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
"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)
I work at a small college. I like humorous books and books where the main character triumphs. I do not like religious books or mysteries.
I loved this book. The story is very compelling and the reader does a wonderful job of bringing life to the characters.
No, this is the first time I have listened to any of Adjoa Andoh's performances.
I liked breaking this up into smaller sessions, so that I can enjoy it in small doses.
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.
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.
i like to read. i like to listen.
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.
Adjoa Andoh's Nigerian accent (presumably accurate, though how would I know?). I loved hearing the Igbo spoken aloud.
Ifemelu, of course. She is spirited, judgmental, warm, impulsive, and real.
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.")
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.
A wonderful book about race, class, Nigeria, America, academia, immigration, and hair.
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.
YES YES YES
Here talking about Nigeria, in Loas. This is the best Africian read.
No I haven't but will be looking for more of her books.
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!!!!!!
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.
I loved them all.
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.
Ifem. I identified with her immigrant's search for home.
NOT REALLY. ITS JUST MORE CONVENIENT
It painted an authentic and very vivid picture of the characters and the time periods in which the story was set
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
Loved the story, such an insight into life, relationships and race in Nigeria vs America. But particularly impressed by Adjoa Andoh, whose narration is always spot on.
"If only it had been shorter!"
The parts of the story set in Nigeria are really engaging and interesting, but the dominant section in the USA is far too long and the plot is a thin vehicle for the author's preoccupations. The English section cliched. It takes considerable commitment to soldier through to the end despite the wholly excellent narrator, who is the real star of the story.
"Worth every second!"
A wonderful and articulately observed insight into the personal experiences of immigrant and expat life and so much more. A great example of where the narration gives an experience of the book that I would not have had reading it. The various accents and versatility of the narrator is superbly matched to the imagination of the author.
An engaging and personal performance!
In short, if you are reading this review and wondering whether to listen to this book - go for it! (It is also a perfect gift for the traditionalist doubters who question the power of the audiobook experience.)
"Was a fan of the author, now love the narrator to!"
I have read the other novels by Chinamanda Ngozi but the narrotor brought this book to life so much that I want to listen to the audio books of the books I've already read! She made lines I'm certain I would have read and not found funny hilarious and gave every character a subtle differnence in their voice. If I was to give her one critisism, it would eb that her American accent is a bit whiney.
"Why didn't they use a narrator from Zimbabwe?"
Same ol' same ol'.
I am perhaps just tired of this type of romanticized portrayal of life in sub-Saharan Africa.
Another major prize winner or nominee.
Her accent was awful.
Nope. Sorry. I couldn't listen to more than a few chapters so perhaps there were redeeming plot turns later on.
"Audiobook enhanced my experience of this book."
This wasn't a book I would probably have chosen myself, but it was my Book Club choice so I went ahead and read/listed to it.
It was a book I felt I learnt a lot from, and was pleased I had read afterwards.
The insight into Nigerian culture, and the experience of a black woman moving to the US in her twenties was fascinating and insightful. It raised all sorts of issues I had never really considered before - the issue of the politics and social norms about hair being just one example.
There are clearly autobiographical elements of this book, which means that the author provides first-hand experience and insight into her writing.
The narration in a Nigerian accent added to my enjoyment of this book - helped me to understand and 'get into the head' of the main character.
Rich story, fabulous narration. Poignant, touching. I want to read / listen to more from Adichie.
"Not very gripping"
No. Took a while to get into. The narration was difficult to understand at times. This book is not for everyone. But I can understand why it got great reviews.
"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.
"A fantastic listen"
Complex. Educational. Wonderful.
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.
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.
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'.
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