• The White Boy Shuffle

  • A Novel
  • By: Paul Beatty
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (134 ratings)

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The White Boy Shuffle  By  cover art

The White Boy Shuffle

By: Paul Beatty
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
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Publisher's Summary

Paul Beatty's hilarious and scathing debut novel, The White Boy Shuffle, 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".

©1996 Paul Beatty (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The White Boy Shuffle

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 06-15-18

So beautiful

Wow... so far I’ve read Tuff, the Sell Out, and this. Paul Beatty’s writing and story telling abilities are mind blowing. I’m so grateful to have had the privilege of listening to his books. Prentice Onayemi is captivating and such a delight to listen to. I highly recommend anything by Paul Beatty, he’s shifted my perspectives from schooled me on race in America. I’ll be listening to anything else I can get my hands on by Paul Beatty, and listen to any book read by Prentice Onayemi.

2 people found this helpful

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good book

finished it in 2 days. was hooked by chapter 4. I would recommend this book to a friend.

1 person found this helpful

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Good writing but disappointing storyline.

This is my first book by Paul Beatty; he really writes extremely well, but the story is more like a collection of one-act plays than a coherent whole. While I enjoyed each act, the story itself progressed little. The protagonist, Gunnar Kaufman, is apparently a genius at whatever he attempts; he is a published poet, a basketball star, a well-read philosopher. So handsome as to attract women yet remaining chaste. He is a wellspring of contradictions, with a philosophy that, in the end, is depraved. I realize that this is satire, but it is often over the top. This sort of humor works better if it is more subtle. This was more like slapstick. Yet the prose is unique and at time marvelous.

1 person found this helpful

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Funny, do I know the character?

Startling story about an adolescent African American male's growth and development from a white suburb to a poor inner city neighborhood. Includes historical time and event references, enough to make a reader old enough to recognize them wonder if this story is about a real person. The narrator makes the story! His verbal characterizations of all the characters are right on point. Hilarious at times and also painful. The irony of story, often evident when Gunnar, the main character, is speaking reveals brilliance of Beatty. Gunnar is a terribly interesting young man. So talented that he navigates successfully a life of challenges, obstacles, deceptions, facades of many forms. This story has to be listened AND read because there are so many layers to uncover. An initial reading is just entertaining. A second and third read is educational as it describes the society of the time period and how low income families of various backgrounds survived. There is also another aspect to be studied and it related to how women are portrayed in the novel. This is a fascinating piece of work. I also recommend it for book studies and literature courses.

1 person found this helpful

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Literally my favorite book

I've loved this book ever since I was 12 and read it the first time. Now my sons love it. ❤️

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Fun and funny satire

If you enjoyed The Sellout you’ll love this book. Although The Sellout is a better book this is the comedic blueprint to his future novel. Have a blast

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Great writing accompanied by great narration

Excellent! I've read all of his books. They're hilarious and poignant...The narration is also superb!

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PERFORMANCE MAKES MODERN CLASSIC EVEN BETTER

I loved this performance. Audible may be on to something. This was not simply a reading of the book, this was a one man show. Exceptional!!

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Awesomely Eclectic!

I read this book over 15 years ago. As I listened again, I was totally enthralled in it. I was constantly bookmarking it to discuss in our bookclub. The performance was amazing. The storyline was unexpected throughout the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the vocabulary and voice. I could visualize EVERYTHING without feeling like, “this is too much detail.”

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The main character is a terrible person

maybe I didn't understand the deeper meaning but I really really really could not enjoy the story.