With Vernon God Little, DBC ‘Dirty But Clean’ Pierre brings a heady whiff of the bad boy, a quirky nom-de-plume, and a winner’s soul-cleansing act of contrition to the prize.

The rackety personal history of DBC Pierre – real name Peter Warren Finlay – was the main talking point in the aftermath of his win, rather than the merits of his novel. The itinerant Australian admitted that he had spent the best part of his twenties in drug-induced catalepsy, financed by fleecing his friends.

He said a large part of the £50,000 would go to paying off those debts. Unsurprisingly, his novel, about a young Texas boy in trouble with the law, has the smack of authenticity.

DBC Pierre
Published by
Faber & Faber
In DBC Pierre’s darkly comic debut novel, an acerbic, foul-mouthed 15-year-old boy goes on the run after a mass shooting at his Texas high school. 

The Shortlist

Vernon God Little
Prize winner
Brick Lane
Oryx and Crake
The Good Doctor
Notes on a Scandal

The Longlist

The 2003 judges