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Vernon Subutex 2: Book summary and reviews of Vernon Subutex 2 by Virginie Despentes

Vernon Subutex 2

by Virginie Despentes

Vernon Subutex 2 by Virginie Despentes X
Vernon Subutex 2 by Virginie Despentes
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  • Published Jul 2020
    368 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Part social epic, part punk-rock thriller, writer/filmmaker Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex trilogy continues the Man Booker International Prize shortlisted sprawling tale of an ex-record shop clerk's celebrity fortunes and misfortunes.

Rock star Alex Bleach might be dead, but he has a secret. It's a secret that concerns several people, but the only person who can unlock it is Vernon Subutex, former record shop proprietor turned homeless messiah and guru, last seen hallucinating and feverish on a bench. He has tapes of Alex that will shake the world. The hunt is on, and the wolves are closing in.

Meanwhile, the cast of lovers and killers in Vernon's orbit is in violent disarray. Aïcha wants to know the truth behind the death of her mother, the porn star Vodka Satana. And if she finds the bastards responsible, she wants to make them pay, whatever Céleste thinks of her plan. Céleste wants Aïcha to get a grip and stop hanging around with Subutex's gang of disciples. The Hyena wants to find the Bleach tapes. She wants to untangle her complicated feelings about Anaïs, her boss's assistant. And speaking of her boss, she does not want Laurent Dopalet to discover how badly she has double-crossed him.

Big-shot producer Laurent Dopalet wants the Hyena to find and destroy the Bleach tapes. He wants to forget he ever knew Vodka Satana. He wants people to stop graffitiing his apartment with ludicrous allegations. Above all, he wants people to understand: NONE OF THIS IS HIS FAULT.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The apparent deaths by drug overdose of indie rock star Alex Bleach and his porn star ex-girlfriend unite a motley crew of armchair investigators in this rollicking second volume of a trilogy set in 2014 Paris...Such is the snowballing effect of this sexed-up epic, an achievement greater than the sum of its wildly colorful parts." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A worthy, anarchic sequel for the lost souls and beautiful losers of Paris' blank generation." - Kirkus Reviews

"Virginie Despentes is a true original, a punk rock George Eliot with a keen taste for the pitiable innards of her characters: no one else has her slyly penetrating eye, her spiky sense of humor, her razor wit that cuts like wire through the accumulated crud of our age's default thought patterns. In her masterful hands, Vernon Subutex becomes a droll, hilarious, insightful record of our unfortunate times." - Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

"Cool, plentiful, and absolute genius. Virginie Despentes has a license to ill. Vernon Subutex is one of the best books of this decade." - Alex Gilvarry, author of Eastman Was Here

"Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex trilogy is the zeitgeistiest thing I ever read...[It] has dupes and assholes and racists and the people they hate and a stunning diversity of internal monologues and trans true love. Like the last decade, it searches for a happy ending that isn't merely personal and can't find it...These novels with their depth and detail kick TV's sorry ass." - Nell Zink, Bustle, "The Best Books Of The 2010s"

This information about Vernon Subutex 2 was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Virginie Despentes

Virginie Despentes is a writer and filmmaker. She worked in an independent record store in the early '90s, 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.

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