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I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi…
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I Do Not Come to You by Chance (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2101955,654 (3.94)26
Member:Minthe
Title:I Do Not Come to You by Chance
Authors:Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Info:Phoenix (2010), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Fiction
Rating:***1/2
Tags:zb2011, zfbubl, zr2011, nigeria, africa, 419ers, 2010, humor, zgone, zgox

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I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (2009)

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English (18)  German (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This was exactly the type of world lit book I enjoy reading. It is set in Nigeria and written by a Nigerian, so it felt like I was reading the story from within, from that perspective. It disobeyed all the rules of how to write about Africa, set out in that tongue-in-cheek Granta article several years ago ( http://www.granta.com/Archive/92/How-to-Write-about-Africa/Page-1 by [a:Binyavanga Wainaina|681372|Binyavanga Wainaina|http://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/nophoto-M-50x66-e07624dc012f2cce49c7d9aa6500c6c0.jpg].

The story centres around a likeable fellow from an honest and hard-working family who highly value education. Despite getting his engineering degree, he can't get a job, and he eventually falls into the 419 scamming industry, working for his highly successful uncle.
It is fascinating to learn more about that scam, and how it is perceived in Nigerian society, but the book is really about how the young man balances the expectations and beliefs of his family with his own desires. It gave a sense of what life is like for some people there. It was often light-hearted and funny.

"There were many possible explanations for the atrocious traffic in Lagos—population explosion, insufficient mass transit, tokunbo vehicles going kaput, potholes in the roads, undisciplined drivers, random police checkpoints, and fuel queues. But in Cash Daddy’s opinion, the go-slow started whenever the devil and his wives were on their way to the market. I think he was right."

A highly enjoyable and well-written book, recommended. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Excellent novel about a young well-educated man in Nigeria who is frustrated to find that even with his university degree he's not able to take on his responsibilities as the first son--providing for his parents and siblings. When tragedy strikes his family he turns to a wealthy uncle who makes his money, among other ways, through 419 scams, those ubiquitous emails promising untold riches in exchange for bank account information.

I've read a number of African novels lately that I had some trouble "getting the rhythm of" if that makes sense--although I've enjoyed them--and I can't tell if that's because I am inexperienced with African novels or because of the writing. (I think the former is most likely.) In this case this Western reader at least had no problem like that. I learned a lot about what goes on behind those spam emails--something I'd never really thought of before--and the depiction of life in Nigeria, especially for those who are not wealthy seems pretty accurate. ( )
  CydMelcher | Feb 5, 2016 |
Excellent novel about a young well-educated man in Nigeria who is frustrated to find that even with his university degree he's not able to take on his responsibilities as the first son--providing for his parents and siblings. When tragedy strikes his family he turns to a wealthy uncle who makes his money, among other ways, through 419 scams, those ubiquitous emails promising untold riches in exchange for bank account information.

I've read a number of African novels lately that I had some trouble "getting the rhythm of" if that makes sense--although I've enjoyed them--and I can't tell if that's because I am inexperienced with African novels or because of the writing. (I think the former is most likely.) In this case this Western reader at least had no problem like that. I learned a lot about what goes on behind those spam emails--something I'd never really thought of before--and the depiction of life in Nigeria, especially for those who are not wealthy seems pretty accurate. ( )
  CydMelcher | Feb 5, 2016 |
Excellent novel about a young well-educated man in Nigeria who is frustrated to find that even with his university degree he's not able to take on his responsibilities as the first son--providing for his parents and siblings. When tragedy strikes his family he turns to a wealthy uncle who makes his money, among other ways, through 419 scams, those ubiquitous emails promising untold riches in exchange for bank account information.

I've read a number of African novels lately that I had some trouble "getting the rhythm of" if that makes sense--although I've enjoyed them--and I can't tell if that's because I am inexperienced with African novels or because of the writing. (I think the former is most likely.) In this case this Western reader at least had no problem like that. I learned a lot about what goes on behind those spam emails--something I'd never really thought of before--and the depiction of life in Nigeria, especially for those who are not wealthy seems pretty accurate. ( )
  CydMelcher | Feb 5, 2016 |
This novel provides a look inside a culture that fostered the e-mail scams and takes a hard look at the human choices we make between right and wrong, where they lead us and how difficult it can be to be moral and right-thinking when it isn't getting you anywhere. There's humor here, and gentle sarcasm, good characters, a richness of background. Well worth reading. ( )
  turtlesleap | Sep 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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to my parents...Chief Chukwuma Hope Nwaubani Chief Mrs Patricia Uberife Nwaubani
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People in the villages seemed to know everything.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Searching for an engineering job that will enable him to support his family, recent Nigerian university graduate Kingsley turns in desperation to his uncle, who runs a successful e-mail scam company and who reveals unexpected consequences for the cash loan Kingsley has reluctantly accepted.… (more)

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