From Publishers Weekly
In this highly entertaining novel about Nigerian Internet scammers, Kingsley Ibe is an engineering school graduate who can't find a job and still lives at home with his family. After his girlfriend rejects him and his father dies, Kingsley is taken on by his Uncle Boniface (aka Cash Daddy), who is in the business of Internet scams, otherwise known as 419s. Soon, Kingsley is writing e-mail solicitations to the gullible of cyberspace, and any qualms he may have had about ripping off innocent people evaporate as he steps into the good life with a big new house, a Lexus and a new love interest (who doesn't know how Kingsley earns his money). Meanwhile, Cash Daddy develops political ambitions and gains some ruthless enemies bent on crushing him. As the plots converge, Kingsley must decide whether to sell his soul to build a 419 kingdom. Although the narrative follows a somewhat predictable trajectory, Kingsley's engaging voice and the story's vividly rendered setting prove that while crime may not pay, writing about it as infectiously as Nwaubani does certainly pays off for the reader. (May)
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Education is everything to Kingsley’s family in Nigeria; but times are hard, and when he cannot find a job as a new graduate in chemical engineering, his girlfriend dumps him, and he moves in with his immensely wealthy uncle Boniface (“call me Cash Daddy”), who makes a fortune scamming foreigners on the Internet (“If you help us with this transaction, we will give you 20 percent, which comes to $11.6 million . . . I hope this amount is satisfactory”). This long debut novel is really one situation told over and over again. But the details of Cash Daddy’s gross consumerism in his mammoth mansion are hilarious, especially mixed in with the 419 scam e-mails and with the absurd administrative uplift jargon he throws about while running for political office. The inevitable connections with today’s headlines—revelations of multimillion-dollar investment scams and rampant malfeasance from major banks—brings this wild corruption story very close to home. --Hazel Rochman