” and so on. It just seemed to me that the author was writing directly from a stereotype and was deliberately trying to be offensive 90% of the time. The difference between good offensive (ie. Henry Miller) and bad offensive (i.e. this book) is how much of what’s being written is truthful as opposed to an author faking/forcing it. I wasn’t too impressed.

Having said that, the tone of the novel changed dramatically half-way through the story: It looks as though Vernon Gregory Little is the one who’s going to be taking all the heat for a recent shooting-spree at his school in Texas. Vernon flees to Mexico and by the time he’s back home, nearly all of southern Texas’ murders have been blamed on him.

While Vernon was in Mexico, story mellowed out a little and Pierre took his time to describe the country in wonderful detail. And, back home, when Vernon’s in jail and on trial, his reflections are more profound. All of this was way better reading than the white-trash/empty scenario that is the first-half of Vernon God Little.

If you’ve got nothing else to read, by all means, pick this book up (just wait until paperback).

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