Winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Born in Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's memoir will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed, he discovers there never was a memoir.
Fuelled by despair, he sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
©2015 Paul Beatty (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
"Outrageous, hilarious and profound.... It takes a whole other level of sheer audacity to expose atrocious things through the play of wit.... Juiciness stains every lovely page of Beatty's mad, marvellous, toothsome book." (Financial Times)
"There's satire and then there's satire, and without question Paul Beatty's caustic third novel, The Sellout, definitely falls into the latter category...brutally honest and very funny." (Independent)
Bookworm, librarian, chocaholic. Give me a good book, a bar of chocolate and a glass of fine wine and I'm a happy lady.
To be honest, I would never have read this novel if it had not been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. But don't, whatever you do, be put off by the curse of the 'prize-nominated 'literary fiction' moniker. This is an absolute gem, to be savoured and read slowly, for the pleasure of clever, witty, thought-provoking prose and a plethora ( a word highlighted in the novel) of bittersweet and some downright nasty characters. The narration is excellent and the plot is well developed taking the notion of post-modern slavery/racism and running with it, in all sorts of directions. I'm so glad I listened and I will listen to it again.
This was a chore from start to finish. Some fascinating points about race in America were addressed but sadly in a convoluted and demented way. The absurdist / surreal approach used to tell the story was at once both unfocused and unnecessarily longwinded.
Apart from some funny jokes the intention and meaning behind this was lost to me. I'm either not very bright or ignorant. Lots of swearing and use of the N word.
Not my thing really. Though I dare say clever, I found it hard work, slow, and the voice miserable. I was tempted to give up after an hour but for some reason I continued to the end. I had to listen in small chunks because I would often find after a while I'd realise I hadn't been listening for ages and was lost in thought.
Well, I wanted to read it and now I have. But apart from a few good laughs I cannot say it enriched me very much (but perhaps I am not the ideal audience for this book).
He has the perfect voice to be the main character: fast, witty, arrogant and careless. It just
see question 1
It somehow did not work for me as an audiobook. It is clearly very well written and perhaps with a hard copy I could have followed the storyline better, but now I felt lost quite often and at the same time had the feeling that nothing much was happening...as if it was a collection of anecdotes rather than a clear story (which I like audiobooks to be).
No other Author/ Narrator combination could challenge you you, amuse you, outrage you and engage you with the repeated use of the term 'black nigger' in totally appreciate context and yet leave you feeling out of place.
A wonderfully original story brilliantly told that reminds you time and time again how glorious the spoken word is.
While 'Dickens' did end up on the map and the brilliantly plausible concept of modern, tongue in cheek slavery could happen, the real challenge of 'white' segregation offers another radical view. Could 'white' people (what does white mean) survive a racially prejudice world where 'blacks' ruled politics and business? I am sure not.
Great call by the Judges, a true winner.
"Slim pickin's Man Booker year if this won"
Boy, it must have been a rubbish year if this won the Man Booker prize. I found it a precocious, overly wordy, mish mash of thrown together ideas that goes nowhere. The kind of thing that your neighbours young daughter would bring home and you'd have to force yourself to say, "that's amazing honey", through gritted teeth. Or a first year uni students essay chock full of every idea and clever retort they'd learnt or heard. Trying too hard to impress. I got - what I thought was a third of the way through - when it suddenly ended! I thought I must have stopped the recording by mistake, but no, it just stops. Maybe Paul has been on too much of the weed he obviously thinks is so cool. Poor structure, no attempt at resolution of anything. Just a book full of oh so smart remarks.
Admittedly a difficult book to read out loud. I did find all the mofo-ing and 'attitude' got in the way of the telling. As well as the ridiculously overly wordy nature of the book. Maybe it would work better read, rather than read out loud.
Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea, not in the US (let alone L.A.). Some people obviously like it - but not me. I found the way it was written grating.
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