“There’s nothing like a Black man on a mission. No, let me revise that. There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.”
From the opening lines of Black Buck, Mateo Askaripour’s fast-paced debut novel pulls you along behind Darren Vender, a Starbucks barista whose life changes in a split second, so quickly you can barely catch your breath (in the best way). After a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the CEO of NYC’s hottest tech startup, Darren joins an elite sales team and transforms himself into Buck, the Muhammed Ali of sales who is suddenly unrecognizable to his friends and family. As the only Black person at the company, Buck must be ruthless and ambitious in a whole new way, and even though money, partying, and fame begin to follow him wherever he goes, more is never enough.
Then tragedy strikes at home, and Buck hatches a plan to help young people of colour infiltrate America’s sales force. It changes everything.
Called “a high wire act full of verve and dark, comic energy” by Colson Whitehead, Black Buck is equal parts satire, thriller, romance, and absurdist fiction, and is a debut novel no one will ever forget. On BookClub, Mateo Askaripour joins Cree Myles’ “Black Like We Never Left” for a look at his novel and how Buck’s story isn’t just a scathing review of racism in America’s workforce, it’s a treatise on ambition, office culture, and why freedom is never free.