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A New York Times bestseller, 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 startup where nothing is as it seems.

*A New York Times Bestseller*

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

An unambitious twenty-two-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 thirty-sixth 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.

‘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

2021 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.

Reviews

A crackling satire of corporate America, it has been compared to other classics of the genre Sorry to Bother You by Boots Riley and Jordan Belfort's The Wolf of Wall Street'
Guardian
A satire about race, work, ambition and power, it's sharp and hilarious. . . Different and fabulous
Daily Mail
A wonderful, riotous romp
Irenosen Okojie
An entertaining read with much to say about race relations
Daily Express
An irresistible comic novel
Washington Post
Askaripour closes the deal on the first page
Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad
Askaripour wields a sharp satirical blade to deliver social commentary . . . He may have written the first satire that doubles as self-help
Los Angeles Times
Askaripour's satire of the tech industry-and of the intersection between capitalism and American racial politics-will appeal to fans of Paul Beatty's Booker-prizewinning novel "The Sellout" and Jordan Peele's film "Get Out"
The Economist
Black Buck is as funny as it is smart
Candice Carty Williams
Blazing . . . A fast-paced, sharp, hilarious story with a lot of heart.
Buzzfeed
Darkly comic
NPR
Different and fabulous
Daily Mail
Energetic . . . Black Buck boasts a brisk pace, ebullient narrator and an inspirational tone
TLS
Fast-paced, energetic and confident
The Big Issue
Razor-sharp
Vanity Fair
Rhapsodic and incisive
WIRED
Sharp, clever and often hilarious
New York Post
This quick-witted, trenchant debut novel starts like a superhero origin story . . . What follows is a harrowing tale that operates at the fraught intersection of capitalism, race, and class
Vulture