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...Read More
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.
MATEO ASKARIPOUR was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, LitHub, 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. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.
"A witty yet thrilling examination of the complexities of race in corporate America . . . Black Buck is an ambitious book. While being an intellectual and captivating work of satire, it also serves as an instruction manual for Black and brown people working in white-dominated spaces. Askaripour embeds tokens of wisdom in his well-crafted plot and delivers direct messages of advice and encouragement to readers. There is great risk in such ambition, but Askaripour is a fine writer and superbly executes his vision. This is an entertaining, accessible and thorough look at America's race problem, a book both of the moment and one for all seasons. It's a necessary read for those living under the weight of oppressive systems as well as for those looking to better understand their complicity within them." - BookPage
"A first novel that satirically lays out the wretched excesses of turn-of-the-21st-century capitalism as it both enriches and disfigures a bright young Black man's coming-of-age . . . jazzily discursive and rhythmically propulsive . . . with punchy, go-for-broke mother-wit." - Kirkus Reviews
"Askaripour's satire revolves around the rudderless Darren, whose fortunes change when he joins the sales team of a strange start-up where he's the sole employee of color. But soon, family trouble convinces him to use his newfound success for his community's good." -Washington Post
"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
"[A] bold satire about corporate sales tactics...Pick this up if you're exhausted by LLC Twitter." - Essence