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The Sellout
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2016 Book Discussions > The Sellout - General Discussion, No Spoilers (August 2016)

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Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
This thread is for general and background discussion of this month's moderator pick, The Sellout by Paul Beatty. No spoilers please! I'll be adding additional threads, questions, and background info later but please feel free to ask any spoiler-free questions/comments here at any time.


Hugh (bodachliath) | 2833 comments Mod
I am hoping to participate in this but I have not yet managed to locate a paper copy, and I came back from my local bookshop yesterday with loads of other stuff so it may well be after the end of the month before I get round to reading it! Thanks for kicking the discussion off Caroline...


message 3: by Viv (new) - rated it 3 stars

Viv JM | 62 comments I'm reading this at the moment but it's not really my cup of tea! Yes, it's very funny but it's also rather exhausting. I look forward to discussing as I'll be very intrigued as to what others think.


Michelle (topaz6) I'm really glad we are reading this at the same time as the Man Booker longlist is going around, it's letting me knock out two birds with one stone!


message 5: by Whitney (new) - added it

Whitney | 2245 comments Mod
Ditto to what Viv said about it being exhausting. The prologue is so frenetic that I had to take a breather with a 'calmer' book. I love the writing, but not something I can really pick up after a long day at work. Plan to dig in this weekend when I'm better rested.


Marc (monkeelino) | 2872 comments Mod
Got my copy from the library. Finishing up one previously-started read and then will jump into this (initial reactions seem to match some of the reviews I've read). Seems like one of those books that easily divides readers early on.


Neil | 309 comments I've just downloaded this onto my Kindle to be my next book after I finish one this evening. I am intrigued by this one and I am looking forward to starting it. Whereas I am looking forward to finishing my current book as I am really not enjoying it!


Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to discussing it with everyone as well. I've finally finished it so will have more threads, questions, and hopefully some articles posted by this evening.

I found the style a bit exhausting too, but really enjoyed it. It's definitely the type of book that I want to read when I have no major distractions around - so, not a public transport read for me! I think it will take a bit of digesting to make sense of it all.

Hugh - I totally understand! I've been falling behind on all sorts of books so haven't made it to as many of the group reads on time lately.


Amanda (tnbooklover) I'm going to be joining in on this one. I'm planning to read it this weekend.


Britta Böhler I started last week & I have to take this slow. It's rather dense, which is not a bad thing of course, but sometimes I think the author is trying too hard.


Ernie (ewnichols) | 58 comments I think exhausting is a good word. I also have found that I can't read it on public transport, but only at home. I'm already at the point where I can't wait to put the book down, and there are so many other books I'd rather be reading right now. That being said, I may have a different opinion by the end as I'm not even half way through it. Going from Homegoing to the prologue in The Sellout was like a slap in the face. Such a different style, so that might also be why I thought the opening was so abrasive.


message 12: by Neil (last edited Aug 02, 2016 01:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Neil | 309 comments Prologue read. I think I am going to really like this one! Tu dormis, tu perdis! It's a while since I laughed so much in just the first few pages of a book.


Amanda (tnbooklover) I've just read the prologue and I'm cautiously optimistic. :)


message 15: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2503 comments I haven't looked at the reviews Hugh just put up, but you all are convincing me (in the next thread) this is a book I'll eventually want to at least sample. My plate is too full to join the discussion right now, but this is one discussion I shall continue to follow. (As most of you know, I usually care little about spoilers. See this article for a better explanation than I could give: https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo...)


Ernie (ewnichols) | 58 comments Even though I did find myself chuckling every now and then, I found the beginning a bit rough. I found that the book flowed much better after the prologue, and I have been enjoying it more since then. To echo Britta's earlier comment, I sometimes feel that he is trying to hard. I also feel that there was a slight change in style after the prologue, which I think was for the better.


message 17: by Viv (new) - rated it 3 stars

Viv JM | 62 comments Lily wrote: "I haven't looked at the reviews Hugh just put up, but you all are convincing me (in the next thread) this is a book I'll eventually want to at least sample. My plate is too full to join the discuss..."

I am glad you posted that link, Lily! I feel exactly the same way about spoilers ie they don't spoil a read for me.


message 18: by Viv (new) - rated it 3 stars

Viv JM | 62 comments Oh, and thanks to Hugh for linking all the reviews!


Robyn | 17 comments I am planning on reading this. Even more curious after reading this thread!


Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
Thanks for posting those reviews, Hugh!

I haven't read through all of it yet, but here's another interview in Ebony - there will probably be some spoilers in here.

And here's an audio interview from Slate. I haven't listened to it yet but there are probably spoilers there too.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2439 comments I go the Kindle edition and started it but immediately put it aside to read something else. Tried again today and put it aside again. Haven't given up but there are so many other books calling that I actually want to read! This one is challenging me!


Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
Linda, I totally understand! It's definitely a book that requires some extra thought. I finished it a few days ago and am still not quite sure what to think.


Nutmegger Linda (lindanutmegger) | 103 comments Caroline wrote: "This thread is for general and background discussion of this month's moderator pick, The Sellout by Paul Beatty. No spoilers please! I'll be adding additional threads..."

Thank you for this pick. I enjoyed every second of it. Hysterically funny while taking on the topic of political correctness and racism of all types. Also, Beatty fully understands the nuances and heartbeat of LA.


message 24: by Doug (new) - rated it 2 stars

Doug I'm almost halfway, and I will concur with the consensus that the prologue is very rough going - I very nearly bailed, but since I am also reading it for two Booker groups, and am a longlist 'completist', I've stuck with it. Not really my cup of tea, can't really relate to much of it (although Hominy and I share the same birthdate!), and while vaguely amusing, I haven't found it to be LOL-funny. Some of the sentences are so long-winded and convoluted (can we say run-on?), I get lost halfway through and have to re-read them two or three times just to get the gist. Hope to finish it by tomorrow and may have more to say, but looking forward to moving on to the next Booker nominee.


message 25: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie (readerjules) | 197 comments I am also around halfway (maybe a little further) and not sure if I really like it either. I laughed out loud a few times near the beginning, but not lately. I think that it is because he writes unexpected things, but now that I have read a bit, it isn't quite so unexpected anymore? Anyway, some parts of the book I am enjoying. Others...not as much. I thought the Little Rascals stuff was way too long, but since I don't really know anything about the Little Rascals, it probably all went right over my head. Overall, it just seems so random and directionless to me.

It is very interesting that I haven't noticed sentences to be long-winded and confusing. Normally I don't like that sort of thing (I can't deal with Faulkner for example).


message 26: by Hugh (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2833 comments Mod
Just got hold of a copy (as a premium paperback), so if I read it next, I should be able join in before the end of the month


Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
The Sellout has made the Man Booker Prize 2016 Shortlist! You can find the full list of books that made it here


message 28: by Lily (last edited Sep 16, 2016 05:19AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2503 comments In my sometimes crazy, nonlinear stream of consciousness linking of thoughts, encountering this review of James H. Cone's The Cross and the Lynching Tree brought me back to this discussion of The Sellout:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Parts of it sort of go off the rail, but others felt relevant....

(Don't even ask me how I got to this review. It started with some Goodreads recommendation based on the book posted as my current read.)


message 29: by Whitney (new) - added it

Whitney | 2245 comments Mod
Good interview with Paul Beatty on the The Guardian Books podcast.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/aud...


message 30: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2503 comments Sellout/Paul Beatty did win the 2016 Man Booker!?

https://twitter.com/ManBookerPrize?re...


message 31: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Stumbled across an interview with the author on BBC World Service: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04kqdrt


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