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The Sellout
The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
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Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

Created: 01/18/17

Replies: 19

Posted Jan. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

Paul Beatty is the first American to win the Man Booker Prize. Affirmed by a panel of British judges, does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
crofly

Join Date: 06/14/13

Posts: 29

RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I think the novel has universal appeal. Racism is something that exists in all parts of the globe. There is also the premise of trying to revive a hometown, which i think is very relatable.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poornimaa

Join Date: 05/16/12

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I agree about the universality of the problem. I did wonder how this same story would have played out across the globe. The solution, if you can call it that, seemed really American to me.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

Many of the Beatty's theme's are universal - the issues of collective guilt and racial self-awareness (which can be extended to other factors like gender and sexual identity) for instance. The political specifics of the court cases are more unique, but they don't limit the the more universal concepts -- just give them a specific context.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

The message is universal. It underscores a desire in us all to be appreciated and known beyond our individual racial characteristics and ethnicities.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I agree. The details may make more of an impact to American readers but the message is universal.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 33

RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I agree with the other reviewers - the novel has universal appeal. Prejudices and forms of discrimination like racism exists in all societies in every country.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

There is a universal message because wherever you live there are "others". I do believe, however, that it is a good depiction of the American problem which is unique in that out black people came as slaves not immigrants.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poornimaa

Join Date: 05/16/12

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

The slave trade was not just limited to the United States, BTW.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

Definitely universal. All races have enslaved others who they deem weaker or less than human than they are. Sadly, I don't think it will ever change.


Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I think it is a universal message as well. There are similar in sentiment if not in specifics of this type of situation in many areas of the world today. Look at the Middle East and what differences in religions and belief are causing. Skin color is not the only thing that causes strife.


Posted Jan. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothym

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 32

RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

Hard to find something original to say but I agree with the earlier comments that the theme is universal. I think sometimes Americans are so inner focused that they may overlook both what happens beyond our borders and what has happened in the past


Posted Jan. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MattGrant

Join Date: 12/06/16

Posts: 4

RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

It depends on what you are referring to by "the message." Theme is not the same as message. I think that many of the themes are universal, but honestly, I think Beatty's message in the novel is uniquely American. The narrator and the situations he finds himself in are a byproduct of the history of racism in America specifically. If Beatty were not an American, I think we would have a very different book.


Posted Jan. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

As already mentioned, racism is ongoing since the beginning of time. It is better to concentrate on commonalities, but that's not human nature.


Posted Jan. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosienick

Join Date: 03/20/16

Posts: 14

RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I'm so surprised that this book won the Man Booker Prize. Although Beatty satirizes so much about American life, such as slavery and living in California, I found many parts of the book quite offensive. I don't like the fact that the UK prize people would reward this cynical tale.


Posted Feb. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 188

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

The message is universal, especially at this time. I too wonder about the award, however, and for what read on was it given.


Pegh
Posted Feb. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

As someone said, the message, issue, is universal, but the solution was uniquely American. I also was a little surprised that this book won awards.


Posted Feb. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

Message is universal as racism exhists every where, book may have been more specific to America but the act of racism and its effects are universal


Posted Feb. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

It delivers a universal message. We are humans and we react as humans no matter where we live or who we interact with. Some of us will experience life from the top and others from the bottom - most from the middle.
The 'voice' of this novel is very American but the struggles are universal.
Not sure the book deserves all the awards and praise. But I often have a difference of opinion when it comes to awards.


Posted Feb. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: Paul Beatty is the first American to win the UK Man Booker Prize. Does the novel deliver a universal message? Or is it exclusively a book about American strife?

I agree with others that the message is universal. Racism, prejudice, and discrimination exist in most countries and societies that come to my mind. Like some others, I do wonder about the Man Booker Prize being awarded to this book. I've read other Man Booker winning books, and this one seems out of character for the usual selections for that prize. Perhaps the awarders of the prize are changing their perspective and are more willing to consider satire as a way to address weighty topics, and non-UK authors as potential winners.


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