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
“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)
There were so many characters, different locations and switches between times that I really didn't get it until about half way through. The story and narration was beautiful, I probably needed to listen with fewer distractions.
I really liked this book until the end, which for me was inconclusive. I felt too many of the lives in which I was so engrossed throughout the book were left in limbo. I still liked the book a lot, just felt a little let down by the conclusion. It seems a book should not have to end with the words "The End."
I also felt sometimes the switching back and forth in time was confusing. Other than that, I enjoyed the book very much. I read mainly for entertainment, but when I can learn something at the same time, it's a big bonus, which this was. The narrator was wonderful, switching between characters smoothly. Her male voices were entirely believable. Her performance made me think I enjoyed this audio version better than I would the printed version. The characters were so vividly portrayed that I had to be emotionally involved.
All in all, a very engrossing and informative listen.
Pros: Great novel
Cons: A bit of annoyance that the narrator cannot pronounce Igbo language and names correctly - and it is not dialect, its just wrong. She does read English very well.
Learn how to pronounce the Igbo words correctly
Magnificent, Timely, and Educational!!!
Kinana fierce, strong woman, was a favorite character, a person born into wealth who stayed with her people when she could have ran like many did.
Ugwu he was an innocent who turned into a soul haunted by his evil deeds.
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.
This novel is intriguing, powerful, and descriptive.
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)
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.
I would dine with Kainene, as she is probably the most mysterious and complex character.
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.
No. I enjoy listening to books and this story is very well suited for story-telling, but the narrration bothered me.
It gave a clear, sober and compelling insight into a time, a place and the lives of a family. Moving, intelligent, beatiful.
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.
Both. Though thankfully the author carefully navigated the emotionally immensity that was the Biafran war and avoids cheapening the seriousness of it.
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