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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, 2007.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

This highly anticipated novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood. The three main characters in the novel are swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer's house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the third is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna's twin sister, a remote and enigmatic character.

As these people's lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense, about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race - and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

©2006 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic Reviews

"Tender and harrowing by turn you listen with a throat tense with fear, never knowing the outcome of any moment as neighbour turns on neighbour and the smell of death fills the air. Adjoa Andoh reads it to perfection - every character given a voice, a life, that sings out in a dozen perfectly held accents, from the village Igbo to English received pronunciation." ( The Express)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great writing, very well read

Absorbing characters and story and very well written. My only criticism would be the broken narrative of the text, which I thought was unnecessary.

The narration of the audiobook was fantastic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant writer, thoroughly enjoyed

Liked the narrative of the Biafra war. Also enjoyed the different relationships and dynamics of them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Nigeria & Biafra

I learnt many things about the Biafra war & famine through this poetic story of 2 sisters divided by war. It is ugly& harsh in places, as war is. Overall though there is hope in humanity.
The melodious voice of the narrator is the best I have ever heard. She changes effortlessly from English to Nigerian & Biafran idiom. Highly recommended book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting

The subject matter was really interesting and characters understandable despite there flaws in a desperate time. I didn't find the shifting timeline beneficial to the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Shame it is an abridged version.

Too many different accents were attempted to the detriment of clarity of diction and pronunciation.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • 01-02-2015

Great story

Great story. I didn't even know anything about Biafra ever existing. I love all of chimamanda ngozis Adichies books and the narrator was good too. Definitely recommend

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 27-11-2007

The reader brings this story to life

We all know of 'Biafra' but this story makes one live the sad drama that made rich men poor and poor men dead. The reader brings to life the language of the people, one of my most memorable 'audible books' of the last 6 years.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aleksandra
  • 30-05-2011

Vibrant, deeply touching and compassionate

Its a story of a beautiful troubled land populated with fully fledged and fascinating characters. The people you will meet in this story are alive and you will follow their lives with intense interest. But the situation and the world they are immersed in are real. Real tragedies, real heroism, real struggle for freedom and peace, real faith and disillusion, real love and compassion, real sacrifice, real brutality and real raw war. Your guide in this world will be intimate and sensual details: colours, food, body language, clothes, family dynamics, glimpses of landscape, fragments of poems, personal experience, individual tragedies. It is the best book I have heard this year so far and one of the best ever.
It is brilliantly read by Adjoa Adoh who acted out the multidude of characters, accents and moods with her beautifull voice.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miko
  • 25-08-2012

Lovely. Shame it's abridged.

An intriguing story, beautifully written and narrated. I bought and downloaded it before realising it was an abridged version (relatively new to Audible) and would have returned it if possible, but in hindsight I'm glad things worked out this way.

Recommend this as a thought-provoking and absorbing listen. I expect that, given some time, I'll also read the book so that I can experience the story in its entirety and take the time to savour the language.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 22-01-2008

Fantastic book, fantastic narrator

I bought this book on Audible as it was the January choice of a book club I attend. This isn't the sort of book I'd choose and the historical theme would have put me off if I'd seen it in a bookshop. However, I can't recommend it enough - the narrator is fantastic, and really brings a warmth and charm to the story, which is very much a 'human' story in amongst a tale of Nigeria & Biafra's war in the 1960's. Not too long, always compelling - really really good! Download NOW!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marianna
  • 09-11-2012

Brilliant

I really like the author - her literary style, her charisma, thoughfullness and strong, memorable messages. This is one of her best books I thought and could not agree more with previous reviewers - definitely worth the listen!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Welsh Mafia
  • 28-06-2008

Memories of a new world

The best things in life are those that you have to work hard for...this is a book that I struggled with at first glance but once the intial ground was covered then the narrative took hold and its rich source of new perspectives, information, approaches and language became a real pleasure. Authentic voices don't compromise - the reader feels 'changed' in the act of understanding and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's gain is that the narrative and its characters are delivered on her Nigerian terms.
A welcome new voice - in these days of troubled oil and troubled waters off West Africa its really good to get the inside story. Well recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Solomon
  • 03-08-2018

What a shining star . Thank you sis.

One of the best and unapologetically pragmatic book. Very didactic and informative. The irony of it is that Igbo people are far worse treated badly, discriminated against and their academic, intellectual and great entrepreneurial, business and other potentials are being relegated, frowned at with negativity and jealousy.

Today the affairs of Nigeria are mismanaged by the same Fulani who is the least educated and open-minded people, very much beclouded by Islamic fanatics and tribalism, however, I do not know why it is an abridged version. why on earth is the audible one reduced to an abridged version? ? it's unfair

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-07-2018

Amazing

Beautifully written and insightful. Good way to pass on a bit of history. Fantastic work by author especially on bringing in the perspectives of the main characters. Nice work

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-05-2017

Gripping, beautifully written and so moving.

I was fully immersed in the lives of these brave Biafrans, touched by the many experiences during the war. The narration was perfect and I could listen to it all over again. I look forward to reading more of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing.

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  • Moose
  • 05-11-2016

Beautifully written and wonderfully narrated.

Beautifully written and wonderfully narrated. Love, war and the legacy of colonialism. Gripping story, moving, highly recommended