On the surface, Vernon Subutex is an engaging thriller about the purgatorial existence once a life of sex, drugs and punk rock has faded. French rock icon Alex Beach is dead in a bathtub due to a drug overdose. His death seems as clichéd as his betrayal of punk rock sensibilities when he embraced fame and pop culture status. His fans are devastated, but his death has a particular impact on Vernon Subutex. Alex was not just his best friend, but also his financial benefactor after his record store - a Parisian icon in its own right - becomes another victim to a post-Napster music industry. Vernon was a man of the scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s but without the record store he falls into obscurity, becoming isolated and exclusively cyber-connected. Keeping his internet subscription had been his most important financial obligation after rent, but now that Alex is gone his life changes dramatically: he's kicked out of his apartment brusquely with little regard by his landlord and forced to couchsurf among his estranged friends until he eventually ends out on the streets. Then begins an urban manhunt as word spreads that Subutex possesses the last known recorded interview of Alex Bleach. What will it reveal?
"Book Review Vernon Subutex (1&2 vols) by Virginie Despentes Paris,"
The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development: Vol. 2
, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarworks.arcadia.edu/agsjournal/vol2/iss1/8