Presentation on theme: "THE AUTHOR… Born 1961 in Australia as Peter Warren Finlay. D.B.C stands for “Dirty But Clean”. Raised in the 2% of Mexico that holds the country’s wealth."— Presentation transcript:
THE AUTHOR… Born 1961 in Australia as Peter Warren Finlay. D.B.C stands for “Dirty But Clean”. Raised in the 2% of Mexico that holds the country’s wealth Frequently ran away from home ‘Vernon God Little’ was his first novel, and won the 2003 Booker Prize.
A 21 ST CENTURY COMEDY IN THE PRESENCE OF DEATH Vernon Gregory Little is a 15 year old boy from Texas. Everyone in his town knows everybody else, and everybody else’s business. The book opens on a tragic day in Martirio, as the town mourns the death of 16 high school children, massacred by a classmate. Vernon finds himself accused of a crime he didn’t commit by the whole town …..
‘Pa-ra-dime. You never heard of the paradigm shift? Example: you see a man with his hand up your granny’s ass. What do you think?’ ‘Bastard.’ ‘Right. Then you learn a deadly bug crawled up there, and the man has in fact put aside his disgust to save Granny. What do you think now?’ ‘Hero.’ You can tell he ain’t met my nana. ‘There you go, a paradigm shift. The action doesn’t change – the information you use to judge it does. You were ready to crucify the guy because you didn’t have the facts. Now you want to shake his hand.’ ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘I mean figuratively, asshole,’ he laughs, punching out six of my ribs. ‘Facts may seem black and white by the time they hit your TV screen, but professional teams sift through mountains of gray to get them there. You need positioning, like a product in the market – the jails are full of people who didn’t manage their positions.’ ‘Wait up, I have a witness, you know.’ Ledesma heads up the porch steps. ‘Yeah, and Deputy Lard-ass is so interested. Public opinion will go with the first psycho who points a finger. You’re butt-naked, big man.’
VERNON AS NARRATOR Narrator of the novel. Unique narrative voice Comic tone American slang and colloquialisms Swears constantly Frequent references to underwear Shrewdly analyses the people around him Imparts his ‘lessons on life’.
“I sense a learning: that much dumber people than you end up in charge. Look at the way things are. I’m no fucken genius or anything, but these spazzos are in charge of my every twitch. What I’m starting to think is maybe only the dumb are safe in this world, the ones who roam with the herd, without thinking about every little thing. But see me? I have to think about every little fucken thing.”
THE MEDIA AND MARTIRIO Reflective of American society. Influx of media interest, spearheaded by Eulalio Ledesma Traditional journalist, and in some ways the stereotypical American, who will do anything to get ahead in life.
THE AMERICAN WAY Stereotypical American way of life Vern’s mother and her friends. Constantly in competition with each other advertising slogan of the 1920s…”Keep up with the Jones’”
“Town’s like a club, see. You recognize fellow members by their shoes. They won’t even sell certain shoes to outsiders, it’s a fact.” “‘CNN, ma’am – Eulalio Ledesma, at your service.’ Sunlight strikes some gold in his mouth. ‘The world awaits’ Gurie chuckles and shakes her head. ‘The world’s a long way from Martirio, Mr Ledesma.’ ‘Today the world is Martirio, ma’am.’”
“KNIFE TURNERS” “I’d be fucken grateful, if it wasn’t my ole lady calling. Between you and me, it’s like she planted a knife in my back when I was born, and now every fucken noise she makes just gives it a turn. It cuts even deeper now that my daddy ain’t around to share the pain. My shoulders round up when I see the phone, my mouth opens like, duh. Here’s exactly what she’ll say, in her fuck- me-to-a-cross whimper, she’ll say, ‘Vernon, are you all right?’ I guarantee it. ‘Vernon, are you okay?’ Feel the blade chop and dice.”
VERNON GOD LITTLE The power of analysing human nature and giving people what they truly want. By ‘playing God’ he is able to change his situation and get what he wants. A convict named Lasalle tells him this: “He holds a hand up to the guards. They stop. ‘You mean how do you do it? Big yourself up – watch any animal for clues. As for us humans – check this…’ He pulls a lighter from his pocket, and motions us to hush. He clicks the lighter once, softly, then cranes an ear toward the toilet cubicles, where the other con still sits out of sight. After a moment, you hear rustling in the cubicle. Then a lighter clicks inside. We watch a puff of smoke rise up, as the con drags on a cigarette he didn’t even know he wanted. The power of suggestion. Lasalle turns to me with a smile, and clicks his lighter in the air. ‘Learn their needs, and they’ll dance to any fuckin tune you play.’”
WHY I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK… Simply, it’s brilliant. The characters are well formed and conveyed, the descriptive passages are full of careful detail and the comedic aspect of almost every single page makes the drama even more hard hitting. It is a cutting yet believable portrayal of American life in the 21 st century.