How does one overcome a disappointing seven generation legacy of all-too-American insipid, brown-nosing Tommery? How does one refute the sins of the father, grandfather, great-uncles, great-grandfathers? Beatty’s debut novel is a bildungsroman concerning a modern messiah born in the purported political corrections of late-20th century America — the early history of Gunnar Kaufman as he leaves the lazy life of Santa Monica surfing for the pressed-crease unknown of Hillside, CA.— Tilghman
"A bombastic coming-of-age novel....The White Boy Shuffle has the uncanny ability to make readers want to laugh and cry at the same time."--Los Angeles Times
The first novel from National Book Critics Circle Award and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sellout
Paul Beatty's hilarious and scathing debut novel is about Gunnar Kaufman, an awkward, black surfer bum who is moved by his mother from Santa Monica to urban West Los Angeles. There, he begins to undergo a startling transformation from neighborhood outcast to basketball superstar, and eventually to reluctant messiah of a "divided, downtrodden people."
“A bombastic coming-of-age novel . . . The White Boy Shuffle has the uncanny ability to make readers want to laugh and cry at the same time. Beatty mingles horrific reality with wild fancy without ever losing a grip on his story.” —Los Angeles Times
“The White Boy Shuffle is one of those novels of enormous energy and verbal dazzle . . . Mr. Beatty is a fertile and original writer, one to watch.” —The New York Times
“Laugh-out-loud funny and weep-in-silence sad . . . The language is always vibrant and alluring.” —The Nation
“Ferocious and funny and also streetwise.” —The Boston Globe