MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Slumberland by Paul Beatty, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Slumberland

A Novel

by Paul Beatty

Slumberland by Paul Beatty X
Slumberland by Paul Beatty
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2008, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2009, 256 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Who is this?”

“The Magnum Opus.”

They’re Southern California, sprawling, hazy, fickle, as underground as a rock group that sold twenty thousand records could be.The critics hail groups like the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam as the purveyors of the new rock ’n’ roll, choosing heroin vapidity over depth, haircuts over musicianship, head-to-toe white-boy pallor over a Mexican/black/American/guapo–politic band whose music has nothing to do with being Mexican, American, black, or handsome. High-pitched and just this side of screechy and that side of cogent, the vocals hydroplane over the melody.

“They’re good,” the Nigerian says.

“They are good,” I wanted to say, “but two nights ago, not so far from where you’re standing now, me and the greatest musician you’ve never heard of played two minutes and forty-seven seconds of musical perfection as timeless as the hydrogen atom and Saturday Night Live. A beat so perfect as to render musical labels null and void. A melody so transcendental that blackness has officially been declared passé. Finally, us colored folk will be looked upon with blithe indifference, not erotized pity or the disgust of Freudian projection. It’s what we’ve claimed we always wanted, isn’t it? To be judged ‘not by the color of our skins, but by the content of our character’? Dude, but what we threw down was the content not of character, but out of character. It just happened to be of indeterminate blackness and funkier than a motherfucker.”

Excerpted from Slumberland by Paul Beatty Copyright © 2006 by Paul Beatty. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury USA. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Dredging in Swann
    A Dredging in Swann
    by Tim Garvin
    A Dredging in Swann, set in fictional Swann County, North Carolina, centers around fresh-out-of-the-...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Cathedral
    The Black Cathedral
    by Marcial Gala
    Marcial Gala's The Black Cathedral, translated from the Spanish by Anna Kushner, is narrated through...
  • Book Jacket: When We Were Vikings
    When We Were Vikings
    by Andrew David MacDonald
    In When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald, readers are first introduced to Zelda on her ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Build a Heart
    How to Build a Heart
    by Maria Padian
    Maria Padian is well-known for her motif of exploring teen reactions to social issues. Her novel ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl in White Gloves
    by Kerri Maher

    A fascinating and deeply researched novel of the extraordinary Grace Kelly.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Sun Down Motel
    by Simone St. James

    The chilling new novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Remembrance
by Rita Woods

A breakout debut with modern resonance, perfect for fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Lost Family

The Lost Family
by Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A F I Need I A F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.