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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
64 of 64 people found this review helpful
Contemporary fiction is not a favorite area, but this book was on sale, and had high review stats. So, I listened.
How is that we all have access to the same words in dictionaries, but some people can make amazing sentences. AND, use what they've learned from people-watching.
The narrator, too, turns this book into an art-form through an amazing performance of the characters. Humor shines through in all the right places.
There is nothing in this book that would have interested me - the main ideas, the characters in any of the countries - what happens in the process of immigrating and assimulating - the romantic thread - the racial issues - academia - the process of surviving economically. But, this book, this Audio Book, is awesome, amazing, and sucked me in.
I feel changed by the experience of this book, and expanded somehow.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful