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Americanah | [Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie]

Americanah

As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014

As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

©2013 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Andoh's rich voice and distinct characters and rhythm keep the listener engrossed.... Andoh has fun adopting a mocking lilt for Ifemelu's snarky blog entries.... [and] a more serious tone brings authenticity to the heartbreak of Obinze's London experience." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (228 )
5 star
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4.4 (213 )
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4.6 (212 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carol 03-03-14
    Carol 03-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "really enjoyed this"
    What did you love best about Americanah?

    this portrayed two different themes - one is the coming of age in to maturation of a 20 year old bright young woman, and the other is the point of view on race of a non american black . Both points of view were interesting, well written, and complimented each other effortlessly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zora Footscray, Australia 02-07-14
    Zora Footscray, Australia 02-07-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful, warm and clever"

    What a fantastic novel and even more astonishing performance by the narrator!

    I adored Ifemelu, so smart and straight-talking and wonderful. I could see why Obinze loved her so, and their relationship was utterly convincing. The insight into race in America is clear-eyed and honest, but it's not a didactic novel by any means. It pulses with warmth and humour. Just glorious.

    On the narration: Having seen some of the American reviewers complaining about Adjoa Andoh's American accent... I could just imagine what Ifemelu would say about that! "Oh yes, because Americans are so well known for their skill at rendering the accents of other nationalities!" The American accents are completely fine, and they certainly don't all sound like Fran Drescher! The range of accents Andoh presents is vast and astonishingly good, and her general narration is simply lovely.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-04-14
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2012

    i like to read. i like to listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "amusing and witty commentary on race in America"

    i can definitely understand why this novel has been put on many of the 'best of' lists for this year.

    i found it quite amusing and full of witty commentary, observations and opinions about race in America. i neither liked nor disliked either of the main characters...and i didn't really have any deep interest in whether their spanning relationship worked out or if it didn't.
    but overall i enjoyed both of their separate life experiences and found the relationships they had with each other and with their friends and family very realistic. both characters made bad decisions...and good decisions...but the way they both displayed and celebrated their race differently living in the modern world in America, Nigeria and England under the racial pretense of this book was very interesting.

    it wasn't my personal favorite of 2013, but it's a solid read that i'm not sorry i took on.

    the narrator was awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 12-16-13
    Stephanie ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 12-16-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic Book, Uneven Narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Americanah the most enjoyable?

    Adjoa Andoh's Nigerian accent (presumably accurate, though how would I know?). I loved hearing the Igbo spoken aloud.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ifemelu, of course. She is spirited, judgmental, warm, impulsive, and real.


    What aspect of Adjoa Andoh’s performance would you have changed?

    I'd recommend she work on her American accent. We don't all sound like Fran Drescher nursing a head cold. (And "Maryland" is not pronounced "Merry-land.")


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Almost. I did have to take a break from the audiobook during long sections of dialogue because of the American accent thing. Luckily I had the paper book on hand, so I could read some of those portions rather than listen to them.


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful book about race, class, Nigeria, America, academia, immigration, and hair.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 08-04-13
    Laura 08-04-13 Member Since 2012

    An active 50-plus year old woman living her life. I enjoy the great outdoors, concerts, working out, dancing, and listening to all kinds of audio books. I prefer to listen then read, this way I can do two things at once.

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    "A very awesome book from start to finish!!!"
    Would you listen to Americanah again? Why?

    YES YES YES


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Americanah?

    Here talking about Nigeria, in Loas. This is the best Africian read.


    Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't but will be looking for more of her books.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mudiwa Stone Mountain, GA, United States 07-19-13
    Mudiwa Stone Mountain, GA, United States 07-19-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Honest"
    What did you love best about Americanah?

    Adichie is such an powerful voice. Americanah was lite but powerfully honest about race, culture, and relationships. It is one of those books you hate to finish. Adichie is a keen observer of this human experience, especially for people of African descent. I thank her for brilliantly putting it into such a wonderful story. The performance by Adjoa Andoh was great. Loved it!!!!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clio 07-17-13
    Clio 07-17-13
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    "Adichie + Andoh = Pure Pleasure"
    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant writer matched with my favorite Audible reader. I wish Audible had someone like Andoh for its South Asian selection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Sydney, Australia 07-06-13
    Lynne Sydney, Australia 07-06-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Broad, deep and compelling"
    Would you listen to Americanah again? Why?

    I would love to. Adichie's extraordinarily rich language, so beautifully and poetically read by Adjoa Andoh. A story that crosses continents and cultures with insight, sensitivity and startling authenticity.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved them all.


    Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I wish I was more attracted to the McCall Smith detective series, because Andoh's interpretation would be the tipping point. I could listen to her all day.


    If you could take any character from Americanah out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ifem. I identified with her immigrant's search for home.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ijeoma ikoyi, Nigeria 06-08-13
    ijeoma ikoyi, Nigeria 06-08-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Adichie has done it again!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Americanah to be better than the print version?

    NOT REALLY. ITS JUST MORE CONVENIENT


    What did you like best about this story?

    It painted an authentic and very vivid picture of the characters and the time periods in which the story was set


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes
    it did but I'm disappointed in the narrator's portrayal of a Nigerian accent. She didn't get it. She sounded east African and all the Nigerian names were pronounced wrong. That sort of compromised the experience for me but the storyline made up to it big time. The publisher should look into that


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 05-29-13
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 05-29-13
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    "An amazingly perceptive piece of writing"
    What made the experience of listening to Americanah the most enjoyable?

    1. The narration - so beautifully read in so many voices - and everyone of them sounding so authentic
    2. the story itself was a 'cannot put down'
    3. the way it made me feel uncomfortable, angry embarrassed and challenged - yet told without seeming accusatory.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the challenge of listening to and reacting to how it is for other races living in a country where bigotry and prejudice are so deep seated - both subversive and overt


    Which character – as performed by Adjoa Andoh – was your favorite?

    Ifemelu


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    many many moments!


    Any additional comments?

    this should be a must read for everyone

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Mr. M. Curtis
    Bristol UK
    10/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must really start listening to my wife..."

    My wife recommended this to me and I'm glad she did.

    This is as insightful as you get and really refreshing on the whole notion of home and belonging. I have a mixed race or as I prefer multicultural and rich family and have wrestled with some of the issues in the book myself. The story isn't straight forward and approaches the subject in a beautifully insightful way...

    Not really for the dipper though you need to stay with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs W.
    9/27/14
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    "An all-enveloping story"
    What did you like most about Americanah?

    It made me think about my experiences living abroad despite the experiences referred to by the author being quite different.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wendy
    Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    9/24/14
    Overall
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    "A fantastic listen"
    If you could sum up Americanah in three words, what would they be?

    Complex. Educational. Wonderful.


    What other book might you compare Americanah to, and why?

    I can't think of another book like it that I have read - the only criterion on which I could base a comparison would be character. Her characters are so rounded and believable - every single one, however minor. The only other book I have ever felt this about to the same extent was On Beauty, by Zadie Smith.


    What does Adjoa Andoh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I see in other reviews that other people have said she didn't get some of the accents right - I would have about as much of a clue about that as Dick Van Dyke did about his cockney accent in Mary Poppins! For me, however, the narration was perfect - Adjoa Andoh has an incredibly versatile range and a lovely voice; her characterisations complemented the writing and brought the story and people to life for me in a way I wouldn't have been able to if I'd read it on paper.


    Any additional comments?

    As well as being entertained by a fabulous plot and cast of characters, I was lifted out of myself and put in a completely different pair of shoes to my own. An eye-opening experience that pulled me up several times and made me look hard and critically at myself and society. I'm really glad I bought Americanah. This is a book I will revisit again and again and I would recommend it highly to anyone as a 'must read'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lorraine
    8/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Narration of a great book"
    Where does Americanah rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The audio book concept is great, and beats bending at angles to read paper books on a packed train. Americanah has been impressively written and narrated. This book is certainly in the top 5 of the audio books I have purchased so far


    What did you like best about this story?

    I think the Narration was fantastic: Adjoa has done an excellent narration of all the characters in the book, and changed accents to match : it made the story jump into your mind and imagination: Great Job!!!!


    Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Yes: This propelled me to listen to additional books she has narrated including Purple hibiscus and Ghana must go. They were also impressive.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes....pure and simple.


    Any additional comments?

    Great job also Chimamanda : Excellent examination of post colonial immigration and the issue of a human right to an opportunity to be the best one can be. So much promise and yet so much problems: I look forward to more great work: Stay blessed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helga Mueller
    8/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books I have read in a long while."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Americanah to be better than the print version?

    For me the audio worked really well


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Americanah?

    The issue of race.


    What does Adjoa Andoh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The narrator captured the various characters beautifully.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Don't know, not expert enough.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • dippydoormouse
    8/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb example of why Audible works"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes because its contemporary and offers you insight into the urban elite of Lagos through the eyes of a woman returning from the US. The use of the blog within the novel works well and links the two separate lives of the heroine and her observations and commentary on life both in the US and after returning to Lagos.


    What about Adjoa Andoh’s performance did you like?

    This book readily adapts itself to an audible experience because so much of it is about language, and how we use it and Andoh's reading is exceptional because as a Nigerian she understands and conveys the music of spoken language and bought a new and exciting dimension to the novel.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither were high on my radar!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Merry
    lyme regis, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An amazing story of an African woman"
    What made the experience of listening to Americanah the most enjoyable?

    Beautifully read the characters come alive


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character is wonderfully presented and totally human


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The hairdressers salon, all the characters are from real life


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A woman's story


    Any additional comments?

    The enjoyment of this book was the writing , it was almost delicate

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    6/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful narrator!"
    Where does Americanah rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a really easy-going story - a fairly predictable, but satisfying, narrative arc. Some really engaging characters. The 'blog' sections were mildly irritating and I don't think the writer needed to include these - her discussion of the finer nuances of skin colour and ethnicity was played out well enough by the different characters and their conversations.


    What does Adjoa Andoh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Adjoa Andoh really is the reason I'm writing this review. Her voice acting is superb - really, a pleasure to listen to. I'm not quite sure how she managed to retain all those different shades of accent and bring them out so convincingly - it really did sound like a wide cast of characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wouldn't have listened to this all in one sitting. I found some of the discussions amongst Blaine's circle of friends and the blog sections slowed the pace a little. But it really was a delight to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Devra
    5/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story and fantastic narration"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this - the characters, the insight into life in Nigeria and as emigrants - couldn't stop listening. The narration was superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ama
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Holding a Mirror to ourselves"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book, because it holds up an a mirror to Britain as a chilly ex-Mother country, To the USA as a land of shiny dreams that fade upon exploration.


    What other book might you compare Americanah to, and why?

    Unfortunately its not readily compared with any other in literature. It reminds me of "my beautiful laundrette. How unbearable being an immigrant can be. The uneasy compromises we make if we want to rise in this world.


    Which character – as performed by Adjoa Andoh – was your favourite?

    The sobbing hairdresser, that role was full of sadness. It was almost non verbal.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it's something that needs spacing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 27 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

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