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*
'Mesmerizing' Colson Whitehead
'As funny as it is smart.' Candice Carty Williams
'A wonderful, riotous romp' Irenosen Okojie
My goal is to teach you how to sell. And if I'm half the salesman every newspaper, blog, and hustler in New York City says I am, then you are in luck. With my story, I will give you the tools to go out and create the life you want. Sound fair?
Meet Buck. But before Buck was the Muhammad Ali of sales, floating like a butterfly and selling like a demon, he was Darren: an unambitious twenty-two-year-old living with his mother and working at Starbucks. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of NYC's hottest tech startup, results in Darren joining Rhett's elite sales team.
On his first day Darren realizes he is the only Black person in the company, and when things start to get strange, he reimagines himself as 'Buck', a ruthless salesman, unrecognizable to his friends and family. Money, partying, and fame soon follow Buck, and wherever he goes more is never enough.
But when tragedy strikes at home, Buck begins to hatch a plan to help young people of colour infiltrate America's sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.
An earnest work of satire, Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of office culture; 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 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
An irresistible comic novel about the tenacity of racism in corporate America . . . [Black Buck] is alternately sly and sweet, a work of cultural criticism that laments and celebrates the power of money. - Washington Post
Darkly comic . . . The message at the heart of this novel [is] very American, that the power is in the pitch . . . Black Buck is not unlike The Great Gatsby, in its own way. - NPR
[A] razor-sharp send-up of ladder-climbing office culture, and all the systemic and individual racism it perpetuates - Vanity Fair
Rhapsodic and incisive, Black Buck is a journey into a post-racial dystopia born of tech-fueled greed and racial ignorance. - WIRED
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
MATEO ASKARIPOUR was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pastimes include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. Black Buck is his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.