In this riotous and impassioned satirical novel, Beatty takes aim at nearly all the sacred cows present in American culture to expose the racist id of America’s national psyche. The book’s unnamed African-American protagonist resides in Dickens, a fictional Los Angeles neighborhood that has recently been erased off the city’s maps and road signs, probably because as a poor, gang-ridden, exclusively minority enclave, even seeing the name Dickens might disabuse one of the notion that America is a post-racial, egalitarian society. Our narrator was reared by a radical sociologist father who parents according to the dictates of “liberation psychology”. As an adult he works as an artisanal watermelon and marijuana farmer, but when his father is murdered by the police, he becomes a modern-day school segregationist and slaveholder. What’s so tenacious and brilliant about this book is how it refuses to let the reader forget the she lives in a white supremacist “democracy” where racism colors so many aspects of our quotidian existence.- Justin B.