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10 Dark Comedies to Read if You Liked 'Don't Look Up'

5 Books | by Likewise User verified icon

These comedies and satires tackle social issues with dark humor.

The Sellout

The Sellout

Books

Winner of the Man Booker PrizeWinner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in FictionWinner of the John Dos Passos Prize for LiteratureNew York Times BestsellerLos Angeles Times Bestseller Named One of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book ReviewNamed a Best Book of the Year by Newsweek, The Denver Post, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers WeeklyNamed a "Must-Read" by Flavorwire and New York Magazine's "Vulture" BlogA biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

The Minister Primarily

The Minister Primarily

Books

A major literary event—the eagerly anticipated publication of a long-lost novel from legendary writer and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee John Oliver Killens, hailed as the founding father of the Black Arts Movement and mentor to celebrated writers, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Arthur Flowers, and Terry McMillan. Wanderlust has taken Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson on numerous adventures, from Mississippi to Washington D.C., Vietnam, London and eventually to Africa, to the fictitious Independent People’s Democratic Republic of Guanaya, where the young musician hopes to “find himself.” But this small sliver of a country in West Africa, recently freed from British colonial rule, is thrown into turmoil with the discovery of cobanium—a radioactive mineral 500 times more powerful than uranium, making it irresistible for greedy speculators, grifters, and charlatans. Overnight, outsiders descend upon the sleepy capital city looking for “a piece of the action.” When a plot to assassinate Guanaya’s leader is discovered, Jimmy Jay—a dead ringer for the Prime Minister—is enlisted in a counter scheme to foil the would-be coup. He will travel to America with half of Guanaya’s cabinet ministers to meet with the President of the United States and address the UN General Assembly, while the rest of the cabinet will remain in Guanaya with the real Prime Minister. What could go wrong? Everything. Set in the 1980s, this smart, funny, dazzlingly brilliant novel is a literary delight—and the final gift from an American literary legend.

The Atmospherians

The Atmospherians

Books

Best Book of 2021 by Esquire Book You Need to Read in 2021 by Harper’​s Bazaar “Darkly funny and glitteringly satirical, The Atmospherians unforgettably takes aim at wokeness, wellness, and toxic masculinity.” —Esquire This “edgy, addictive” (Kirkus Reviews, starred) satire about two best friends who form The Atmosphere—a cult designed to reform problematic men—is “a book to be devoured” (Vanity Fair).Sasha Marcus was once the epitome of contemporary success: an internet sensation, social media darling, and a creator of a high-profile wellness brand for women. But a confrontation with an abusive troll has taken a horrifying turn, and now she’s at rock bottom: canceled and doxxed online, isolated in her apartment while men’s rights protestors rage outside. Sasha confides in her oldest childhood friend, Dyson—a failed actor with a history of body issues—who hatches a plan for her to restore her reputation by becoming the face of his new business venture, The Atmosphere: a rehabilitation community for men. Based in an abandoned summer camp and billed as a workshop for job training, it is actually a rigorous program designed to rid men of their toxic masculinity. Sasha has little choice but to accept. But what horrors await her as the resident female leader of a crew of washed up, desperate men? And what exactly does Dyson want? Explosive, dazzling, and wickedly funny, The Atmospherians is “a book written with this exact cultural moment in mind” (Oprah Daily).

The Chosen Twelve

The Chosen Twelve

Books

There are 22 candidates. There are 12 seats. The last interstellar colony ship is down to its final batch of humans after the robots in charge unhelpfully deleted the rest. But rebooting a species and training them for the arduous task of colonisation isn’t easy – especially when the planet below is filled with monsters, the humans are more interested in asking questions than learning, and the robots are all programmed to kill each other. But the fate of humanity rests on creating a new civilization on the planet below, and there are twelve seats on the lander. Will manipulation or loyalty save the day?

Eat Your Heart Out

Eat Your Heart Out

Books

Shaun of the Dead meets Dumplin' in this bitingly funny YA thriller about a kickass group of teens battling a ravenous group of zombies.In the next few hours, one of three things will happen.1--We'll be rescued (unlikely)2--We'll freeze to death (maybe)3--We'll be eaten by thin and athletic zombies (odds: excellent) Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn't need to lose weight, so she's none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp's van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner's snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it's clear that something isn't right.Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something...that isn't human. Plus, the camp's supposed "miracle cure" for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don't need to be cured. Of anything.Even worse, it's not long before Camp Featherlite's luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp's secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival--and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive. A satirical blend of horror, body positivity, and humor, Kelly deVos's witty, biting novel proves that everyone deserves to feel validated, and taking down the evil enterprise determined to dehumanize you is a good place to start.

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