Boekverslag : Paul Beatty - The White Boy Shuffle
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The White Boy Shuffle

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Novel / Novella / Short Stories / Play

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Explain the title

At a certain point in the story the main character Gunnar dances. "After a few moments I'd relax and settle into a barely acceptable, simple side-to-side step, dubbed by the locals the white boy shuffle", hence the name.

Who tells the story?

The main character, Gunnar Kaufman.

Where does the story take place? Does the setting play a decisive role in the story? Explain.

The story takes place in two places, first in Santa Monica, where Gunnar lives in a "white neigbourhood". But later on, as he moves to Los Angeles, he lives in the middle of the "Hood", where all the gangs are. Without the setting, it would be difficult to understand that Los Angeles is a place where gangs rule the streets.

When does the story take place? (If you are not sure about the exact dates, guess by fifty years, e.g. 1600-1650, etc.) Does it really make any difference (to the story) in which time it takes place? Why do you think so?

I think it doesn't matter when the story is told, but if I had to guess, I'd say between 1950-1996.

How much time passes between the beginning and the end of the story? Indicate the amount of time.

I think about 18 years.

Which part of the book did you find most interesting or fun? Why?

The part in which Gunnar moves to the "hood" because I think the 'language' they speak there is quite funny.

Which part of the book was very bad or very uninteresting, according to you? Explain why.

I really didn't like the first chapter because I couldn't understand a word the author was writing about, he used very difficult words. So I don't really know what's in the first chapter.

Suppose you had to choose: which character in the book would you like to be? Why this particular character?

If I'd really had to choose, I suppose Gunnar, because at the end of the story, he becomes a successful man.

Mention one character from the book you dislike, or could eventually dislike? Why?

Betty and/or Veronica, because they are teasing Gunnar all the time but when he becomes successful, the start to like him. And I think that's hypocrite.

Compare the main character(s) of the beginning of the story to those same characters at the end of the book. Have they / Has he or she changed? Have they / Has he or she learnt or achieved anything?

Gunnar learned a lot about living in the ghetto.

Could you indicate what kind of story/ play this is? You can choose more than one option.

[ ] love story [ ] science fiction

[ ] adventure [ ] detective/thriller

[ ] (auto)biography [ ] philosophical

[ ] historical subject [ ] comedy

[X] lifestyle [ ] tragedy

[ ] fantasy/fairy tale [ ] A story......

Is it possible to indicate a turning point in the story; a point from which things clearly start to change? Try to describe it.

There are actually two turning points in the story, one when Gunnar moves to the ghetto and has to learn the 'rules' there. And two when Gunnar becomes a successful man.

Do you feel the author has tried to teach you or explain something to you by writing this book? If so, what? Or has he/she only tried to entertain you?

I think the author tried to say that you can be successful, if you want to.

Were you satisfied about the ending of the book? Explain your answer. If you were not satisfied with it, could you explain how you would have expected it to end (more or less)?

I liked the ending because it's not a happy ending and that's a big change comparing to lots of other books

Would you recommend this book to anyone? Why? If you were to give this book a mark, what would it be.

This book was recommended to me but I don't think I would recommend it to anyone, perhaps to someone who is English and understands the book well, because I get the feeling I miss a lot because I don't understand many words that are used.
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