Review: Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Getting straight to the point, the cover is honestly what compelled me to pick up this book initially. It’s definitely a little funky in an urban way. So when I read the blurbs which said ‘for fans of The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘satirical’, ‘cult-like and wildly successful startup’, I knew I had to give the book a go.

Black Buck set in the backdrop of modern day NYC, focusing on a young man called Darren Vendor and his journey from being an unambitious 22 year old to a ruthless super successful salesman in a matter of months when given the right opportunity.

“But freedom, true freedom, the kind where you do what you want without fear, comes at a cost.”

Soon Darren starts recognizing himself as Buck, engulfed by the craziness of the startup culture around him and alienated by the ones closest to him, will he be able to find his way back home?

The entire story is moderately paced but there are times when you feel that the narrative has jumped ahead a bit too much. This won’t be a huge hindrance to your reading experience because the overall plot keeps you hooked. The character development of the Darren, showing his transition from a sweet boy working at Starbucks to an unrecognisably fierce salesman is portrayed candidly.

Even if you’re on a lookout for non-fictional works, this novel’s fictional narrative is still giving nuggets of real-world advice on sales – kind of like a Sales 101 – and occasionally strays into the self-help territory. The book also addresses some serious topics in the USA – its corporatized culture, racism, and how the term ‘diversity’ is being exploited in most workplaces to suit different agendas.

It is definitely a conversation starter and one which I would recommend that you read on a lighter note. You will need to constantly remind yourself that it is satirical as there are many jaw clenching moments for those more sensitive, such as those which include blatant racism and constant micro-aggression. There are even a few questionable scenes in the book such as Buck’s methods to teach sales which didn’t work for me personally. I’d rate ‘The Black Buck’ by Mateo Askaripour 3.5 bookmarks out of 5.

About the author

I am Surbhi Sinha aka The Urban Reader from India. A city girl and a regular customer of the world's wordsmiths. I enjoy exploring and living several lives while reading books. A girl who tries to reflect the beauty of simplicity, appreciates the extraordinary magic woven in stories and enjoys exploring the cities. I eagerly look forward to sharing my adventures with you.

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