DBC Pierre won the Booker Prize for Vernon God Little. Professor John Carey who chared the judges described the book as “A coruscating black comedy reflecting our alarm but also our facination with modern America.”
Pierre pressure is a profile from the Sydney Morning Herald (he was born in Australia, grew up in Mexico and now lives in Ireland).
An Observer profile said, “For a book that tackles big themes head-on – Columbine-style slayings, capital punishment, blame culture and the power of the media – it is one of the most scabrously funny satires this side of a vintage episode of South Park. Imagine the latter scripted by Harmony Korine and you’re half-way there.”
His real name is Peter Finlay (his pseudonym stands for “Dirty But Clean” Peter) and in a fascinating story in Saturday’s Guardian, he admitted:
to selling his best friend’s home and running away with the money to feed his cocaine and gambling addictions. He has also “put his hand up” to fleeing debts of “hundreds of thousands of dollars” racked up in Australia and Mexico trying to make a film about his search for the mythic gold of the last Aztec emperor, Montezuma, in an attempt, he claims, to pay back his hapless friend.
“I am not proud of what I have done, of all the women I’ve lost, and all the good people who trusted me and were burned. I have lived in dread of this for 15 years – that one day someone like you would come along,” he said yesterday. “Living with it has been like waking up every morning to find that you have shit the bed. In a way, I’m relieved it’s finally come out.”
The paper now has an update:
Bizarre twist to strange tale as repentant rogue wins over Booker prize judges
Now, at least, he can start to pay that money back. The many creditors of the novelist DBC Pierre were given a crumb of comfort last night when the self-confessed serial “cheating bastard” won literature’s most famous prize – the Man Booker – in an extraordinary final twist to an already bizarre story.
Pierre, the nom de plume of the reformed Mexican-Australian wildman Peter Finlay, is the oddest and most controversial character to have won the award, which made the careers of Salman Rushdie, JM Coetzee and Margaret Atwood. Last week he confessed to the Guardian to betraying and fleecing his friends in a decade-long rampage over four continents that culminated in swindling an elderly American artist out of his home.
But three years ago, having fled to Ireland, a repentant Finlay began to swap the life of a fantasist for that of a fiction writer and created a character in Vernon God Little who has been called the Huckleberry Finn of the Eminem generation…
The other novels shortlisted were Brick Lane by Monica Ali, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller, Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall, and The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut
Pierre is on a book tour with Dan Rhodes (the schedule is on his site – I’ll be able to see them on Oct. 24th at Booksmith in San Francisco).