We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The Sellout Audiobook

The Sellout

Regular Price:$30.12
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (103 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.0 (94 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.7 (94 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Andrew 26/11/2016
    Andrew 26/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First time I lol'd since Hitchhiker's Guide"

    Wittiest book I have ever read. Great performance. Deserving of the Man Booker Prize 2016.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Librariasaurus 15/11/2016
    Librariasaurus 15/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "what actually was this?"

    I'm not even entirely sure what this was about in the end. It follows a guy, The Sellout, I can't remember his actual name. But I think it's essentially a novel about race in America and this guy is basically conditioned by his race-obsessed psychologist father into a certain way of thinking though it's clear to him that his father thinks the boy is an idiot. He ends up promoting segregated schooling in his once a town, not a town but now a town again home town of Dickens California. He also keeps an elderly black man as a slave of sorts, visually to the outside he is a slave, but behind closed doors, they're co-dependant friends and the old guy, Hominy, has a BDSM fetish.
    I didn't like this book, it made me laugh in places which is always a plus, but it was mostly non-sensical and hard to follow. The audible audio narration by Prentice Onayemi was absolutely excellent. I only finished it because I liked the way he read it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Mitchell 08/04/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny, challenging, entertaining"

    The prologue was a bit hard for me to grasp in audio form, as the writing was thick (albeit well written). After that it became a much easier listen which was very entertaining, interesting characters. I had to keep reminding myself this is set in current time which is challenging, it revealed a lot of my naivety about how prevalent racism still is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 12/12/2016
    Dan 12/12/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"

    Brilliant narration, fantastically written witty book covering many topical concepts on race and modern America. Very much enjoyed. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fi 11/12/2016
    Fi 11/12/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uncomfortable but brilliant"

    An amazingly frank and uncomfortable look at American relations between African Americans and Anglo Saxons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 01/12/2016
    Julie 01/12/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    Really struggled to finish it. The narrator was good though.. Didn't really get into the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    trish callier 01/12/2016
    trish callier 01/12/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "awful"

    I just couldn't get any not this book at all, storyline didn't attract me at all

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • wTamar
    26/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slim pickin's Man Booker year if this won"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    Did Prentice Onayemi do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • bookylady
    25/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A clever, enjoyable satire on racism in todays USA"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Loughlin
    12/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self-absorbed and rambling with no real focus"

    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.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • William Douglas
    9/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sorry"

    Writing is super creative and funny but story is quite boring - and yes I get that it's satire. Just not great. Couldn't wait for it to be over, but occasional hilarious lines keep it going, barely.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Ruben
    16/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Does not work too well as an audiobook"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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).


    If you’ve listened to books by Paul Beatty before, how does this one compare?

    No.


    What does Prentice Onayemi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He has the perfect voice to be the main character: fast, witty, arrogant and careless. It just


    Was The Sellout worth the listening time?

    see question 1


    Any additional comments?

    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).

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • B. Whelan
    UK
    26/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"

    The narrator was excellent and some funny moments but a weak story with no sound narrative

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Wras
    Kildonan
    16/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Racism has no humor or race it is just racist"


    306 pages of racist talk and racist ideas is not my idea of humor, I know many loved this book specialty identity politics promoters that would swallow sewage to make a point that is the reverse of what they consider to be racist if said by a person of a different colour: for me that is the test if any one race and only that race can speak or write it, it is racist, language and expression belongs to all and is not to be compartmentalized by race but by humanity.

    If a writer of other ethnicity had written this she or he would have been accused of all kinds of crimes. I find it uncomfortable and ugly no matter who wrote it, the funy never even touched me.

    19 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • HT
    19/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not exactly a page turner"

    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.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Cian
    Dublin, Ireland
    22/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written but a little disappointing"

    Before reading this book, I knew only a few things about it. I know it won the Booker prize and was the first American novel to do so. I had also been given a gist of the story that turned out to be highly misleading. The most common way I heard it described was that it was about a black man who runs a watermelon and weed farm and who brings back slavery to run it, which leads to him going to the supreme court to defend his case, and that the entire thing was a racial satire. While all of that is technically true, it's not in any way what the story is really about and is more a series of minor details.

    The protagonist of the book is a black man and his occupation is being a farmer of watermelons and weed (which he is very good at) but the story is about his entire life, not about the farm. A large portion covers his childhood in the fictional town of Dickens (somewhere in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and could be considered analogous to places like Compton or Watts) with his well-educated, black supremacist father. For the most part, the plot is just the day-to-day life of the comical cast of characters. The part about the protagonist bringing back slavery isn't really true. He owns one slave, but it's a person who wants to be a slave and doesn't do any work. The Supreme Court segments are exclusively at the start and end of the book and there are no court battles or arguments on the subject.

    I do think the book was funny. It's definitely got some pretty original takes on the idea of race in America that don't fall squarely into what anyone could call "liberal" or "conservative" and the lead character is quite idiosyncratic. He's also highly skeptical and cynical of pretty much everyone around him, and a lot of the humour comes from his sardonic opinions on other characters, which were always enjoyable.

    I feel like I might have enjoyed this more if I had different expectations on what the story was about, so I'm hoping to dispel these common misleading descriptors for anyone else. Just be aware that there is little in the way of plot and that it's a story first and foremost about its characters and you'll probably enjoy it a lot more.

    I do have to commend the reader though, who I thought did an excellent job. The narration is from the point of view of the central character and I really felt like he brought that character to life in his performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    15/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Avoid this one"

    Pretentious, boring and repetitive. Avoid. Trying to be clever and failing miserably. The original idea was interesting but the end result disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Gibbons
    Ireland
    12/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting but meandering"

    this book has a very interesting question that it forces the reader to ask.... however the narrative meanders significantly and requires one to re listen to sections as it can get confusing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.