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The Sellout by Paul Beatty
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The Sellout

by Paul Beatty

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1,486725,001 (3.71)162
Recently added byLeslieZ., mandarella, A_Banany, lottpoet, elianegouel, amloeb, private library, sianpr, democritusjrjr
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    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Books share a hectic, erudite wordplay and sense of the outrageous.
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» See also 162 mentions

English (69)  Piratical (1)  Dutch (1)  All (71)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
This book is like marmite - you either love it or hate it. In my case, I hated it and could find no redeeming features. The prose is impenetrable; there is no storyline and the meandering reflections of the main character become tedious very quickly; it's packed with cultural references that are unknown to non American readers; it reads more as a polemic than a novel and the satire is overdone. Not sure why it won the Man Booker Prize or has received such accolades- there are far better novels out there about race if it's a story you're after. ( )
  sianpr | May 11, 2018 |
If Paul Beatty reminds me of anyone, its Thomas Pynchon - a less uptight, and much more African American Pynchon, but I think there are many similarities in their sense of the absurd and ability to take everyday situations and wrench every drop of humour from them, whilst raising serious issues of social inclusion. There's so much here to enjoy; a urban farmer of choice marijuana and genetically modified watermelon determined to bring back the city of Dickens - and slavery - and segregation. An elderly former actor in racially prejudiced child TV shows (the Little Rascals sequences are some of the funniest in the book) who wants to be a slave again - once a week anyway. `An amuck LA bus driver, ghetto politicians, chancers and gangsters, and most of all, our hero's father - a one man social experimenter, the subject of his experiments being his son. So many incidents, but their road trip to Mississippi to experience "real racism" is one of the funniest things I've read in years

Read it if you haven't yet ( )
  Opinionated | May 1, 2018 |
I read the first half and listened to the second half on audible. I highly recommend listening. The performance makes much more sense (to me) than the words on the page. ( )
  JSpilman | Apr 16, 2018 |
Uproarious satire. Beatty is incredibly clever. My only issue with the book was determining who was being satirized: I concluded all of us. ( )
  ghefferon | Apr 15, 2018 |
I can't think of another book like this. Satire with no limits but pointed against the liberal project in a thorough but madcap way. Incredible, dense writing that packs American history and pop culture into caustic, profane bombs. ( )
  triphopera | Apr 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
added by sgw160 | editNew York Review of Books, Darryl Pinckney (Dec 22, 2016)
 
But somehow, The Sellout isn't just one of the most hilarious American novels in years, it also might be the first truly great satirical novel of the century.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Beattyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bruce, ElizabethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Onayemi, PrenticeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Althea Amrik Wasow
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This may be hard to believe, coming from a black man, but I've never stolen anything.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374260508, Hardcover)

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I’d die in the same bedroom I’d grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that’ve been there since ’68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.

Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:37 -0400)

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality -- the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens -- on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles -- the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral. Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident -- the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins -- he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court. -- Provided by publisher.… (more)

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