Part The Wolf of Wall Street. Part Rabbit, Run. Part Native Son. I kept picturing the Scorcese movie with Leo replaced by Michael B. Jordan.
This vivid book punches you in the gut with its story, its language and its pacing. The story follows Darren, a young, black barista working at the Starbucks serving some powerful, corporate sales men. They decide to bring him into the field despite his lack of education or training, and it is quite obvious that they felt the need to hire a black face. The co-workers are racist, ignorant and extreme. As the money starts rolling in, Darren changes. The job affects everything. His family and friends start to dislike the changed man, but he is sucked into the world. Darren (who they begin calling "Buck") makes for an intriguing narrator. As he visits his memories we find a likable but unmotivated and directionless young man with a strong connection to his family and community. But in his current world there is a sarcastic, cocaine-sniffing, loud-mouthed man. The structure is unique and powerful The ending is surprising. This is a powerful debut and Askaripour has a strong voice. I found the words on the page to live up to the vivid cover.