Sunday, January 18, 2004


Is it a literary novel? Since it won the Man Booker award this year, you suppose so. But as you read through a few pages, you feel this is not your expected stuff. Rather it reads like a fast-paced thriller spiced up with f-words, besides those usual ingredients. It, however, revolves around a serious theme.

Vernon, a sixteen-year-old Texas school student gets framed by an apparently firm administration for a carnage committed by his classmate. The greedy media blows it up, projecting the boy as the murderer and seeks to reap monetary benifit out of it. The boy's mother, a widow who is determined to shape up his life with a new partner, collaborates meekly with the media --of course for material gains. In the end, however, Vernon gets saved just before the hanging, thanks to Providence and his attorney. In a somewhat unbelievable way, though.

The novel is a scathing and eloquent commentary on current American culture and life. But it falls short of good literature because of its somewhat mindless and rambling style.

DBC Pierre has the talent of spinning a yarn in his own voice. He is endowed with insight and knowledge. One wonders why he dealt with a great subject in such a flippant way.

May be he thought the style fit for the degrading culture, which he had not much respect for. I'm not really sure.


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