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Description

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

Critiques

"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)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Notations

Global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    10
  • 4 étoiles
    5
  • 3 étoiles
    0
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  • 1 étoile
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    10
  • 4 étoiles
    3
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    0

Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    9
  • 4 étoiles
    3
  • 3 étoiles
    1
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    0
Trier par :
  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, wonderfull performance

Ecouteriez-vous à nouveau ce titre ? Pourquoi ?

Still not sure if I would have liked the book as much if I've read it on paper format.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bruce SW
  • 28/08/2013

Provocative and occasionally maddening

I found this novel fun and memorable, sharing many of the traits of its principal character Ifemelu. She's an engaging but highly flawed person who seems to pass her days judging the people around her, telling folks she’s only just met about their own experiences, even saying “That’s a lie” to someone she disagrees with. Yet she cannot bear that other people should occasionally judge her. She thinks she sees The World As It Truly Is, while everyone else merely grasps at shadows, bound up in their own biases and limited perspectives. She perceives racism everywhere around her--except in Nigeria where, we learn, there’s no racism, merely “prejudice.” She begrudges other people their privileges while blind to her own.

Ifemelu spends much of her time casting a disapproving eye at others—Malian hair braiders, white American carpet cleaners, Haitian poets, Asian beauty parlor managers, white American girls with cornrows, francophone Africans, crass fellow Nigerians, Black American activists, and anyone more honest than herself. Reading the Ifemelu chapters I began to feel swamped by a gentle but persistent tide of negativity. Where was the beauty in humanity? Where was the love?

But the love was there for Obinze, Ifemelu's romantic foil, who as a character is less contradictory and less fully formed than she. He is primarily a site for desire (namely the desire to emigrate to America), and someone to whom unfortunate things happen. The novel's American characters, irrespective of their race, struck me as entitled, child-like, and conspicuously unaware of themselves, while its protagonists Ifemelu and Obinze seem to have keen senses of who they are and what they want.

As for the audio performance, narrating "Americanah" could only be a huge challenge given its characters' array of accents—Nigerian, British, and American, of course, but also French, Ethiopian, Angolan, Malian, Kenyan, etc. Anglo-Ghanaian actress Adjoah Andoh performs Adichie’s third-person narration in a clipped, upper class British accent such as one hears on the BBC. Her rendering of Nigerian and British characters’ accents sounds, to my American ear, convincing and delightfully varied, but the dialect she uses for the novel’s American characters (male or female, black or white) is monochromatic and nasal, such that most Americans (and even Nigerians who've spent time in America) come off sounding like Fran Drescher. Whether or not this was intentional, it lessened my listening enjoyment. While Ms. Andoh's mispronunciations were occasionally amusing-- someone please teach her how to say “Potomac, Maryland”!--they were also frequently distracting.

Reading and listening to this story had me at turns intrigued, impressed, frustrated and bemused. Yet weeks after finishing it, I find myself often thinking back on these characters and their observations, and sometimes second-guessing my own beliefs and behaviors. I can say that, as a direct result of reading "Americanah," I have sworn off eating ice cream cones in public: Ifemelu wouldn't approve. And, as a direct result of listening to Ms. Andoh's narration, I'm considering pronouncing the "t" in the word "often."

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lorraine
  • 17/01/2014

The best book bar none!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have been a member of Audible since 2006 and hence listened to hundreds of books. I must confess however, I am a selfish listener because this is my first written review. I am compelled to write a review on this book for the following reasons ...
The Writing: This book has got to be some of the best writing I have had the privilege of listening to. I am lulled by the wonderful use of the authors beautiful construction of words and how they flow. The Story: I am more than two thirds through this book (regrettably) and I have not been absorbed since the very beginning - I want to drink in this beautiful amazing story which covers culture, life, love and humor. The combination of the wonderful literature and the story itself, sewn together so flawlessly make it the BEST listen EVER. Last but CERTAINLY not least - the Narrator, OMG, the Narrator! she is the master of all masters! Again, I have not heard anybody that comes close! there was not one accent that she did not ace in sound and pronunciation - who exactly is she - if not magnificent!! I have heard GREAT narrators on audible such as Frank Muller and George Guidall - Giants, but this woman, she is in a class all of their own. Thank you Audible for this one - Thank you SO MUCH!!

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chrissie
  • 09/06/2013

Two themes - love and race

There are two central themes to this book; it is both a love story and an in-depth look at what it is to be black, today, in America and in Nigeria. It also looks at how it is to be young in today’s world – a world of computers and cellphones and blogs and, on a more general level, how people interrelate with each other.

Different readers will be drawn to different aspects of the novel. The love story did not draw me in. It begins with a “coming of age” attraction between two teenagers in Lagos, Nigeria. The story goes full circle and ends on the same note, back in Nigeria and back with these two, Obinze and Ifemelu. Will they find each other at the end? And if they do, at what cost to others? That this aspect of the novel did not attract me is not to say that it was poorly written, but only that my interests lay elsewhere, given my particular past experiences and age.

What did interest me is Adichie’s penetration of race, racial bigotry and inequality. Obinze and Ifemelu are separated. Ifemelu goes to the America with her aunt, but after 9/11 Obinze cannot get into America and immigrates to London. Political turmoil in Nigeria and the impossibility of getting a good education at home is what forces both abroad. Both experience how it is to be without family in a foreign country as an immigrant, Obinze an illegal immigrant. Ifemelu learns what it is to be an African Black in North America. Both flounder. The central themes remain love relationships and race.

As with all books it is the reader’s own experiences that influence how one perceives a book’s content. How do I compare my own immigrant experiences with those portrayed in the novel and why are they different? To what extent are blacks discriminated against in the US today in comparison to Europe? I look with admiration at the US and think how wonderful it is that Obama, a black could become president. That does say something, no matter how you twist or turn it. That Adichie isn’t satisfied, that she reveals to me, a non-black, the inequalities that still remain is only admirable. Through her characters you come to understand on a ground level the inequalities that remain. You understand on a personal level. One example: in all the women’s magazines there are article after article about what eye shadow works best for brown our blue or green eyes, but what if you have black eyes? There are full discussions of what to do with straight, wavy or curly hair, but where is there help for kinky hair? Yeah, there STILL isn’t total equality, total acceptance of all our differences. I like that the book made me more aware of what is to be black on a daily basis. There is also the difference of being a Black-American and the difference of being a Non-American Black. Being colored, Hispanic versus African versus Asian, are all different. A Black-American lives with the baggage of historical discrimination in the US.

Narration of the audiobook by Adjoa Andoh is excellent, albeit a bit difficult for those, like me, who are not accustomed to the many different black accents. I had to listen carefully. I am glad I had a chance to do this through this audiobook.

I believe how you will react to this book will be determined by the theme that most draws your attention. You may be enthralled by the love story or like me just interested in current racial and immigrant injustices.

6 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Justyna
  • 03/09/2017

Love this book

Showing the many layers of the life we can have if we are willing and open to it. Inteligent and deep.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Maj-Britt
  • 05/07/2017

Greatly performed!

I loved everything about this novel, the storyline, the social criticism, everything but the thing I loved the most was the performance of the reader and her ability to switch from one variety of English to the other, and adding even more to the experience of reading this great piece of literature!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rio Delta Wild
  • 31/01/2014

Great story-line, black/black/white culture.

What did you love best about Americanah?

I love the Nigerian dialect and depths of discussion about different social structures.

What did you like best about this story?

Believable characters and very believable settings.

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

The two main characters were my favorites; I can't remember how to spell their names, having listened to the book rather than reading it!

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

I believe my reaction was a better understanding of Nigerian culture and "Africahn" migration to "white" countries.

Any additional comments?

The blog post streams were excellent.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Molly-o
  • 19/01/2014

So, so good

A particularly telling standard I have for if a book is good is if I listen to it as I am walking the 5 minutes -- not half hour, but 5 minutes -- to my office from where I park which I did throughout my read of this one. It definitely interrupted my life - the two strands of the love story and the commentary on race in America and in Nigeria kept me glued to the book in many unusual situations. I walked more as I read this book and I listened whenever I could and still be responsible. It is beautifully written, the characters are plucky and memorable and the story is very clever. Perhaps most important, it will shake your beliefs around a bit - and when is that not a good thing? The New York Times was right in naming this one of the year's ten best!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vanessa
  • 15/01/2014

Amazing story that came to life by the Reader

If you could sum up Americanah in three words, what would they be?

brilliant, touching, though-provoking

What other book might you compare Americanah to and why?

I really can't think of another book that captures humor and love while addressing important issues of race and immigration.

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

The reader has so many different voices and accents and she brings the personalities of the characters to life. I've listened to many books on tape and rarely does a reader create such a vivid distinction between characters. I had started reading the story on my own, and the protagonist was harsher in my mind. However, the reader's voice softened her for me and created a new image of her that I enjoyed.

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

Yes - Obinze's struggle in London was especially touching for me.

Any additional comments?

This is one of my favorite books that I've ever read or listened to.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dreamer
  • 23/06/2018

I knew it would be good, and yet...

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a genius. She is perhaps the greatest gift life ever gave me. I love her writing, her complex characters, their diverse experiences, and the fact that I can never tell what the next chapter holds, let alone the end.

All in all, this was a wondrous book!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ana Cester
  • 23/02/2018

When audiobooks beat regular reading

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A little more than a year ago I started using Audible to listen to audiobooks. At first I had some prejudice because I thought it was a "lazy" type of reading. But fullfilling McLuhan's profecy I have to admit it's just a different one, and I got quickly used to it. Audiobooks make allowed me to access more than 25 books last year, the perfect commuting companionship. I got attached to some narrators. Some others added a piece of dramaticity that I wouldnt' do myself. I'm still confused when I say that I'm "reading" a book. Should I say "listen"? But that segways the conversation and usually my interest is about the book, so I keep saying reading. But there is one that I'm... yes, listening. "Americanah", from Chimananda Ngozi. A lot of the caracters are nigerian and the narrators replicate the accent. I could never read the book by myself having access to this part of the culture, and it's so beautiful. So, for this point, the listening becomes superior to the reading.

Regarding the storyline, every other chapter I learn more about a harsh experience of being introduced to another culture, a reality that I couldn't even imagine about origins, race, chauvinism, prejudices for all likes. The experience she shares is a tough one, only made smoother considering the softness of the metaphors and a very sensible reading of what the american lifestyleand values are, according to other culture's eyes. The insights are rich and they often invite for some thinking afterwards. And also I'm happy to learn more about Nigerian culture and values, I didn't have much experience with african authors (Mia Couto being my main reference so far) and I'm happy to be able to touch cultures that are not usually displayed at bookshops shelves.

Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beate
  • 25/08/2014

herausragende Sprecherin

Ein wundervolles Buch, gelesen von einer sprachgewaltigen Sprecherin, die alle Akzente und Sprachschattierungen einzigartig beherrscht. Es ist ein purer Genuss, dies Buch zu hören, statt es nur zu lesen.

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mia
  • 03/05/2015

Best Audio Book I've ever heard!

This story and the reader's incredible talent have blown me off my feet! Just loved it! Highly recommended! :)

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Krümel
  • 14/07/2016

sehr empfehlenswert

tolle sprecherin und ein hochspannender aber nicht minder kurzweiliger roman den ich schon lange auf meiner shortlist hatte.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rosmarie
  • 06/11/2016

amazing

Apart from the very touching, interesting and sometimes very funny story, the speaker, Adjoa Andover, was absolutely amazing!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Franziska M.
  • 29/01/2015

Awesome Story awesome speaker !

Wonderful Story, a Must read! THE speaker is outstanding, her Voice and the ability to use different accents is something so rare! I simply loved it!

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Thiemann
  • 03/08/2017

Wonderful

Both the story and the speaker are excellent. I enjoyed every minute of Americanah - highly recommendable!