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About the Author
Virginie Despentes is a writer and filmmaker. She worked in an independent record store in the early 1990s, was a sex worker, and published her first novel, Baise-moi, when she was twenty-three. She adapted the novel for the screen in 2000, codirecting with the porn star Coralie Trinh Thi. Upon release, it became the first film to be banned in France in twenty-eight years. Despentes is the author of more than fifteen other works, including Apocalypse Baby, Bye Bye Blondie, Pretty Things, and the essay collection King Kong Theory.Frank Wynne has translated the work of many authors, including Michel Houellebecq, Boualem Sansal, Frédéric Beigbeder, and the late Ivoirian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma. He won the International IMPAC Literary Award with Houellebecq for The Elementary Particles.
Either you're already onboard with this series and need no convincing, or you've somehow missed the fact that a cool French writer has been pumping out hilarious and corrosive novels about contemporary urban life at the center and fringes of Paris. Despentes writes like Armistead Maupin, but about aging Gen-Xers instead of hippies and New Agers.
--Molly Young, Vulture (46 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2021)
--Wendy Erksine, Irish Times Vernon Subutex is written as if to act not as literature exactly, in its typical arena, but rather head-to-head with the dominant culture . . . That logic of multiplication and diversity, the scale and the frenzy of invention in this trilogy, and Despentes's own larger-than-life resourcefulness all have an aspect of horror, suggesting in their negative the vastness and intractability of the power in her sights.
--Jacqueline Feldman, The Nation Now Vernon Subutex 3 . . . brings the story of Vernon, former record-shop owner and increasingly lost soul, to a sometimes bleak, often very funny and possibly optimistic conclusion.
--Sarah Hughes, The Guardian The long, wild ride of France's most unlikely lothario reaches its lurid climax . . . [an] absorbing saga about the evolution of the dispossessed.
--Publishers Weekly As raw and rewarding as readers of the first two installments would expect.
--The New European (5 Great Books Published This Month)
The last volume of Virginie Despentes' acclaimed trilogy has arrived and, as you would expect, there's considerably more bang than whimper . . . outrageous, often funny and frequently foul-mouthed . . . Vernon Subutex 1, 2 and 3 are Despentes' fearless, dissection of contemporary France through a chorus of extraordinary, extreme voices . . . Just don't expect Despentes to give you a happily ever after.
--Siobhan Murphy, The Times
A pulpy thriller narrative built around the notion that rampant free-market values have left a moral and spiritual void at the centre of French society . . . Imagine, if you will, James Ellroy and William Gibson rewriting High Fidelity and you're somewhere near the tone . . . There's a sense of mischief throughout, as if Despentes is gleefully spinning the wheel in tracing these stories . . . Ultimately, it's a dark story of how violence can be turned to entertainment for the sake of profit. It can be exhausting, but it's also invigorating, and there isn't really anything else like it right now.
Despentes has found a way, at the level of composition and form, to enhance and even embody the qualities - hatred, alienation, anarchy of feeling - that she identifies at the centre of present-day France . . . Despentes's writing is intelligent, outspoken, witty, shocking, propulsive and streetwise. She has a clenched-fist tremendismo style that fits perfectly with her thrash metal image (she is frequently pictured in a Motorhead T-shirt). She has been fortunate in her translator, who matches her for invention and energy.
--Hal Jensen, The Times Literary Supplement Three addictive, intelligent volumes. Comedy, a way with words, and the collision of registers of language combine to make Vernon irresistible.
--RAPHAËLLE LEYRIS, Le Monde