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Victim

Written by: Andrew Boryga
Narrated by: Anthony Rey Perez
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Publisher's Summary

MOST ANTICIPATED: WASHINGTON POST, TIME, & MORE • A BBC BEST BOOK OF 2024 • There’s a fine line between bending the truth and telling bold-faced lies, and Javier Perez is willing to cross it. Victim is a fearless satire about a hustler from the Bronx who sees through the veneer of diversity initiatives and decides to cash in on the odd currency of identity.

"A crowning achievement."—New York Times Book Review "You will burn through Victim and find your hands scalded when you are done…Pitch perfect."—Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming

Javier Perez is a hustler from a family of hustlers. He learns from an early age how to play the game to his own advantage, how his background—murdered drug dealer dad, single cash-strapped mom, best friend serving time for gang activity—can be a key to doors he didn’t even know existed. This kind of story, molded in the right way, is just what college admissions committees are looking for, and a full academic scholarship to a prestigious university brings Javi one step closer to his dream of becoming a famous writer.

As a college student, Javi embellishes his life story until there’s not even a kernel of truth left. The only real connection to his past is the occasional letter he trades with his childhood best friend, Gio, who doesn’t seem to care about Javi’s newfound awareness of white privilege or the school-to-prison pipeline. Soon after Javi graduates, a viral essay transforms him from a writer on the rise to a journalist at a legendary magazine where the editors applaud his “unique perspective.” But Gio more than anyone knows who Javi really is, and sees through his game. Once Gio’s released from prison and Javi offers to cut him in on the deal, will he play along with Javi’s charade, or will it all come crumbling down?

A satirical sendup of tear-jerking trauma plots with a tender portrait of friendship at its core, Victim asks what real diversity looks like and how far one man is willing to go to make his story hit the right notes.

©2024 Andrew Boryga (P)2024 Random House Audio

What the critics say

A New York Times Editor's Choice A BBC Best Book of 2024 • A Washington Post, TIME, USA Today, Real Simple, Nylon, Lit Hub, She Reads, and Debutiful Most Anticipated Book of the Year

"[An] energetic and deeply satisfying debut novel...Boryga is having fun, and he’s inviting us to join in. But let’s be clear: Though Boryga is playing, he’s not playing around...His debut signals the arrival of a writer courageous enough to dive into the difficult head-on. A thrilling work."—Mateo Askaripour, New York Times Book Review

“Blazingly trenchant, unflinchingly Bronx, Boryga's the rare writer who knows sometimes it's in the unlearning where real education begins. Victim diddy-bops into your skull; smooth, cool, fun-loving and knowing full well a sense of humor always trumps one's sense of entitlement. Break night with this one—it isn't to be missed.”—Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout

“You will burn through Victim and find your hands scalded when you are done. It’s not just because of the tight, engaging prose and pitch perfect voice of our narrator, Javier—but because no one is innocent in this stinging satire that turns everything about meritocracy and success on its head. Boryga pulls no punches, and leaves you alternating rolling with laughter and cringing as a result.”—Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming

What listeners say about Victim

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