Cover Image: Black Buck

Black Buck

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Member Reviews

I'll be honest - when I first started reading Black Buck, I was pretty thrown off. I didn't totally realize the book's plot and thought it was fully based on Starbucks based on tons of other reviews I've seen about it, and their accompanying pictures on Bookstagram. Sure, Starbucks plays a role, but not that major. After reading Black Buck, I've seen comparisons to Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street and YES! YES! YES! Entirely accurate. 


"Life, like sales, comes with an endless amount of opportunities to do the wrong thing to win. But understand that whether you take those opportunities or not, consequences still follow. And they won't always be in your favor."


This book is intense and it's definitely satirical. I think it's important to go into the book realizing it's satire, because that was one of the things that made the book more challenging for me to read. I enjoyed it but it also felt incredibly over the top... like ridiculously over the top. What I found to be most difficult for me though was the timeline. I felt that there were weird jumps between some of the chapters/sections, and with everything that was happening, the timeline just did not make sense to me. 

But really, the book is good. It's written as a book within the book itself. The main character, Darren (aka Buck) is writing the book as a guide for salespeople, specifically those of color. So it's an interesting concept, with some good advice, but it's also fast-paced, entertaining, and leaves you with things to think about regardless of race. I feel like the things I'm still mulling over may be different than the things a BIPOC may be thinking about. 

Black Buck is amusing, uncomfortable, frustrating, cringe-worthy, smart, and informative. It's a hyperbolic take on the workplace and how non-White, non-straight, non-cis, non-male constituents are often treated and taken for granted. Reading this entire book is uncomfortable, but so informative and so thought-provoking. I highly recommend, and I definitely anticipate reading more from Mateo Askaripour.
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I love this book because of its uniqueness and the way story unfolded was interesting. The start was great but the ending was way over the top. Rest assured, it was a good and beautiful read. 

Thank you Netgalley and publishers for the arc of this masterpiece.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.  This was a solid 3.5-4 stars for me. The first half started off super strong and the second half took a turn I wasn’t expecting. I really liked the authors writing style. Some likable characters became in likable and vice versa - I liked that. I know this story is meant to be an extreme of certain topics, but like the exaggeration in some parts isn’t far off from the truth. Overall this story has a good pace, and made me laugh out loud several times. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while.
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I started and finished Mateo Askaripour's hilarious and deep debut novel, Black Buck. Darren lives with his mother and when he is not working as a shift supervisor at Starbucks, he is spending time with his girlfriend. Darren was valedictorian of his competitive high school in New York City, but didn't go to college. His mother wants him to find his niche, and when a start-up CEO offers Darren a position as a salesman at his company, Darren reluctantly accepts. As the only Black man at the startup, Darren has to live with the constant microaggressions (a running gag is everyone at the company telling him he looks like every Black man from Morgan Freeman to Barack Obama) and outright hostile racism. This book is phenomenal, I literally could not put it down, I can see why Jenna Bush Hager chose it as her January book club pick for the Today Show.  I love a book when I don't where it's going, and it suprises me. I give it my highest recommendation.
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What a journey this novel is! It was so beautifully written! I recommend this to everyone I meet! I loved it so much.
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A bit outrageous of a book, but that's the point. Enjoyed it, though sometimes pretty uncomfortable. Reminiscent of being around incessant microaggressions in the workplace but blown up comically.
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I put off starting this books for reasons I don’t even know. While some parts were satirically cringeworthy, it kept my attention and I enjoyed the journey. Some of the time jumps did catch me off guard, but was easy to get back on track. I can’t wait to see what Askaripour comes up with next.
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This is Wolf of Wallstreet with a black lead and it was a ride!  Our book club had the best time discussing it.  We thought some of the pacing felt a bit disjointed but overall, we found the novel incredibly entertaining.  Mateo Askaripour is an author to watch for sure.
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Thanks to Netgalley for an electronic ARC of this book.

Is Black Buck supposed to be satire? I think so, but "satirical novel" didn't jump out at me. Darren works at Starbucks  and gets offered a sales job at a start-up. He's the only Black employee and is called "Buck" (reference to him working at Starbucks previously). The story is his journey of losing and then finding himself. I found it to be a little up and down,
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Interesting premise with a funny narrative style and funny side characters. The beginning and middle of the book are stronger, and the ending kinda fell off a bit for me. I do like how Darren/Buck learns a lot of lessons along the way, but I don't like at all how the story ends.
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Admittedly, satire isn't normally my thing, but this sounded so interesting--and it was! This book is structured kind of like a memoir meets a self-help book, which worked better in the beginning than it did later. There is some thoughtful commentary on workaholism culture and racism, but the author misses the boat on his treatment of women and disabled or other-abled people. While some of the writing is intelligent and witty, some of it is cringe-y and so unrealistic; some of the characters motivations are questionable and not clearly developed. This is a strong debut. 3.5 mixed feelings stars.
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I absolutely loved Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour. It was funny while at the same time being unsettling. I read a lot of books by women and that I don't think the men in my life would enjoy, but this was refreshing because I feel like I can recommend it to ANYONE! A great commentary on workplace harrassment and racial microagressions. It is listed as satire but the haunting part is how many of the "absurd" parts are truly rooted in reality. The voice of the main character was fresh and fun. GREAT boook!
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I received a copy of this book to review from Netgalley and all options are my own.
A book full of twists and turns paired with good writing. This book details the rise of Buck, formerly Darren and the changes, both good and bad, that arise as a result of this. It includes many themes including racism. There is a lot of depth in this story to explore and it is an addictive read.
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I really enjoyed Black It is an interesting portrayal of how people change when they earn more money and success isn’t always a good thing. Black Buck is a great story which does a great job of portraying race issues.
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Darren leads a moderately successful life, in charge of a local Starbucks, and happy at home with his longtime girlfriend and his mama. But all of them know that he can do more with his talents, and so when a recruiter from Sumwun comes for Darren, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. But you know what they say; be careful what you wish for. 

My thanks go to Net Galley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the review copy. This book is for sale now. 
When Darren changes jobs, he moves out of his familiar surroundings, comfortably populated with people of color, many of whom he has known all his life, to a corporation where he is the only Black man. He is demeaned and subjected to almost every possible stereotype and racist trope, but he perseveres, because this is a sales job, and the timid and weak stand no chance at all. He knows that the longer he stays there, the stronger he’ll get, and as far as that goes, it’s true. When a disaster befalls the company, it’s Darren that pulls it out of the water. And then again. And again. And yet, the crap thrown by others keeps hitting him. 

The magic of good satire is the recognition it draws, the moans and the nods and the headshakes. The author tells us in his introduction that the book is written for Black people, and it doesn’t take long to see why Caucasian people may not relate as well. Even those of us living in mixed families can only glimpse the edges of what Black people put up with; even so, I do find myself groaning and chuckling as the story progresses. 

This is a strong work of fiction and an impressive debut, and I recommend it to everyone that knows that Black Lives Matter, and especially to those that only suspect it’s true. I look forward to seeing what  Askaripour writes next.
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Unfortunately this wasn’t for me. I was not able to finish this. It was very hard for me to get into. Appreciate the opportunity to read it!
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What a wild and fun ride while being poignantly relevant to the current state of affairs. I devoured this well written novel in hours while both smiling and laughing.  I'm so glad it is receiving g such praise.
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When I say that this book hooked me from the start, I mean it! I had never read any book quite like this before and it truly did not disappoint. This story follows Darren who was working at Starbucks when a higher up in a start up comes on and picks up on darrens natural talents for that world. Darren is apprehensive at first, but eventually agrees to check it out. This book is so dark, and full of satire which was so interesting to read. The writing in this was so well done, everything flowed and I never felt bored. I loved the way that with each chapter we got to a deeper layer of what was going on. Askaripour always used this story to represent how this society is for so many POC who are struggling to get into these large corporations and how this society was built to keep them down. Overall this is a one of a kind read, and I think this would make a fantastic audiobook! 

Thanks Netgalley for the ARC!
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This is like The Devil Wears Prada for the tech industry, in that it's about a character who sells his soul to a career that he would have barely cared about before actually entering it. This was also such an interesting perspective to see, about being one of very few people of color in a particular workplace, because we see how even when the main character is the best dressed person there, people say he needs to dress better, etc.
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I really enjoyed this novel disguised as a self-help sales guide. Our protagonist, Buck, is recruited from Starbucks to work at a tech sales firm. We follow his highs and lows in his new career. Even at his worst, we are still rooting for Buck. The characters were fully-fleshed out and the narrative included conflicts over race without getting “preachy.”
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