I chose to read this book because I needed a book with 3 dots. This was one of the only books left in the research centre and the cover of the book attracted me because of the special layout of the letters. When I read the backside of the book I got a little confused because it wasn't really clear were the story was about, but that's also why I wanted to know where the book was about.
How would you describe the genre of this book?
I would describe it as an Action-Comedy. It's written in a very funny way with a lot of humour in it, but the subject of the book is quite heavy. Because the main character gets in trouble in the book, there's a lot of action needed to get him out of that. So that's why it's not only a comedy.
Give a list of the main characters and describe their role.
Vernon: The main character, he is a suspect of a murder at his school. They think he helped Jesus, the murderer. Vernon is 15 years old and going to the high-school. He thinks different than most other people from his age. He thinks quite complicated and thinks all the other people are stupid, what get him into trouble sometimes.
Eulalio Ledesma (Lally): He's the new boyfriend of Vernon's mother. He works as a reporter for CNN. Vernon thinks he only wants to get a good story out of him, so when Lally asks Vernon to tell his story about the murder, he refuses.
Taylor: The girl Vernon is dreaming of. When Taylor wants to flee to Mexico, he wants to take Taylor with him. She's important because she's is bribed by Lally to get the story about the murder out of Vernon. Because of that he's arrested and gets the death-penalty.
Are there any important minor characters? Who are they and why would you describe them as "minor"?
Yes, Jesus Navarro is an important 'minor' character. He's the one how killed 16 schoolmates. The story is a result of this murder. Because Vernon was the only friend of Jesus, Vernon is a major suspect. This is a 'minor' character because he's already dead when the story starts, so he doesn't play a major role in the book. However, he's important because without him there would be no story to begin with.
Describe the time in which the story is set. Is it a historical or a futuristic novel?
The story is set around in the present. Although there're no dates mentioned, clear signs of the time the novel is set is that you can already read on the first page that Vernon is just wearing Nike's and other clothes that can be worn in the present.
Literary stories often revolve around some sort of problem of the main character(s). For instance, they need to do something, or they want something that they cannot (yet) have. How would you describe this problem in your book?
Vernon is innocent and he wants to prove that. Not many people believe he's telling the truth. That's also an impulse to clear himself of being a suspect, so that he can just live a normal life again.
How would you describe the language of the novel? Is there anything that strikes you as interesting or peculiar? NB Do not answer that the language is "difficult," because you have to keep in mind that the book was written for people whose native language is English.
The book is written in a very humoristic and sarcastic way, what is quite rare for a book with such a heavy subject. It's written in a not so common way. Because it's written from Vernon's point of view you can read all his thoughts, which is very interesting.
Most authors did not want to teach you anything with their book. If they had, they would have written a school book instead of a novel. Rather, they want you to think about certain problems or aspects of life. You might say that a book explores one or more ideas, which are known as themes. Explain what the themes in your book are, and illustrate your answer with examples.
I think the author wanted to show how you can get into trouble if you hide important information. It's always important to tell the truth, even if the subject you need to go through is very hard. Of course it's not very likely that you will ever be suspected of helping with the killing of 16 people, but this novel clearly shows you what can happen if you hold back important information. Vernon is arrested and gets a death-penalty. Luckily he innocent and he's released from jail, but when he would just have told the truth, it would save him a lot of trouble.
a. What is the point-of-view in your book? In other words, who tells the story? Does the narrator have an active role in the story?
The whole story has Vernon as point-of-view. You get to know him very well and you don't only read what he says, but also what he's thinking. Vernon is the main character, so the narrator has an active role.
b. How would the story be different if the point-of-view were changed? Give an example of such a change and describe the effect.
I think when the story had a third person point-of-view you would get to know Vernon less well. I think you would instead get to know the other characters better, and also know what their feelings and opinions are. You would switch between the characters, so you will not only get the 'Vernon' side of the story to know.
I've chosen to do exercise D, the newspaper article.
The drama of being a suspect.
Texas - How would you feel if you are only 15 years old and already suspect of murdering 16 persons from your age. That's where this amazing book from DBC Pierre is about. The suspect and main character, called Vernon, is being hilarious while he can get the death penalty.
The weird thing, but what this book also makes amazing, is the way Vernon is thinking and talking. It's funny, sarcastic and a lot more than that, which you wouldn't expect from a boy who's being a suspect of helping someone with killing 16 persons from his school. Vernon thinks everyone is stupid and that no-one is listening to him, what also gets him into trouble sometimes. The way this book is written is as you will not see them much. DBC Pierre succeeded in writing a book which makes a very heavy subject much more talk able, with help of the humour, but without the humour getting the primacy so that you can't take the story serious. It's also good that the point-of-view was from Vernon. It gives you the feeling that you feel sorry for Vernon although he took some bad decisions. After reading this book a lot of people understand that making heavy story less heavy with the help of humour is a not so common, but very good way to write books.