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Publisher's Summary

A rebellious boy's journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family - this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.

MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation's dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone - his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country - and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.

Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers - outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It's a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal, and redeem us.

©2013 MK Asante (P)2013 Random House

Critic Reviews

"A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style." (Maya Angelou)
" Buck takes the daily words of the American streets and forges something low and lovely. Angry, profane, and beautiful, it honors the best of hip-hop's literary canon by producing a work worthy of inclusion." (Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Beautiful Struggle)
" Buck sings a song that will force all of America to face what it has become and remember what it could be." (Eddie Huang, author of Fresh off the Boat)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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riveting

Would you listen to Buck again? Why?

This story was truly relatable to today's chaos. His passion can be heard through his voice. He made listening to the book better than reading it. His animation brought such life to the words that you find yourself visualizing the scenes as he describes them. Can't wait to listen again! !!

What did you like best about this story?

His honesty

What about MK Asante and Adenrele Ojo ’s performance did you like?

They brought words to life

What did you learn from Buck that you would use in your daily life?

Mistakes are correctable

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A rare real depiction

It felt authentic. A real look through the window at a black kid growing up and going through it

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Real.

A raw story... beautifully written and beautifully performed. I had the chance to see MK as a guest speaker last year at the Milford PA readers and writers festival. He was charismatic, present and gracious in his presence. I was inspired to get his book. It did not disappoint.
An important book that shows how one small decision can lead you down an entirely different path... a human struggle and the transcendence of a heart.

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amazing

i loved it first book for school and i was very happy about it. is one of the realest books i have ever read.

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Inspirational yet bucked up

I was inspired by his drive once he discovered his purpose in life. The stereotypes many have of inner-city families was strengthened by the detailed explanations of his circumstances. It's sad that many Black families are still experiencing the residual affects of Jim Crow laws, segregation and prejudice. He made it, but it was pure luck or blessings from God.

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A must read, especially if you a Philly native!

My first review. I was both touched and impressed with the writing skills. Asante did a wonderful job capturing the essence of Philadelphia and the struggle of many youth who are ambivalent about the systemic problems that plague all inner cities. I am buying the book too. So many quotables!

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Amazing

"Buck: A Memoir" is for everyone. I listened to this on the car ride to ATL with my grandma. She said it lifted something off of her. This book is inspiration. Read/listen to this for self-care. It is amazing. I look forward to more on audible from MK Asante!

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Not to bad

I enjoyed the book. The narrator was really entertaining and made the book come alive like he wrote it. 😉 I could see myself reading another book by MK Asante.

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Great read

the book was really good the way the author told the story reslly told the story

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Amazing and captivating<br />

This is a captivating look into the life of an amazing young man. I read first half of this book then decided to listen to the audible version when I learned it was read by the author. To hear this story on his own words added the passion and dimension I could not have imagined. Books like this are the reason I love to read.