Dark, satirical comedy: the feeling of watching a derailing roller coaster | BookishFirst

Dark, satirical comedy: the feeling of watching a derailing roller coaster

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"Everybody doin' somethin' got people tellin' 'em they can't do it. If you doin' somethin' and people ain' tellin' you that you can't do it, truth is, you ain' doin' shit!"

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Thank you to BookishFirst and HMH Books for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read this book to fulfill the prompts of "Intimidating Book" in the Clear Ur Shit readathon because I, frankly, despised The Wolf of Wall Street the one time I watched it (although, it did introduce me to Margot Robbie, so I do unfortunately owe it that) and this book was listed as "for fans of Sorry to Bother You andThe Wolf of Wall Street".

Despite being hesitant to start it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this read! I finished it four days, which is quite fast for my usual pace. We are introduced to the main character, Darren Vender, a valedictorian whose greatest ambition is continuing to work as a lead at the same Starbucks he's worked at for the past four years. After one spur of the moment decision to sell customer Rhett Daniels on a different drink, Darren discovers Rhett is the CEO of a start-up called Sumwun and is offered a job opportunity.

The above paragraph sounds rather tame, but let me assure you, this story is anything but. Darren finds himself the only Black man or POC in the entire company, and is given the nickname Buck due to his previous job. What ensues from his first moment as a sales rep is what I can only describe as a feeling that only 90s kids may get: the feeling of watching in slow-motion everyone screaming in delight on your Roller Coaster Tycoon game while you realize in horror that you forgot to finish the track and the cars are all about to derail and catapult to their deaths.

This book also has interesting notes to the "Reader" from a future version of Darren/Buck, which I found entertaining. As someone who went to university for Corporate & Organizational Communication and Marketing and worked at a call center, the 'sales tips' brought back quite a few memories of roleplaying cold calls in class myself. I enjoyed this book and would definitely read more by the author.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark/satirical comedies, contemporary books that aren't fluffy, or ... yes, fans of The Wolf of Wall Street.