HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Vernon Subutex, Tome 1 : by Virginie…
Loading...

Vernon Subutex, Tome 1 : (edition 2018)

by Virginie Despentes (Contributor)

Series: Vernon Subutex (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3771251,496 (3.75)21
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.… (more)
Member:Rivaton
Title:Vernon Subutex, Tome 1 :
Authors:Virginie Despentes (Contributor)
Info:Voir de près (2018)
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 21 mentions

French (5)  English (4)  German (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 4 of 4
Vernon Subutex Vols 1 & 2 by Virginie Despentes

If you know nothing Virginie Despentes it is because of the celebrity focussed US-centric shallow culture we live in and is not due to any lack of ability on her part.

These books are translated from the French with enough essence left in that you can still smell the coffee and sewers of Paris.

This story revolves around a group of people who were once young, beautiful, hip and riding the wave of their times. Now, however, they find themselves middle aged and in various stages of coming to terms (or not) with no longer being those same young things they once were. Some have had an easy ride and some have not. Nearly all of them have followed paths diverging from what they were when they were young. None if them planned on that being the case.

What brings them together is Vernon Subutex.

Once a record store owner and a very cool dude he is now living from hand to mouth barely making ends meet. One of his long time friends, an ageing rock star visits him and they do a mammoth session of drinks and drugs. Vernon passes out and while unconscious his friend records a long confession about his life using Vernon’s video gear. Within days the ageing rock star is dead and the nation mourns and everyone remembers when they were young.

Also within days Vernon’s landlord has decided he can make more money without his existing tenants and Vernon finds himself evicted from his apartment, he leaves with nothing more than a backpack and the tapes. He leaves the tapes with a friend and without any kind of support he sinks lower and lower into seen/not seen world of homelessness .

Meanwhile, the rumour of the existence of the confession tapes causes things to happen. The ageing rock star knew some secrets that others thought it would be better left unsaid.

The makings of a whodunnit/chase scenario? You’d think so but it doesn’t pan out like that. While Vernon sinks lower and lower in the social strata he becomes sought after by those who were once his friends. Yes, it is about the tapes and what may or may not be on them but it’s more than that too.

That’s enough plot to give you the framework that all this hangs on but that is all it is, a framework.

The real story is multifaceted and many layered. It details Vernon’s descent into homelessness and abject poverty in such realistic detail that you realise that without too many changes it could happen to you in the not too distant future. But this is not a story of social inequality. It is about transformation.

Over the two books that I read, every character in this story is on some kind of journey towards openness, forgiveness, understanding, revenge, death and more. All these separate stories meld in the search for Vernon Subutex and yes, even the French think it’s a weird name.

Vernon’s previous life as a record store owner gives a musical underscoring to this whole story and others’ individual stories too, like the neo-nazi losing his inhibition and dancing with the pornstar of his dreams after having confessed to nearly killing one of the main characters of the books. Sounds highly unlikely but actually sits well in the framework of this mini saga.

The main characters have enough depth to be believable even though not always likeable. There is a lovely flow to this story and the soundtrack may strike a chord.

Virginie Despentes captures so much in this story, the way that no-one is ever prepared for middle age, the way that we become people we do not recognise in both good and bad ways, the sheer harsh and unforgiving nature of ageing and how we always see ourselves as young and how these conflicting things can produce unforeseen results.

It appears that Vol 3 is not available on the kindle and I could not find it in other channels either which is a real shame as I’d like to know how the whole story ends. Vol 2 ends with the main characters doing something completely different and Vernon transforming into something wholly bigger. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
This book has received very good reviews, including a warm one from the usually sensible Kate Evans. It was also short listed for the Man Booker International. Why? WHY!!?? I read 200 pages, hoping that the good part would arrive in the next chapter. It didn't. It's all uniformly bad. Maybe the final 100 pages makes it a worthwhile read in the end....I'll never know. ( )
  oldblack | Nov 15, 2018 |
C'est un livre très puissant niveau de la langue, c'est on-ne-peut-plus direct, et il y a des vérité de la vie super bien formule et écrites. Mais il en est toujours que l'intrigue suit une coïncidence qui part du sort de Vernon. Une multitude de personnages et d'histoires qui s'enchaînent à bon gré et qui n'aident pas à trouver une cohérence au livre. Mais très fort quand même, je trouve ! M'a beaucoup plu, bien qu'il n'y ait pas de personnages bien évolues.
  Kindlegohome | Sep 25, 2018 |
Vernon Subutex is down on his luck. He’s lost the record store that he owned and ran for 20 years near the Bastille in Paris. He’s spent the last couple of years picking up bits of work as a music journalist here and there and selling off his record collection piecemeal on Ebay. And for the past year his old chum Alex Bleach, the only one of his friends to have made it in the music biz, has been paying his back rent. But now Alex is dead, an overdose. And as sad as that is, it’s the fallout that is on Vernon’s mind. No one is going to pay his rent on which he is some months in arrears. And when the bailiffs come knocking to evict him, he has only ten minutes to grab what he can and stuff it in a bag. For some reason, one of the things he takes with him is a set of three tapes that Alex made one night in Vernon’s apartment, a drug-fueled rant Vernon assumes but one that might now be worth something. But first Vernon is going have to deal with this homelessness thing.

Apologies if the above sounds like a lot of telling. But that is the mode of presentation of this lengthy first volume in what is to be a trilogy of the life and decline of Vernon Subutex. It’s just a lot of telling and very little showing. And periodically there are new characters introduced who do some further ranty telling for a few pages. They are mostly far-right exhortations against one group or another, or against women or certain types of women. Or they are far-left exhortations which, in the curious world we live in these days, sound incredibly similar.

I’m not sure why the original French text of this novel became acclaimed in France. Perhaps the people reading it are the same people who are blithely ignorant of what occurs on the Internet on a daily basis, or are surprised to learn that there are angry people in France who have difficulty articulating their views but not their anger. And, shock, it turns out that there are homeless people in the capital of culture as well! So perhaps this book is being treated as reportage. If so, I’m glad it is opening people’s eyes.

But otherwise it is rather dull. And so, not recommended. ( )
1 vote RandyMetcalfe | Jun 28, 2018 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Despentes, Virginieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Casassas, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lo Porto, TizianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sobregués, NoemíTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinitz, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wynne, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Non omnis moriar
Dedication
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
à Martine Giordano,
Joséphine Pépa Bolivar,
Yanna Pistruin.
First words
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Les fenêtres de l’immeuble d’en face sont déjà éclairées. Les silhouettes des femmes de ménage s’agitent dans le vaste open space de ce qui doit être une agence de communication. Elles commencent à six heures. D’habitude, Vernon se réveille un peu avant qu’elles arrivent. Il a envie d’un café serré, d’une cigarette à filtre jaune, il aimerait se griller une tranche de pain et déjeuner en parcourant les gros titres du Parisien sur son ordinateur.
[...]
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Du disque à la rue
Bourgeoises ou actrices porno
Cassettes recherchées
(Tiercelin)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.75)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 6
2.5 2
3 17
3.5 12
4 39
4.5 10
5 18

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,237,693 books! | Top bar: Always visible