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I Do Not Come to You by Chance Paperback – May 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; Original edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323110
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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The book moves quickly, is well organized, and has good character development.
Robin Friedman
In this book, Nwaubani carefully selects her characters to explore the underbelly of this issue and makes it interesting without being preachy.
Myne Whitman
The writing is fresh, intelligent and engaging; the story and concepts are simple but entertaining and thought provoking.
Joel McIver/author

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is a first time novelist and a citizen of Enugu, Nigeria. She has written a fictional account of Kingsley's life as an educated young man, with new responsibilities for his family after his father's death. He has graduated college with a degree in CHemical Engineering and few prospects for employment, at least none with the oil companies or banks. His Uncle Boniface is the blacksheep of Kingsley's mother's family. He is known locally as "Cash Daddy" as he is a very successful 419er with outrageous displays of wealth. After covering funeral and medical expenses for his uncle (Kingsley's father) he convinces Kinglsey to become his "letter writer." The money starts rolling into Western Union as payments from the U. S. Victims. Tactics become more daring, as Boniface's group actually impersonates government officials and scam millions. The book is in two parts. The first one of Kingsley young life and the second part is his entry into the world of 419. It is very well written and entertaining. As to the hidden details of how 419 plans scams, locates victims, sets up a worldwide network for - little new information is revealed. The book would have been greatly improved by the addition of a glossary. The Nigerian terms are not explained while you are reading. Very enjoyable - and very bold undertaking for the author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. D Morrow on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the first season of 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan informs his friends: "Yo. Remember that email that we got from those Nigerians that needed our help getting all that money out of Africa? We did it! I got that check today." The Nigerian prince scam has become a cultural touchstone of the continuous globalizing and interconnecting world. Yet beyond "how did they get my email" and "where's the delete button," we rarely think of the people on the other side of the internet committing these "advanced fee scams."

Nwaubani introduces us to this group of scammers (419ers in Nigerian parlance). Kingsley is unable to find work with his college degree and loses his long term girlfriend to a wealthy man. Distraught, Kings follows his uneducated but wealthy uncle into the 419 world in an effort to be wealthy enough to win back his girlfriend But, with the loss of his youthful dreams and more traditional path to success, he becomes divided between the well-off opara (first son head of the family) and the boy who wanted to be an engineer.

The novel is a fantastic 325 page journey into both the world of 419 and a social commentary on traditional values versus modern values versus consumer culture. Unfortunately, the book is 400 pages long and the last 75 are spent with Nwaubani merely tying loose ends in almost mechanical fashion - complete with a Rodney Dangerfield-esque ending.

While it was fun and touched on several meaningful themes. The last 50-75 pages turned me off of the book. It's worth a read, but you're definitely not missing anything great if you chose something else.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maddalena on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Adoabi Tricia's book gets your attention immediately and keeps it until you are finished with the book.
She paints a picture of life in Nigeria with a loving brush. It is clear that these 419 criminals are human beings, with scruples, religion, ethics, and morality just like their mugus have. The next time you get a spam letter from someone claiming to be the widow of the Chief Chancellor of some remote African country, you might think twice about the person who wrote you that letter. Great book. I hope Miss Nwaubani continues writing; this was a brilliant read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elmore Hammes on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Adaobi Tricia Nwauban's debut novel is interesting from beginning to end. She paints the Nigerian atmosphere vividly, pulling you into the story. She does such a wonderful job of making the characters come to life you find yourself rooting for them to succeed in their notorious 419 scams. A fascinating look into the highs and lows of the fraud that has proliferated with the advent of modern technology in a country rife with corruption. Entertaining and enlightening, well worth the read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joel McIver/author on July 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't taken the time to really process what I want to say...I just enjoyed this story so very much. The writing is fresh, intelligent and engaging; the story and concepts are simple but entertaining and thought provoking. I loved Kingsly, what a wonderful protagonist. I loved Cash Daddy, the author drew him so wonderfully full of color.

You need not be a Nigerian or of African descent to enjoy this most remarkable story. You only need to be a lover of good stories to get wrapped up in this book. If you are someone with a curiousity about other countries and cultures, you will be blown away by this authors ability to take you to Nigeria and by the last page feel as though you were born and raised there. I truly loved this book and I hope that it has enormous success here and abroad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Folake Taylor on October 23, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"I Do Not Come to You by Chance" caught me by surprise. I'd never heard of it and somehow stumbled on it on amazon. The look inside feature sealed the deal.

It is well written, interesting, witty, unusual and very entertaining. I will recommend it to anybody. The plot which was centered around the lifestyle of the Nigerian 419ers (scammers) is unique and refreshing. It is also believable.

Statements such as "My heart leaped twice and somersaulted three times" or "I could hear the smell..." will keep you laughing from beginning to end.

Kudos to the author for great story-telling.
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