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Black Buck  By  cover art

Black Buck

By: Mateo Askaripour
Narrated by: Zeno Robinson
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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Best Seller

A New York Times best seller, Black Buck is 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 start-up where nothing is as it seems.

There's nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious 22 year-old, Darren lives in a Brooklyn brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Manhattan 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 36th 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.

©2021 Mateo Askaripour (P)2021 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.

Critic Reviews

"Mateo 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 and The Underground Railroad)

"A hilarious, gleaming satire as radiant as its author. Askaripour has announced himself as a major talent of the school of Ralph Ellison, Paul Beatty, Fran Ross and Ishmael Reed. Full of quick pacing, frenetic energy, absurd-yet spot on-twists and turns, and some of the funniest similes I've ever read, this novel is both balm and bomb." (Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People)

What listeners say about Black Buck

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  • zzz
  • 03-25-21

enjoyable 🎶

I finished it in a couple of days, entertaining and full of thought provoking moments... and narrator was great.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 04-16-21

Wow thank you

Please read till the end. I would love to meet the author and narrator. I had already made a climb from rock bottom and had already taken the pressure of needing self help so I was able to listen to it as a usual listen but still was triggered in a very positive way. I took in a young man into my home, homeless and sleeping on my floor when I had also lost my job and struggling to get up whilst trying to help this person. This young man (nearly beyond help and risk of the justice system) was with me when I started listening and was clearly triggered so much he wanted to hear more and so did I. He was the last person to read a book let alone listen to anyone he now loves audible!
The book was well.. inspiring. Exciting and emotional. Massive insights on race, poverty and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Highly recommend this book!
Thank you so much, this helped. I'm not saying books move mountains but people can do anything with belief. You gave my friend just a tiny bit more to stay positive at a crucial time. Happy to say two days later he found somewhere to live
Every day is deals day!

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  • Menu minyu
  • 11-06-22

an inspiring read.

i like it read/listen for yourself. though i reccomend the listening more, the voice acting is amazing

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  • I love to read
  • 05-12-22

Whoever said this was ‘hilarious’ is dead wrong *spoilers*

I smiled in the first minute of the first chapter and that was the last time I did. I did not laugh once, instead I was taken in an emotional whirlwind of nonsense. With each chapter, this book furiously competes with the last to be more ridiculous- which should make it funny- but it just makes it weird.

*SPOILER ALERT*
The protagonist goes from a very average normal relatable man, to a coke taking, money obsessed man who ostracises himself from all his friends and loved ones, then his mum dies of cancer (never funny). So he then embarks on a journey to convince himself he’s a good person by teaching some kids, but his ‘teaching’ is this weird hybrid of torture and practice that lands one student beaten up and another in jail for murder. Where? Where is the funny?

The characters display little critical thinking, zero nuance and no relatability. The book is stuffed full of stereotypes, most of which were overkill (why does the white man have to talk about the Freemasons- who even says in a YouTube video ‘I have links with the Freemasons’). Not funny at all. Like at all. It’s not even close to any kind of comedy. I only finished it so I could leave a review and warn others. Save your credits.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-04-21

Really smartly done

Got slightly addicted to this. A great novel, with lots of action and a deeper meaning.excellent performance by Robinson. All the characters were well voiced and acted.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-16-21

Didn't hate it, but didn't love it. SPOILERS

It's almost as if this book is in 3 parts - the first rush of a whimsical ascent to a better life for Darren 'Buck', the 'life of the rich and famous' and then last chapter of the book that seems to step way out of reality and almost become a minstrel show. I understand the need to connect all of the dots but I definitely left feeling unsatisfied with Bucks outcome and actions. His passivity and hare brain schemes/ lessons with the HC first recruits was strange, barely even based in sales techniques. I'll give it another listen but definitely a 2.5 out of 5 for me.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-21

Good

The story was good and kept me going on my walks! The narrator had a nice calming voice and was entertaining when acting out the different parts.

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  • Sally New
  • 04-08-21

Brilliant book

Couldn’t put this book down - then spent a long time thinking about it. Great narration

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  • Friendly Rollins
  • 10-28-22

So bad...the worst book Ive listened to

The book started out ok, but as it progressed, it became ridiculous and so annoying to listen to. The storyline was absurd. Highly recommend NOT purchasing this book.