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The Sellout Audiobook

The Sellout

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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

4.1 (122 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.0 (113 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.7 (113 )
5 star
 (83)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (6)
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
    53
    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
    18
    13
    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 3 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 2017
    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
    4
    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.

    26 of 31 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.

    16 of 21 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.

    14 of 19 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).

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • lissa compton
    11/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loathed this book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The only thing that would have made this book any better was a shredding machine.


    What character would you cut from The Sellout?

    All of them


    Any additional comments?

    It was soooo boring

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J Z A
    UK
    3/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting book"

    Difficult to get into at first as it is framed in a unique way and many of the cultural reference points are not known that well outside the urban USA.
    But the use of language and ideas is excellent.
    The performance was excellent and helped immensely with understanding. Actually reading this as text would have been more difficult.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gemma
    9/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "dull"

    well, I couldn't wait for this to finish! yes at times, it was funny, however it was mostly just racism (or what some would term 'reverse racism') and a story that never went anywhere. I honestly feel like I wasted 9hrs of my life on this.

    the only saving grace was the narrator - he was exceptional! if it hadn't been for him I would have turned off 15min in.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ellis
    London
    8/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the truth about the American dream at last"

    brilliant, funny, cutting, the truth. great read (listen) about the real America, no holds barred, in an amusing story that says it as it is. everyone who feels America is a super power should listen to this - the truth.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    30/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny, charming, awkward and prickly"

    Perfect narrator too. Just the right amount of social wrestling to make you think, but not too hard, to make you smirk, often.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • julian
    17/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stereotypes, stereotypes,"

    Amplified analysis of stereotypes, the black psyche & humour. A well written book. With asides a plenty, but a plot & characters are consistent & present.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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