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Virginie Despentes Books In Order

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Publication Order of Vernon Subutex Books

Vernon Subutex 1 (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vernon Subutex 2 (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vernon Subutex 3 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

King Kong Theory (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Virginie Despentes is a French literary fiction author who was born in 1969 and given the name Virginie Daget.

The author was born to parents that worked in the postal service and hence she lived in a working-class family in Nancy, France.

When she was fifteen, she was sent to a Psychiatric hospital by her parents against her will. According to Despentes, she would have never been confined to a psychiatric facility if she was a boy.
When she was seventeen, she quit her studies and left home to become a hitchhiker and groupie that followed rock bands all over Europe.

It was during this time that She was the victim of a tragic incident when she was gang raped while hiking with a friend. Even though she had a switchblade in her possession at the time she did not have the courage to use it.
Later on, she decided to settle in Lyon, where she would work as a prostitute and maid in peep shows and massage parlors, pornographic film critic, freelance rock journalist, and record store sales clerk.

She would make her name as an author with the publishing of “Baise-Moi,” her debut novel in 2003.

Ever since Virginie Despentes published her debut novel, she has never looked back and has become one of the most renowned literary fiction authors in France.

“Baise-Moi” her debut novel would become so popular that a couple of weeks after it was published it was optioned and ultimately made into a film. She has said that she penned her novel as a twenty-three-year-old high on cocaine.
It has been more than two dozen years since the publication of her debut and the reactionary anger and cocaine are gone.

However, Virginie Despentes still has the same fervor to pursue the truth and investigate the injustice of power imbalances in the modern world.

After a hiatus of more than ten years, she began writing again in 2013 producing several critically acclaimed works such as “Apocalypse Baby” and “Bye Bye Blondie.”

But her most successful series would be the “Vernon Subutex” trilogy. This series introduced her to new readers and would ultimately be made into a television series.

While she has once again become popular, she has said that she is not interested in celebrity life. Instead, she would rather focus on themes of social conditions which are at the center of her writing.

As for how Virginie Despentes came to be a writer, she has said that it all has to do with Hank Bukowski. She began reading the author’s short stories when she was just seventeen as she loved his attitude.
He had a way of making crude self-portraits and despising himself which made it possible for him to portray the world as the despicable place that it really is with brutal honesty.

Virginie wanted to pen stories about street fights, drunk women, bars, and morning sickness, which are all things she has had an experience with.

Later on, she got into the likes of Kathy Acker, Ellroy, Thompson, and Selby. She has also been influenced by English and French punk rock lyrics all of which have shaped her writing.

“Vernon Subutex 1” by Virginie Despentes introduces Vernon Subutex, an anti-hero protagonist who used to own “Revolver,” a popular record store.

Subutex got the name as he loved consuming an opioid by the name that was used to treat acute and chronic pain in addition to addiction.

At its height, the store was the place for all manner of slackers, hipsters, and music lovers including the famous rockstar Alex Bleach before he became famous.

Vernon is now a man in his forties and has lost his business as there has been a significant shift in the music industry with much of it going digital.

He depends on Alex his old friend to pay for his tent but then a drug overdose deprives him of his friend.

Without perspective and broke as a joke, Vernon at first sleeps on the couches of acquaintances, but it is not long before he is banished to the Parisian streets.

Soon enough, the internet finds the man and goes wild since he is the owner of the last recorded interview with the country’s biggest rock star.

Since we get the story from the perspective of a drifter, we get introduced to all manner of characters that reflect different classes and current societal discourse.

Virginie Despentes’ novel “Vernon Subutex 2,” picks up from where the first novel of the series left off.

The homeless man living on the streets of Paris has something that may be very valuable. He has the last video interview by France’s biggest rock star Alex who is recently deceased.

The video has some scandalous information and soon enough acquaintances, lovers, and friends are looking for him feeling guilty about abandoning him. The search for the man suddenly brings these people from different classes together.
They are now realizing that they are connected despite how many differences they may have. They may have their individual insecurities, failures, and flaws but it is these that allow them to see human nature and empathize with others.
When they finally locate the man, he seems to be very disturbed as the brutal living on the streets has changed his perspective on life and taken a toll on his psyche.

One fascinating thing is that it is not so clear if Vernon has had psychological damage in a clinical sense or not.

Still, Despentes is masterful in how he describes how the character feels overwhelmed and disconnected from what an average person would believe is normal.

“Vernon Subutex 3” by Virginie Despentes continues to follow Vernon who has just been forced to head to Paris to see a dentist.

While in Paris, he is informed that a friend of his just died leaving him and his friends a lot of money. Having a lot of money has been known to cause all manner of problems for people not used to it.

The group had been transforming lives through convergence performances. This is something that Alex Bleach had been doing just before his death, but progress is threatened by rising tensions among the group members.

This work is different from the earlier ones s it has strong references to reality. It even harks back to dramatic events in history that influence character development making for a fascinating story.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Virginie Despentes

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