Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2018
Who is Vernon Subutex?
An urban legend. A fall from grace. The mirror who reflects us all.
Vernon Subutex was once the proprietor of Revolver, an infamous music shop in Bastille. His legend spread throughout Paris. But by the 2000s his shop is struggling. With his savings gone, his unemployment benefit cut, and the friend who had been covering his rent suddenly dead, Vernon Subutex finds himself down and out on the Paris streets.
He has one final card up his sleeve. Even as he holds out his hand to beg for the first time, a throwaway comment he once made on Facebook is taking the internet by storm. Vernon does not realise this, but the word is out: Vernon Subutex has in his possession the last filmed recordings of Alex Bleach, the famous musician and Vernon's benefactor, who has only just died of a drug overdose. A crowd of people from record producers to online trolls and porn stars are now on Vernon's trail.
Vernon Subutex 1 is a cult French social satire that has taken Europe by storm, and cast a penetrating light on the dark underbelly of modern urban life.
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 248 g
Dimensions: 204 x 201 x 22 mm
'An energetic, diverting romp... Brimming with sex, violence and deviant behaviour... and] a multitude of sharply delineated characters... Often surprises us with its psychological acuity.' - David Mills, Sunday Times
'Bold and sophisticated, this thrilling, magnificently audacious picaresque is about France and is also about all of us; how loudly we shout, how badly we hurt. It is the story of now.' - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
'Part social epic, part punk rock thriller, Vernon Subutex is a remarkable portrait of contemporary society... written with a fury that hits right to the bone.' - Christine Ferniot, Telerama
'Vernon Subutex is a great novel because, quite simply, it disturbs you. Despentes is an extraordinary writer.' - Francois Busnel, Express
'Sex, drugs and 90s punk rock: Vernon Subutex is the Comedie Humaine for our time, produced by the furious talent of Virginie Despentes.' - Laurence Houot, Culturebox
'A masterful blending of characters, voices and plots with an undeniable sense of changing rhythms. This is not just a novel, it's an electrocardiogram -- Etienne de Montety.' - Figaro
'A mind-blowing portrait of contemporary French society.' - Nelly Kaprielian, Les Inrocks
'A vast mural of the world today. We all knew Despentes could write, but we were not expecting this.' - Frederic Beigbeder, Figaro magazine