Books

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour: fast-paced, energetic and confident

Mateo Askaripour's novel Black Buck is an energetic and fast-paced debut into the literature sphere.

Black Buck's protagonist goes from nerdy barista to start-up hotshot. But not all for the good. Image: Federico/Flickr

New Yorker Mateo Askaripour’s funny, fast-talking debut novel Black Buck will have you tripping over your thoughts. The superfast wit, the snappy dialogue, the pleasure it takes in its own chutzpah – it’s all there from the confident start of this seductive book. 

Darren is an unambitious 22-year-old Starbucks employee and comic books fan with skin the “rich caramel” colour of a Werther’s Original, and teeth “status quo and powerful, also known as white and straight”. But when he’s sweet-talked into an elite job with a hi-tech start-up he evolves, Peter Parker-style, into cool hot Buck, “the Muhammad Ali of sales”, swiftly ramping up clients like a Black Wolf of Wall Street.

Swept up in his own awesomeness, he loses his grasp of what he really cares about, and when a tragic reminder smacks him in the face, he’s forced to rethink his life. Like most debuts, there are times when clichés are presented as revelations. But this book has the energy of a puppy spaniel, and the heart of close-knit family under fire. Oh, and be sure to read the delightful acknowledgments; they’ll leave you rooting for future star Askaripour even more. 

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour is out on May 27 (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99)

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing
Books

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss
Books

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw
Books

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age
Books

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know