Paul Beatty - The Sellout

I love biting, dark satire. The first third of this book fits the bill. It tickled my funny bone in exactly the right place. The “experiments” the narrator’s father subjected him to were especially fantastic. 

The two issues I had with the book were plot (it’s pretty thin for the last chunk of the book) and the character of Hominy Jenkins, the last surviving Little Rascal.

Maybe it’s my lack of knowledge of the Little Rascals (and thus many lost references), but aspects of Hominy’s character (and his connection to the main character’s choices) were tough. The leap from Hominy’s personal quirks and desires to full-fledged “re-segregation” of a town was a very, very big leap. I had a hard time reconciling the biting humour of painful-but-oh-so-true social observations in the setup with the need to suspend disbelief to follow the plot in the second half.

It’s an enjoyable read, but as it continues you realize it’s more farce than satire. It’s fun and well-done, but not necessarily my cup of tea. For other readers, I’m sure the opposite would be true - once the adventure really gets rolling near the end, maybe they’d like it even more. 

Memorable quote: 

Like Nazis at a Ku Klux Klan rally, they were comfortable ideologically, but not in terms of corporate culture.