Monday, March 23, 2020

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Sellout by Paul Beatty is definitely one of the most unique reads I've read in a longtime! Paul Beatty is a good writer. I can see why he won the Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Sellout in 2016... In fact, Paul Beatty is the first American to win the Man Booker Prize.

I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Sellout by Paul Beatty, which was narrated by Prentice Onayemi. Listening time for The Sellout by Paul Beatty is 9 hours, 35 minutes. I loved the sound of Prentice Onayemi's voice and felt his voice was perfect for this novel. However, the audio production could have been better as you could sometimes hear the narrator inhale or exhale and sometimes hear him swallow throughout the novel.

The Sellout by Paul Beatty is a satire. It is a tightly written novel without a wasted written word. Be prepared to be dazzled when reading it. I enjoyed reading The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

The following is a plot summary for The Sellout by Paul Beatty from Amazon:
A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.
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.
I am giving The Sellout by Paul Beatty a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next, post happy reading!!


  1. I read this three years ago and quite liked it. In fact, I think I liked it a bit better than you did. I gave it four stars.

    1. Glad to hear that you read and liked this novel as well.

  2. I am really picky about satire but I thought Beatty did a great job. Some incidents were hard to swallow but he made it all so much fun.

    1. It's difficult to do satire well. I also found parts of this novel difficult to swallow.