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)
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.
"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.
"A clever, enjoyable satire on racism in todays USA"
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.
"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.
Too much swearing, too many words. Sentences too long with too much unnecessary detail so the reader lost the point of the comment, sentence, paragraph and entire chapter. Too much trying to be clever ........ I disliked it SO much, on so many levels.
"Didn't get it...."
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.
"Does not work too well as an audiobook"
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).
"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.
Loved this book, great story, great delivery, an award winner, can't wait for the film
Such emotive language it's a difficult listen at times, however well worth confronting your own demons. Cleverly written and wonderfully read - thank you!
"Worthy Booker prize winner!"
A thought-provoking and entertaining novel, read well by the narrator. Kept me engaged and interested throughout.
"A brilliant reader of a savage satire"
Worthy of the Booker? I'm not convinced. One of the last books I listened to was 'A Little Life'. This could not have been more different. Funny and filthy and provocative - it would have made a great short story or stand up routine but as a novel I am not so sure. Let's just say, a little 'Sellout' goes a long way.
Report Inappropriate Content