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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 (231 )
5 star
 (141)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (212 )
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3 star
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Story
4.7 (211 )
5 star
 (157)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Anna-Bo-Banana Rocky Mountains 04-28-14
    Anna-Bo-Banana Rocky Mountains 04-28-14 Member Since 2013
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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


    4 of 4 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
  •  
    Cheryl United States 06-12-14
    Cheryl United States 06-12-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Americanah the most enjoyable?

    Andichie's characters are well developed and believable. I found myself alternately identifying with Ifemelu and marveling at her bold sense of self that, while strong from the outset, develops further throughout the novel. I, too, fell in love with the Obinze's gentle, intelligent, upstanding character. Even minor characters are believable. Andichie is a master of using subtle description to give the reader a clear picture of the people in her story.

    More importantly, I gained insights into the experiences of both Non-American and American Blacks that I would never have known. Through her characters Andichie made me experience the senseless pain of prejudice without being didactic. I learned things about America that I could never fully know as a white person, and I saw a version of Nigeria that is very different than what I had expected - my only knowledge of that country comes from the American media which portrays it as a dangerous, immoral, unstable place. I also enjoyed looking at American culture through the eyes of a non-American. I thought Andichie's "criticisms" of both American and African culture were well observed, valid in the case of the US, and occasionally funny.

    I loved Andoh's voice when she spoke with a Nigerian accent. However, her imitations of Americans grated on me. I am irritated by verbal crutches such as the word "like", or the way many young people make statements into questions, which comes through in the writing, but Andoh voiced the American characters with a nasal twang that annoyed me. Additionally, there were some American place names, Maryland for example, that were mispronounced, and I found this disruptive to the narrative.

    Before I end I want to add that I thought Adichie's use of language was beautiful. There were times during my listen where I was staggered by her lovely, yet subtle, use of metaphor. Her writing is gorgeous: clear and unselfconscious.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Obinze because I liked him so much. I would love to have him for a friend.


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

    Ifemelu. I love the way Nigerians say, Uh uh, with the first uh on a higher note than the second.


    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
  •  
    Paulina Johnson Cincinnati, ohio United States 07-10-14
    Paulina Johnson Cincinnati, ohio United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing performance by Adjoa Andoh"
    If you could sum up Americanah in three words, what would they be?

    Love the story full of feelings and human struggles. Showing how people from unprivileged countries try to make life for themselves and seek a sense of freedom. I loved the perspective on immigration. It helped me to understand my own experienced and feelings I had in my own immigration journey.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found the part about immigration experiences so well captured. I have been an immigrant myself coming from a different continent but I could relate to some many things. Love the fact that it showed the experiences in the US as well in Great Britain.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite was the scene of Ifemelu speaking out her mind at church to Sister Ibinabo.


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

    It most moving moments was when Obinze was in England and was caught before getting married.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm so glad I bought this book as audio book. Adjoa Andoh (the narrator) has an amazing skill of creating many personas with her voice. Timing and accents she used in her performance. She added another layer of reality to the story I could have not imagined if I would have just read the book. I'm absolutely in love with this narration! Amazing. I will not only love to read more of the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books but I'm definetly looking for books narrated by Adjoa Andoh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Keefe 05-24-14
    Jill Keefe 05-24-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Funny & smart"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a terrific book to listen to - the narration was excellent - made the characters come alive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan evanston, il, United States 04-26-14
    alan evanston, il, United States 04-26-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Thought-provoking and honest"
    What made the experience of listening to Americanah the most enjoyable?

    There are certain phrases and inflections that one needs to hear rather than read to appreciate as thoroughly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It made one more aware of the things we say without thinking about the perspective of the listener.


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

    Authentic inflections with respect to people speaking English who come from Nigeria.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Adjoa Andoh did an excellent job-one criticism though is that she found 3-4 voices that she repeatedly used for multiple characters that by the end seemed tiresome and unoriginal-that is a voice you heard for one character early in the book was then used again for other characters who came later.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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