Thoughts on VERNON GOD LITTLE

220px-vernon_god_little_coverDBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little is a good read, once you get used to the language and peculiar structure of the narrative. The place-time coordinates are so haphazardly indicated that they are of no help at all. The result is you end up being caught unawares when something happens; the present situation gives no clue of the impending menace of the future. At one moment, Vernon appears to be in control (the reader too by extension), the thing that you are supposed to be hiding from is at a safe watching distance from both protagonist and reader; in the next moment, however, you are caught, exposed, like in a Kafkaesque revelation, and you realize that Vernon, with his poor eyesight and miscalculation, have all the while been subject (like Truman) to a ubiquitous Gaze, that interprets your every movement with the cold, smug finality of a reality-show jury.Thematically, the narrative strategy is quite efficient and appropriate, though it also unsettles the reader like Orwell’s 1983 does. There is neither captivity nor liberty, only an extended term of parole; You are being watched continuously, unceasingly–what the Gaze sees, it judges–if you are ‘innocent’, you will look it–unless your innocence is ‘obvious’ to the enlightened, ‘media-literate’ hoi-polloi, who can vote for your death or life as they choose, you are, by default, culpable.

CLOWNIN’ Rating: 3/5

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