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The Sellout
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2020 Super-Rooster Books > The Sellout

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1656 comments location to discuss Tournament of Rooster Winners book: The Sellout by Paul Beatty


Jennifer (aka EM) | 24 comments This is one of my DNFs. Couldn't get into it, but might have had more to do with timing. Could someone sell me on The Sellout? (I bought it brand new in hardcover and it's sitting there with its puppy-dog eyes begging me to give it another time up at bat)


Katherine (katsikes) I really enjoyed the audio version - the narrator was fantastic. Maybe give that a try instead of reading the physical version?


Jennifer (aka EM) | 24 comments wow, how interesting! based on the rapid-fire barrage of idiosyncratic, slangy language I remember, I had kind of ruled out audio - but I'll give it a try! Thank you!


Risa (risa116) | 164 comments Jennifer (aka EM) wrote: "This is one of my DNFs. Couldn't get into it, but might have had more to do with timing. Could someone sell me on The Sellout? (I bought it brand new in hardcover and it's sitting there with its pu..."

It is one of my All-Time Favorites. I remember laughing hysterically, then feeling immeasurable guilt at what I was laughing at. And then: the ending broke my heart (in a good way). I think of this as a wonderful tip of the hat to the kind of literary satire that is nearly impossible to pull off. The Sellout and Catch-22. The list is very short.


Jennifer (aka EM) | 24 comments omg I luuuuuuuuurve Catch-22. And I love a good satire! this is very compelling, thank you!


Risa (risa116) | 164 comments Jennifer (aka EM) wrote: "omg I luuuuuuuuurve Catch-22. And I love a good satire! this is very compelling, thank you!"

You're welcome. Of course, War and Racism are different phenomena. One can argue that, at least sometimes, participation in war is necessary (see: WWII), whereas there is never any justification for racism, ever. So, how you feel about racism being satirized will determine to some extent how you feel about this book. Beatty himself said that he thought satire on this topic was impossible because real life had outstripped the outrageousness that satire requires (or words to that effect). But, for me, this novel is at least as effective an evisceration of racism as novels that treat the subject head on, with a straight face. I think it is a work of utter brilliance.


Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments I loathed this book. There is an art to showing how awful a thing is, by showing how awful that thing is. Beatty heaped on a bit too much of the awful for me, and left me with a painful read. Ugh!


Ellen H | 748 comments It was too broad for me. I didn't find the humor funny in the least. This fell into the "I didn't get it" category, as far as why it was so universally beloved. I thought it was tiresome.


Nicholas (crowmeadow) | 38 comments I struggled with this one too. Just could not find an enjoyable toehold in it at all. Baffled by the onslaught of accolades it received, I happily concluded that I was the one at fault - next!


message 11: by Drew (new) - rated it 5 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments I’m in the “hilarious but cringe inducing” camp. “Cringe inducing” because I kept thinking “As a white person, should I be laughing at this?”

Strangely enough, I was at the art museum in Milwaukee summer before last and saw an installation that featured multiple copies of this book.


Nadine - California (nadinekc) | 551 comments Drew wrote: "I’m in the “hilarious but cringe inducing” camp. “Cringe inducing” because I kept thinking “As a white person, should I be laughing at this?”..."

Me too - I think that's one of the triumphs of the book.


Nicholas (crowmeadow) | 38 comments Drew wrote: "I’m in the “hilarious but cringe inducing” camp. “Cringe inducing” because I kept thinking “As a white person, should I be laughing at this?”

Strangely enough, I was at the art museum in Milwaukee..."


I'd like to see that installation, sounds interesting.

And I'm thinking I should at least skim a print version of the novel, to see if its effect in that form is any different for me. (audio-ed it for my first intake)


message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 782 comments For those planning to read/re-read The Sellout, the e-book is on sale today for $1.99.


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