We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Sellout Audiobook

The Sellout: A Novel

Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, 2016

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality: the black Chinese restaurant.

Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens - on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles - the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since the '68 quake."

Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.

Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident - the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins - he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

©2015 Paul Beatty (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner, The Man Booker Prize, 2016
  • 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award Winner, Fiction

"Narrator Prentice Onayemi embodies Bonbon, along with the novel's many unique characters: a former 'Our Gang' understudy, a former girlfriend who is now a city bus driver, the denizens of the neighborhood, and the white surfer dudes whom Bonbon regularly confuses at the beach. There's even a small part for Justice Clarence Thomas, which Onayemi does in style, and street Spanish, which, when required, flows perfectly." (AudioFile magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (892 )
5 star
 (457)
4 star
 (224)
3 star
 (128)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (42)
Overall
4.1 (814 )
5 star
 (396)
4 star
 (205)
3 star
 (126)
2 star
 (49)
1 star
 (38)
Story
4.6 (820 )
5 star
 (596)
4 star
 (149)
3 star
 (50)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bonnie B. 07-27-15
    Bonnie B. 07-27-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant book, fantastic narrator!"

    Ever since hearing the sample clip I've been listening to this book non-stop. It's so well-written, bold, profound, hilarious, and on-point. Paul Beatty has been compared to Vonnegut, Roth, and Heller, but he's got his own distinct voice that is beautifully captured by the narrator. I'm really sorry to have finished this book and enjoyed it so much that I may have to listen to it again, which I never do. Many are calling it the best book of 2015 and it's definitely got my vote!

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 04-02-16
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 04-02-16 Member Since 2010

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3244
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    446
    187
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1057
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever and original. Brilliant work."

    You really need to listen to this book with notepaper nearby. There are some incredibly witty lines that deserve way more attention than a quick listen.

    For instance, when he's talking about giving a Paul Revere-type warning to the homies he muses, "One if by Land Cruiser. Two if by C Class Mercedes." I don't often laugh out loud during books, but I certainly did during this one. It's irreverent and wickedly funny.

    This is some fine satire. If you like sincere books, perhaps a different selection would be a better choice. But if you appreciate some biting humor that leaves no stone unturned, this is a 5-star choice.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harriet United States 09-04-16
    Harriet United States 09-04-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't work for me, though at times amusing"
    Any additional comments?

    Not sure what made me pick this one up - not so glad I did. On the positive side, the book offers humorous propositions for the revitalization of suppressed and impoverished minority communities, provides great period detail as well as vivid portrayal of the communities southeast of LA. What didn't really work for me was Beatty's attempt to wrap the plight of disenfranchised black people up in cynical humor. Hostility bleeds too transparently through the humor. His characters are interesting, but lack the honesty that it would take for me to connect with them. Beatty is obviously well-read, intelligent, and shows it, with many references to all things cultural, literary and obtuse. I personally found the literary name-dropping a bit excessive and a distraction from the story. The book is interesting from an east-LA and baby-boomer-generation historical perspective, and Beatty definitely has talent as a writer - this one just didn't work for me.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KWB Greenville, NC USA 02-07-16
    KWB Greenville, NC USA 02-07-16 Member Since 2014

    Wade

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A MUST READ"

    Awesome! Smart and intelligent. Offer an unapologetic, honest yet humorous commentary on race in America.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shooter McGaven NE Kansas, USA 05-27-16
    Shooter McGaven NE Kansas, USA 05-27-16 Member Since 2014

    R.McG.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Holy Sh*t"

    I've never laughed out loud so much at an audiobook. Great writing, incredible performance. Plethora!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wood Hayman 02-10-16
    Wood Hayman 02-10-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "uncomfortablely comfortable"

    As a highly educated Black man living in the United States, I feel as if this book was written to me. The illustrative depiction of the duality of ignorant intelligence was so incredibly elegant that the things I disliked about the book - the loquaciousness, the temporally difficult to follow diatribes - were the things I actually found most endearing. For, if these previously-mentioned aspects were not rampantly displayed throughout the book, I would doubt the sincerity of the book's meesage. My only wish, at this point, is to be able to talk to someone else who's read the book. I am grateful to the skilled author for having written this book!

    32 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Gray Narrator USA 05-16-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Over the top..... in a good way"
    Would you listen to The Sellout again? Why?

    Probably not - I loved it but most likely would not re-read it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hominy! Hands down. Hominy is a great character. We've probably all known and were at least a little amused by him.


    Have you listened to any of Prentice Onayemi’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. He is a superb narrator and I greatly enjoyed listening to him. Clear and understandable with great insight into the characters and bringing them to life. Extra points for the myriad of not only unusual word to be pronounced, but also numerous different accents and foriegn phrases to be read.
    Very talented.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Sellout and why?

    Hominy, as above.

    Characters brought to mind as I was reading; Fred Sanford, George Jefferson, Lamont Sanford, Geraldine Jones (Flip Wilson), Muhammad Ali (in his public persona character).

    Writing style reminded me of; Kurt Vonnegut, George Carlin, Bill Cosby


    Any additional comments?

    I consider this book especially good for humor and entertainment, but also it is dense with thought provoking material. Sure we can laugh at "how it used to be," but has it really changed all that much.......?

    The author prods us to consider these ideas. The laugh out loud vernacular and humor have more that fifty shades of truth well worth consideration.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 03-01-16
    Gary 03-01-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding, the NY Times was right when they put on their best of 2015 list."

    I've read many books but this is by far the funniest most entertaining of the lot. The way he favors the truth is golden. Now I have to track down his other works. Make sure when you listen you have something to write with because you are going to want to note some of his quotes. How does he come up with some of this stuff. To write this his mind had to be thinking in some other level. I'm driving around laughing with folks thinking I'm crazy. They also picked the perfect performer to read it. Wow!

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 07-29-15
    Kimberly 07-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"

    Can't say enough good things! The story was provocative and satirical, with a lot of humor in between. I loved the poetic prose so eloquently brought to life by the narrator. This is a must read for anyone questioning notions about race and political correctness in this society.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eugenia Chatsworth, CA, US 04-14-16
    Eugenia Chatsworth, CA, US 04-14-16 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    441
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    272
    197
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    35
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Appreciated it, but didn't like it"

    I really appreciated the humor, the cultural references, the satire, the cleverness and the reality of what this author wrote. But the stream-of-consciousness style became so repetitive and so mind-numbing that I stopped hearing what the author was saying.
    I wanted to experience this book as some other reviewers and some critics have as a brilliant tour-de-force, but instead I found it self-indulgent and desperately in need of a storyline.
    I tried to follow what was being said with the small portions of plot thrown in, but the listening task of keeping up with the constant and overwhelming satire made the task impossible for me.
    I even hesitated to write this negative review considering the importance of the subject matter, but this book lost me after struggling to listen barely halfway through. Besides, the people who should be reading or listening to this book, won't be reading or listening to it.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.