Vernon Subutex One_PB.jpg

Virginie Despentes

Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

Paperback - B-format - 352pp - 22/03/2018 - £8.99 - 978 0 85705 542 2




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.

A disturbing and compelling novel. I loved and hated Vernon but I couldn’t leave him alone. The novel absolutely captures the essence of urban Paris - but probably the rest of Europe too. Relentlessly brilliant. Reading it was like being on a runaway train - you know it will probably end in disaster but you might as well enjoy the thrill of the ride. I am impatient for the next two volumes. And I really believe that this is a book that will be enjoyed by people who aren’t in the habit of reading - it’s unputdownable
An energetic, diverting romp . . . Brimming with sex, violence and deviant behaviour . . . 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, Télérama
Vernon Subutex is a great novel because, quite simply, it disturbs you. Despentes is an extraordinary writer
— François Busnel, Express
A vast mural of the world today. We all knew Despentes could write, but we were not expecting this
— Frédéric Beigbeder, Figaro magazine
Sex, drugs and 90s punk rock: Vernon Subutex is the Comédie Humaine for our time, produced by the furious talent of Virginie Despentes
— Laurence Houot, Culturebox