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Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel | [Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie]

Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.
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Publisher's Summary

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

©2006 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

“This is a transcendent novel of many descriptive triumphs, most notably its depiction of the impact of war's brutalities on peasants and intellectuals alike. It's a searing history lesson in fictional form, intensely evocative and immensely absorbing.” (Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review)

“Adichie has written an ambitious, astonishing novel that succeeds on all levels.” (Bookmarks Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (439 )
5 star
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Overall
4.4 (388 )
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4.6 (388 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Catherine 11-12-14
    Catherine 11-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Writer, Fascinating Part of the World"

    I love Adichie's writing. Her prose is beautiful--she often has a turn of phrase that makes me stop and say "Wow!" I know very little about Nigeria, and less about the civil war, so learning about that part of the world, and that part of history was very interesting, especially embedded in a compelling storyline with interesting characters. I am a big fan!
    By the way, I have a friend who was concerned that the reader might have an accent that was hard to understand, if they went with a Nigerian, but I had no trouble understanding and enjoyed the flavor that the accent gave to the recording that would be missing by reading the book myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Johnson New York, NY United States 10-09-14
    L. Johnson New York, NY United States 10-09-14 Member Since 2015
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    6
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    "Amazing narration, powerful story"
    If you could sum up Half of a Yellow Sun in three words, what would they be?

    This novel is intriguing, powerful, and descriptive.


    What other book might you compare Half of a Yellow Sun to and why?

    I would compare this book to _There Was a Country_. Both books focus on the same historical event, and have similar writing styles (story-telling)


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

    Miles does an excellent job with the voices and accents of this diverse set of characters; I was very impressed with the easy distinctions she creates between characters, the power in her voice, and her eloquent way of expressing the text.


    If you could take any character from Half of a Yellow Sun out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would dine with Kainene, as she is probably the most mysterious and complex character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    augustine 09-17-14
    augustine 09-17-14
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    "A historical novel about the Biafran Civil War"

    I am old enough to remember the tragedy that was Biafra. Told from an Upper Class perspective, this novel is an excellent historical novel, accurately described with nuanced pathos.

    The narration is superb, although I can't comment on the accuracy of the dialects.

    I gave the novel 4 stars because the relationship between two of the protagonists did not entirely ring true for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gry 08-29-14
    Gry 08-29-14 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    Story
    "Eye-opening and beautiful story of time and place"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Half of a Yellow Sun to be better than the print version?

    No. I enjoy listening to books and this story is very well suited for story-telling, but the narrration bothered me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It gave a clear, sober and compelling insight into a time, a place and the lives of a family. Moving, intelligent, beatiful.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Yes, certainly. I wonder if it is just me, but it bothers me to no end to hear conversations that are supposedly meant to have been conducted entirely in Nigerian rendered in English with an African accent (I can't determine which). Why? Please just read them in English without an accent. They have not been conducted in a language with an accent, but in a perfectly fluent first language.

    Thankfully this is not done with for instance Murakami's books, and I have never heard it in other translated work either. It almost made me stop listening and return the book. It has a weird sort of colonial feel to it - the idea that characters who speak together in Nigerian should speak an impoverished and accented language, as if it was not their first language or as if it is not as sofisticated and full a language as English.


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

    Both. Though thankfully the author carefully navigated the emotionally immensity that was the Biafran war and avoids cheapening the seriousness of it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia 08-22-14
    Cynthia 08-22-14
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    "Excellent book and presentation!"
    Any additional comments?

    I found this book well written, well performed and learned something about which I knew nothing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 02-01-13
    Mary SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2011
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    "CHARACTERS SO REAL THEY SIT ACROSS FROM YOU"

    THE "GONE WITH THE WIND" OF THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE. AN UNFORGETABLE STORY OF CIVIL WAR AND THE STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE AND HOLD ONTO A WAY OF LIFE.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah Silver Spring, MD, United States 10-17-12
    Noah Silver Spring, MD, United States 10-17-12 Member Since 2012
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    "good"
    Where does Half of a Yellow Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I could have handled a more linear storytelling style and the author could have made it better and shorter by eliminating some sub-plots but it was generally really good and I thought that the narration was great. It was also a window into something I knew nothing about (I had to google Biafra).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan H Melchior 10-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautiful story full of rich characters"
    What made the experience of listening to Half of a Yellow Sun the most enjoyable?

    The narrator was wonderful, I loved being told this story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As the critics said, the book is an amazing history lesson told through the lives of characters with great depth. The story remains with me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lisa 09-24-12
    lisa 09-24-12
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    2
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    "Gripping tale of civil war and global indifference"

    Adichie's novel is an achievement: hauntingly beautiful, searing, raw and powerful. The parallel story structure is an effective strategy and makes you feel as though you are listening to more than just one book. The narrator does a good job with a range of accents and allows you to concentrate on the drama (insufficient word, "drama") as it unfolds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanne 09-23-12
    Leanne 09-23-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Fabulous performance! Great characters."

    as with most historical fiction it does at times paint horror. fabulous characterizations by Robin Miles!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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