The Sellout

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Oneworld Publications, 2016 - Fathers and sons - 288 pages
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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. Fueled 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RajivC - LibraryThing

The book went over my head, and I am not ashamed to say it. I agree that Paul Beatty writes well, but it isn't easy to follow the plot without fully understanding the cultural context. Does a plot ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - paroof - LibraryThing

I needed to read this hilariously scathing satire slowly. Few books, especially books this funny, have made me as uncomfortable. I mean that as a the highest compliment. This book, written by an ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Paul Beatty is the author of three novels - Slumberland, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle - and two books of poetry- Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum- An Anthology of African- American Humor. He lives in New York City.

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