The Sellout

The Sellout

Book - 2015
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"A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374260507
Branch Call Number: FIC BEA
Characteristics: 288 pages ; 22 cm

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m
mmontserrat
Sep 02, 2017

You have to get a copy of this book and read it NOW! The Sellout is by far and away the BEST book I've read all year. Paul Beatty is brutally funny; I had to read this almost straight through and there were many times that I'm sure the neighbors thought I was nuts, I was laughing out loud and long.

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Blue_18
Aug 10, 2017

Wow. Did you guys get the same book I did? The cover looks the same but I'm fighting my way through the Prologue (which is 24 pages long) and it's like sitting in Latin class in high school. I'd rather be anywhere but here.

w
WolfPine
May 31, 2017

Brilliant! Prose that crackles, metaphors that'll blow your head off, a story that spirals like a wobbling top. What Hunter Thompson did for drugs and DFW did for America's obsession with amusement, Beatty does for race--in the most unusual of ways. Read this book! Howl away!

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB May 08, 2017

I was ready to love this one but alas... I found the premise intriguing but the characters flat, despite how truly interesting they are. With that being said, there is no denying that Beatty is a skilled (and humorous) writer, and I recognize that this title will surely spark some good conversations about racism. So while it was not for me, I do appreciate it.

An African-American farmer in southwest Los Angeles County decides to put his town back on the map with the help of his slave, who was one the lesser known Little Rascals. Open a 7-ounce bottle of Coke, peel a Satsuma and take a seat on Marpessa's #125 bus for this wild takedown on racism. Head-shakingly wry and laugh-out-loud funny. Winner of the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

m
mclarjh
Apr 23, 2017

Terrific writing. A gag a minute. An important topic, of course. The story and characters are thin though.

kmscows Mar 05, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written and witty. I laughed out loud and shook my head throughout "The Sellout." Beatty's prose is poetic at times.

r
robsuka
Jan 30, 2017

how adorable

l
lukasevansherman
Jan 22, 2017

"They say 'pimpin' ain't easy.' Well, neither is slaveholdin'. Like children, dogs, dice, and overpromising politicians, and apparently prostitutes, slaves don't do what you tell them to do."-Paul Beatty, "The Sellout"
One of 2016's most acclaimed and provocative books, Paul Beatty's novel "The Sellout" won the Booker and a spot on the NYT Book Review's 10 best books of the year list. Set in the L.A. suburb of Dickens, "The Sellout" is a darkly funny satire of race, racism, and the myth of the post-racial dream of the Obama era. It's a book in which the unnamed narrator tries to re-segrregate schools and bring back slavery. One review below called it a minstrel show, which I don't think is fair. Beatty is self-consciously embracing certain cliches and stereotypes about race and black Americans only to demolish them. Despite its ambition and distinctive, sardonic voice, there was something about it that I found a little hard to get into, which I can't quite put my finger on. Still, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in satire and race relations. I'd also suggest watching Spike Lee's problematic, but fascinating "Bamboozled" for a similar satire of race and racism.

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blcwrites
Dec 25, 2016

This book needs six stars to do it justice. Reading first The Sympathizer and now this, getting a rich education in novel form is a fine way to learn.

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j
jimg2000
Dec 13, 2016

The N-word (Skip this if you find the word offensive:)
“This is serious. Brother Mark Twain uses the ‘n-word’ 219 times. That’s .68 ‘n-words’ per page in toto.” “If you ask me, Mark Twain didn’t use the word ‘nigger’ enough,” I mumbled. With my mouth filled with at least four of America’s favorite cookies, I don’t think anyone understood me. I wanted to say more. Like, why blame Mark Twain because you don’t have the patience and courage to explain to your children that the “n-word” exists and that during the course of their sheltered little lives they may one day be called a “nigger” or, even worse, deign to call somebody else a “nigger.” No one will ever refer to them as “little black euphemisms,” so welcome to the American lexicon—Nigger! ...

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Tons of quotes in goodreads already. Herein is a subset collection of personal interest:

Healthcare:
And if you follow the three-inch-wide stripe out of the waiting room, you’ll crash through two sets of double doors, ... , and then down three flights of filthy unswept stairs until you come to a dingy inner vestibule lit by a dim red bulb. There, the painted line pitchforks into three prongs, each tine leading to the threshold of a pair of unmarked, identical double doors. The first set of doors leads to a back alley, the second to the morgue, and the third to a bank of soda pop and junk-food vending machines. I didn’t solve the racial and class inequalities in health care, but I’m told patients who travel down the brown-black road are more proactive. That when their names are finally called, the first thing they say to the attending physician is “Doctor, before you treat me, I need to know one thing. Do you give a fuck about me? I mean, do you really give a fxck?”

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Part 1 of 2 on "Separate but Equal:"

Black people don’t even talk about race. Nothing’s attributable to color anymore. It’s all “mitigating circumstances.” The only people discussing “race” with any insight and courage are loud middle-aged white men who romanticize the Kennedys and Motown, well-read open-minded white kids like the tie-dyed familiar sitting next to me in the Free Tibet and Boba Fett T-shirt, a few freelance journalists in Detroit, and the American hikikomori who sit in their basements pounding away at their keyboards composing measured and well-thought-out responses to the endless torrent of racist online commentary. So thank goodness for MSNBC, Rick Rubin, the Black Guy at The Atlantic, Brown University, and the beautiful Supreme Court Justice from the Upper West Side, who, leaning coolly into her microphone, has finally asked the first question that makes any sense:

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Part 2 of 2 on "Separate but Equal:"

“I think we’ve established the legal quandary here as to whether a violation of civil rights law that results in the very same achievement these heretofore mentioned statutes were meant to promote, yet have failed to achieve, is in fact a breach of said civil rights. What we must not fail to remember is that ‘separate but equal’ was struck down, not on any moral grounds, but on the basis that the Court found that separate can never be equal. And at a minimum, this case suggests we ask ourselves not if separate were indeed equal, but what about ‘separate and not quite equal, but infinitely better off than ever before.’ ...

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Racism is not just about black:

I remember the day after the black dude was inaugurated, Foy Cheshire, proud as punch, driving around town in his coupe, honking his horn and waving an American flag. He wasn’t the only one celebrating; the neighborhood glee wasn’t O. J. Simpson getting acquitted or the Lakers winning the 2002 championship, but it was close. Foy drove past the crib and I happened to be sitting in the front yard husking corn. “Why are you waving the flag?” I asked him. “Why now? I’ve never seen you wave it before.” He said that he felt like the country, the United States of America, had finally paid off its debts. “And what about the Native Americans? What about the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mexicans, the poor, the forests, the water, the air, the fxcking California condor? When do they collect?” I asked him.

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

The president:
And like that black president, you’d think that after two terms of looking at a dude in a suit deliver the State of the Union address, you’d get used to square watermelons, but somehow you never do.
===
That the popularity of the spicy tuna roll and a black American president were to white male domination what the smallpox blankets were to Native American existence.
===
Here, in America, “integration” can be a cover-up. “I’m not racist. My prom date, second cousin, my president is black (or whatever).” The problem is that we don’t know whether integration is a natural or an unnatural state. Is integration, forced or otherwise, social entropy or social order?
===
“Remember those photos of the black president and his family walking across the White House lawn arm-in-arm. Within those fxcking frames at that instant, and in only that instant, there’s no fxcking racism.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Colored in Hollywood:
In 1933 ... he debuted as the wailing, abandoned Native Baby Boy in the original King Kong. He went on to survive that near Skull Island stomping and has since specialized in portraying black boys from the ages of eight to eighty, including most notably in Black Beauty—Stable Boy (uncredited), War of the Worlds—Paper Boy (uncredited), Captain Blood—Cabin Boy (uncredited), Charlie Chan Joins the Klan—Bus Boy (uncredited). Every film shot in Los Angeles between 1937 and 1964—Shoeshine Boy (uncredited). Other credits include various roles as Messenger Boy, Bell Boy, Bus Boy, Pin Boy, Pool Boy, House Boy, Box Boy, Copy Boy, Delivery Boy, Boy Toy (stag film), Errand Boy, and token Aerospace Engineer Boy in the Academy Award–winning film Apollo 13.
===
There’s a reason there ain’t no black Jonathan Winters, John Candy, W. C. Fields, John Belushi, Jackie Gleason, and Roseanne Barr ... , because a large truly funny black person would scare the bejeezus out of America.

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Part 1 of 2, an example of those lengthy sentences on a litany of racial surveillances:

But as even the most cursory of those early annual inspections by the California Department of Food and Agriculture bore out, to call 205 Bernard Avenue, that two-acre, just-this-side-of-lunar-surface fertile parcel of land in the most infamous ghetto in Los Angeles County with its hollowed-out 1973 Winnebago Chieftain motor home for a barn, a dilapidated-overcrowded-Section-8-henhouse-topped-by-a-weathervane-so-rusted-in-place-that-the-Santa-Ana-winds-El-Niño-and-the-’83-tornado-couldn’t-move-it,

j
jimg2000
Dec 08, 2016

Part 2 of 2, an example of those lengthy sentences on a litany of racial surveillances:

medfly-infested-two-tree-lemon-grove, three horses, four pigs, a two-legged goat with shopping-cart wheels for back hooves, twelve stray cats, one cow herd of livestock, and the ever-present cumulonimbus cloud of flies that circled the inflatable “fishing” pond of liquefied swamp gas and fermented rat shit that I pulled out of foreclosure on the very same day my dad decided to tell the undercover police officer Edward Orosco to “move his piece o’ shit Ford Crown Victoria and stop blocking the goddamn intersection!” with funds borrowed against what the courts would later determine to be a $2 million settlement for gross miscarriage of justice, to call that unsubsidized tract of inner-city Afro-agrarian ineptitude a “farm” would be to push the limits of literality.

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b
bradsm1987
Aug 27, 2015

bradsm1987 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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