30 March 2009

Author Love: DBC Pierre

Picture this scene, if you will:
A dinner party.
Pork chops are being served by waiters dressed as Etonians.
We are in an old country house.
Elbow's Grounds for Divorce filters from the tasteful sound system.

Earhart and I sit, surrounded by the most distinctively voiced, disturbing and/or angry authors we could think of. Cormac sits at one end, silent and still apart from the occasional twitch of his nose. He leans back in his chair, arms crossed, surveying the crowd. J.D. sits to my left, complaining about the chops and shamelessly listening in on everyone else's conversations. Ian holds court, retelling the story of his long-lost half-brother, so enigmatic that no one notices as he palms his steak knife and requests another from the waiter. Martin is also unimpressed with the chops; he pushes his plate away and tops up his wine goblet from a leather hip flask, adding a pinch of seasoning from a twist of paper. Margaret, to Earhart's right, charms her whilst keeping an ear on the ticking in her handbag. Anthony is demonstrating the correct way to strangle a gerbil and Hunter listens intently, sure he can see an actual gerbil writhing in pain. Bret and Chuck play a lackadaisical game of Snap, ignoring everyone else and taking in turns to stab each other with compasses whenever a point is scored.

At this hypothetical dinner party which I SERIOUSLY hope to attend one day, DBC Pierre sits, almost unnoticed, in the midst of the madness. He doesn't have a notebook on his lap but he is recording it all, filing away the lunacy, the self-involvement, the genius, to use at a later date.

Make no doubt about it, he belongs at the party, can take his rightful place at the table and does so with no trace of hem or haw. But he remains distanced, able to catalogue his own caricatured behaviour alongside that of the others, so socially pulsed and sharp witted with a scary intelligence to rope it all together that the dinner party could soon turn into another socially-ravaging hilarious romp of a read.

You COULD say I think DBC Pierre is quite, quite good at what he does. This would probably be reasonably accurate.
Vernon God Little and Ludmila's Broken English are unwavering in their brilliance, scornful satire and heartbreaking moments of pain. If the latter is slightly lacking the power of the first I hold no grudges, reading it without the expectations of the first I would have still been blown-away. I realised merely referencing DBC Pierre in my earlier post wasn't enough, he needed a segment on his own (even if said segment is a bit too gonzo-esque to be classified as sensible reviewing).

I mean, when the voices of his characters resonate more soundly than Holden Caulfield's, you know he's a ten.

Rating: 10/10.
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