Books > Stereotypes under the skin

20 April 2017

Stereotypes under the skin


The Sellout
Paul Beatty; Read by Prentice Onayemi

We never learn the name of the protagonist and narrator of this 2016 Man Booker-winning novel, but he is bursting with personality, especially in this vigorous reading. Warm, caustic and humorous, Prentice Onayemi’s voice romps  through a wacky series of events.

The protagonist lives in Dickens, a once black, now increasingly Latino, suburb of Los Angeles, which no longer gets mentioned in weather reports and where signs have been removed from the motorways.

Seeing this neglect as symbolic of the Establishment’s attempt to annihilate the importance of his people’s trouble and struggle, he decides to turn the clock back. He repaints the city’s boundaries.


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