A. Igoni Barrett's Blackass is a fierce comic satire that touches on everything from race to social media while at the same time questioning the values society places on us simply by virtue of the way we look. As he did in Love Is Power, or Something Like That, Barrett brilliantly depicts life in contemporary Nigeria and details the double-dealing and code-switching that are implicit in everyday business. But it's Furo's search for an identity--one deeper than skin--that leads to the final unraveling of his own carefully constructed story.
The whole idea is simple yet so perfect: men drive to and from strategically placed warehouses in Univans—identical and serviceable vehicles—transporting replacement parts for...Univans. Gloriously self-perpetuating, the Scheme was designed to give an honest day's wage for an honest day's labor. That it produces nothing does not obtain. Our hero in Magnus Mills' mesmerizing new work is a five-year veteran of the Scheme: he knows the best routes, the easiest managers, the quickest ways in and out. Inevitably, trouble begins to brew. A woman arrives on the scene. Some workers develop delivery sidelines. And most disturbing of all, not all participants are in agreement. There are "Flat-Dayers," who believe the Scheme's eight-hour day is sacrosanct and inviolable, and there are "Swervers," who fancy being let off a little early now and again. Disagreement turns to argument, argument to debate, debate to outright schism. Soon the Flat-Dayers and Swervers have pushed the Scheme to the very brink of disaster...and readers to the edge of their chairs in delight.