Claire's Reviews > The Sellout

The Sellout by Paul Beatty
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it was ok

One star for creativity, another for brilliant, innovative, hysterical prose, and a third for waking America up with a slap upside our "post-racial" national head. Every sentence in this novel is a combination of "Um, YES, that is so true!!" and "I can't believe I've never thought of it that way before!"

Minus a star for lack of compelling plot. Beatty gets so lost in his ridiculous subplots that I stopped caring what happened next. Will Dickens be saved from obsolescence? Will the Dum Dum Intellectuals be vindicated? Will Marpessa love our narrator again? What will Justice Thomas decide? These threads are lost in (hilarious) philosophizing about the racial implications of psychology/1950s television/marijuana/surfing. This is definitely an unprecedented, one-of-a-kind novel, but with underdeveloped characters and a nonlinear narration, at times humor is the only thing keeping it afloat.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 14, 2015 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Nate I absolutely agree with you. I felt like I was engaged in an interesting conversation at first, and then it just went on and on and jumped from tangent to tangent.


message 2: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Mck I'd almost decided not to read this novel but now I'm sure!


Simon Gilbie Closest review to how I felt. Ridiculously long sentences, constant tangents and a storyline that didn't really engage me. Sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking but on the whole.. I didn't really care what happened to any of the characters and it was pretty boring.


message 4: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine Rockwell I completely agree. I stopped reading it at age 60
or so.


Cheryl Thank you all. I have always loved Man Booker prize listed novels. This one is beyond me. I believe I understand satire and there were moments I enjoyed, but mostly I wish I had passed on this one.


Sarah Well put!!


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