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Americanah | [Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie]

Americanah

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Publisher's Summary

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

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

4.5 (375 )
5 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (350 )
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Story
4.6 (344 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (13)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Anna-Bo-Banana Rocky Mountains 04-28-14
    Anna-Bo-Banana Rocky Mountains 04-28-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty"
    Where does Americanah rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I heard an author's interview on NPR about this book, and I immediately knew I wanted to read it. I downloaded the Audible version, and was delighted immediately by the narration by Adjoa Andoh. The book carried me into the romance of a young couple who are separated by circumstance and opportunity, and are later reunited by chance and perhaps the inevitability of returning "home". What made me love this book is the main character, Ifamelu, an academician, a romantic (at heart) but also a realist. While experiencing life in America, Ifamelu challenges what other Americans, and Black Americans especially think about "Black women" and "Africans" generally. I loved her fictional blog, Raceteenth, and I wish it were real frankly. Her biting and acid criticism of race and perceptions of race among minorities was thought provoking, funny, and at times stunning. The main character's romances, her sexuality, and her reflection on love and companionship weaved together with the academic side of Ifamelu in a way that had me laughing and crying, and ultimately sad the book had to come to an end. I would liken reading Americanah to reading one my of other favorite novels, "Face of an Angel," by Denise Chavez. The intimacy you feel with the characters is unmatched, and when a book has you blushing about things you rarely will acknowledge, much less articulate to another, you know you have something special. Finally, I can't emphasize what a great narrator Andjoa Andoh is. About 80% of the books I listen to on Audible have boring or flat narrators, and so this narrator set Americanah on audio apart. The narrator took time to change her tone of voice, add inflection to separate the "sound" of characters male and female, American and non-American accented English, and to create a world of many different characters. I loved it, and I hope you will too. I look forward to more from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


    What other book might you compare Americanah to and why?

    Face of Angel by Denise Chavez. This novel and Americanah have a lot of depth, and elve into intimacies that are sometimes uncomfortable, but necessary to understand the whole person.


    What about Adjoa Andoh’s performance did you like?

    She adjusted her voice to embody each character, and that was my favorite thing. She brought the characters to life, and her inflection carried the passion that I felt between the lovers in the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A yearning for home, an adventure apart


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Oakland, CA, United States 03-16-14
    Marilyn Oakland, CA, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Love this love story!"

    And it's so much more than a love story. Very intelligent, lyrical and insightful book about race relations and personal relations both within and without the United States. The Narrator was simply outstanding! Highly recommended.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    New Orleans reader New Orleans LA 04-05-14
    New Orleans reader New Orleans LA 04-05-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Narrator enhanced this book tremendously."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Americanah to be better than the print version?

    The narrator brought alive the Americanah experience in a direct way that the written page would not have. She literally gave voice to the characters that enriched the narrative for me.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary D. Halvorson eugene 06-22-14
    Gary D. Halvorson eugene 06-22-14 Member Since 2014

    janhal

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is not a novel but a series of essays"
    Would you try another book from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and/or Adjoa Andoh?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another book from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Why or why not?

    Words are chosen well and sentences were crafted. The book provided some interesting characters but many characters were created and discarded just to provide a point of view at a dinner party. It became hard to be interested in new characters as they were only devices to push a certain perspective. Overly long and the sweet kernel of the central story became lost.


    What about Adjoa Andoh’s performance did you like?

    Excellent at providing different voices to the whole long cast of characters.


    Do you think Americanah needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, this one went on too long.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Chatham, NJ, United States 04-06-14
    Cynthia Chatham, NJ, United States 04-06-14 Member Since 2011

    cwp501

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    "couldn't listen to the narrator"

    I loved "Half a Yellow Sun" and was really looking forward to listening to "Americanah", but the narrator's different voices (particularly the American ones) were so screeching and nasally that I had to stop listening.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dea Win 09-01-14
    Dea Win 09-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A Great READ!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A refreshing read that brings another culture to LIFE. I had never given much thought to Lagos, foreign students, or life outside of my experience. I can't wait to read the other stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan 08-21-14
    Joan 08-21-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Engaging, humorous story; Irritating narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I highly recommend as a visual but not an audio read. The narrator does a fine job when the story is in the 3rd person or when she is speaking as the protagonist, but all her male and other-female characters sound like pre-adolescent boys. After so many hours of cringing when the narrator "turned male", I downloaded the e-book to enjoy the remainder of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 08-18-14
    KP Oakland, CA 08-18-14 Member Since 2006

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didactic to a fault!"

    This was a beautifully written book, and I enjoyed the story. The author’s keen insights into issues of immigration and race and what it means to be black in America AND in Africa were really interesting. It was particularly interesting to read about Nigeria from the viewpoint of some very well educated people. The main problem I had with the book is that it was too didactic. The author was critical of whites, critical of blacks - Nigerians, and Americans. That’s ok, and a lot of it was interesting, BUT it just went on too long. All of the preaching bogged the book down. Much of it could have been edited out, and the powerful main points would still have had as much or more impact.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Burke Houston, TX 08-10-14
    F. Burke Houston, TX 08-10-14 Member Since 2013

    fib

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    "An excellent Immigrants tale"
    If you could take any character from Americanah out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would love the take Ifemelu to dinner. She's fascinating.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fascinating look at race relations in the us and the immigrant experience here and in Britain. Its also a great glimpse into Nigerian culture. Andoh does a lovely job bringing Ifemelu to life, and I felt totally ensconced in her world when listening to Andoh's narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sunny Everson Boston, MA 08-06-14
    Sunny Everson Boston, MA 08-06-14 Member Since 2011

    Diva

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought Provoking and Entertaining!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It gives great insight on the life of Blacks in America and introduced us to characteristics and the lives of some non-American blacks in the form of a fictional novel, but with actual truth. And in the end, it is also a love story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Americanah?

    When the protagonist and her true love reunited.


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

    This is my first time, but will certainly look for her on other audiobooks.


    If you could rename Americanah, what would you call it?

    Americanah is the perfect title.


    Any additional comments?

    This was another audiobook that I sailed through because it is so interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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