When it comes to satire, is this book the greatest of all time?

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty
“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty Picador Publishing

If the best satire offends on equal footing, then Paul Beatty’s blistering novel “The Sellout” may eventually be known as the GOAT (greatest of all time) in the genre. Beatty’s novel, his fourth, won the 2016 Britain’s Man Booker Prize for fiction – the first time an American has ever won the honor. Beatty, 54, was born in raised in Southern California, where the novel is set, in a black agrarian community outside of Los Angeles called Dickens. The African American narrator whose father was killed during a traffic stop creates a social experiment, becoming a slave owner to a volunteer named Hominy Jenkins, who once understudied Buckwheat on “The Little Rascals.” There’s much more as Beatty seems influenced by Ralph Ellison, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Pryor and Mark Twain.

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Marcus Crowder