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The Sellout
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May 2020: Comedy > [Poll Ballot] The Sellout by Paul Beatty - 3 stars

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Joy D | 3186 comments The Sellout by Paul Beatty - 3 stars - My Review

Contemporary satire on race relations in America set in the fictional neighborhood of Dickens, near Los Angeles, on a farm. As the story opens, the black protagonist is at the Supreme Court, where a case has been brought against him for owning a slave and instituting segregation in Dickens. It flashes back to the protagonist’s upbringing and provides the backstory of how he arrived at the Supreme Court. The plot is necessarily absurd and outlandish.

To fully appreciate this work, you need to share the author’s sense of humor and it helps to be up to speed on American pop-culture references – I am quite sure I did not catch them all. It is a bit too crude and over-the-top for my taste, but I appreciate the creativity and social commentary. I give the author credit for tackling a difficult subject. I particularly enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek parodies of literary classics, which runs more to my personal taste in humor. It is a mixed bag for me, not a favorite but I found it worthwhile.


Theresa | 6303 comments I found this a brilliant satire. And not a comfortable read. Definitely not to everyone's taste.


Joy D | 3186 comments Theresa wrote: "I found this a brilliant satire. And not a comfortable read. Definitely not to everyone's taste."

Satire is a hit or miss for me. I liked the concept. My sense of humor runs to the dry or slightly sarcastic.


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