Black Buck: Book summary and reviews of Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Black Buck

by Mateo Askaripour

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour X
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2021
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

For fans of Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street - a crackling, satirical debut novel about a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cult-like, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems.

There's nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother's home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC's hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.

After enduring a "hell week" of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as "Buck," a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he's hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America's sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.

Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America's workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Askaripour eviscerates corporate culture in his funny, touching debut...with a potent blend of heart and dramatic irony. Askaripour is always closing in this winning and layered bildungsroman." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Extraordinary...Askaripour has created a skillfully written, biting, witty, and absurdist novel that sheds light on racism, start-up culture, corporate morality, media bias, gentrification, and many other timely, important themes. Askaripour is an author to watch." - Booklist (starred review)

"[T]he book's biggest selling point is the writing: witty, jazzily discursive, and rhythmically propulsive. This whole novel comes across like a brash, in-your-face sales pitch leavened with punchy, go-for-broke mother-wit." - Kirkus Reviews

"A novel that begins to carry forward the spirit of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities fizzles with a painfully contrived ending...Worthy evidence of potential yet to be fulfilled, and we look forward to the time that potential is realized." - Library Journal

"Askaripour closes the deal on the first page of this mesmerizing novel, executing a high wire act full of verve and dark, comic energy." - Colson Whitehead, author of The Nickel Boys

"Black Buck is a madcap look at compromises Black people make while trying to get ahead. When are you code-switching, and when is the code switching you? Mateo Askaripour didn't write a novel, he crafted a business book forged in the abyss as it stares back. It's a world that looks an awful lot like the hell we're in." - Rion Amilcar Scott, author of The World Doesn't Require You

"When Darren, our protagonist, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime, this unforgettable story sets off at lightspeed. Combining such humor, intelligence, heartbreak, and narrative skill in one book takes immense talent. Mateo Askaripour has accomplished this task with room to spare. Black Buck is an important treatise on Black ambition; Mateo Askaripour is an important writer, a voice we need. We should all look forward to what he produces next." - Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don't Belong

"Black Buck is funny, sharp and carried by a voice that is entirely its own. This debut is ambitious and Askaripour's daring pays off beautifully." - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black

This information about Black Buck shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Mateo Askaripour

Mateo Askaripour was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pastimes include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. Black Buck is his debut novel.

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