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The Thing Around Your Neck Paperback – June 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Written in her trademark fluid and highly descriptive style (akin to fellow Nigerian Chinua Achebe's), they tell tales familiar to most Nigerians; Cult activity in Nigerian universities, late (or no) pension payments to retired civil servants, a husband's affair and the troubling effect on the wife, Religious riots in a Northern Nigerian city and their aftermath, a morning at the US embassy, a US visa lottery winner's experience in the US, sibling rivalry, and a new bride's awakening after an arranged marriage to mention a few.
Much like her previous books, the tales usually feature some strong female character (or some seemingly weak and docile female who develops strength over the course of the tale) and are set in reference to some real life occurrences in Nigeria; a plane crash that occurs on the same day as the first lady's death after plastic surgery, living under an oppressive military regime, etc.
My only complaint is that a few of the stories seem to grind to an abrupt halt just when you are expecting them to take further flight. She is just as pretty in the flesh as she appears in photos, I saw her at a book reading and signing for this book last week. Another literary classic!
Cmimamanda Ngozi Adiche tells stories of her native Igbu (sp) people of Nigeria but from many different angles. From the story of a young boy, son of university lecturer and professionals going off the rails as observed by his sister, to the story of young wife installed in a large mansion in America by her husband who finds out her husband has a moved a mistress into their house in Nigeria.
I found the range of stories and tales that Adichie tackled the most interesting. She is able to tell different stories from vastly different people, and tell them sparingly yet with deeply observed nuance. No point is laboured but the ideas flow out of the text richly.
Adichie is now one of my must buy authors.
Her style is free-flowing, highly redolent of one who has mastered the art of story telling.Her diction is not too facile or incomprehensible. This serves to engage the reader fully, and one gets to appreciate the plainness, simplicity, strength, and beauty of her prose.
The story I loved the most was "Ghosts", followed by "The Headstrong Historian".Most of the other stories were good but some did not resonate well with me.I felt they were a bit weak in content, and the themes were lost on me.However this is not to take away any credit from Chimamanda.
She pits Western ideals against traditional Igbo values, and leaves the reader to judge which is better. However, in some instances,I believe she tacitly admits that the Igbo norms and cultures are superior to Western ways with their detachment from communal norms, a lack of respect for age, religious morality etc.The African is presented most times in the best possible light,but this does not mean an abdication of blame in the ills that forever plague us in the developing parts of the world.In some stories, the inane practices of pre-existing traditional societies is mentioned e.g curbing promiscuity by insertion of herbs into the female.It would have been nice to see a condemnation of such practices.However, that was not the point of that particular story.
There is an overt feminist tone in most of the stories, which is quite understandable .And I commend her depiction of strong, feminine characters, the situations they encounter, and how they are dealt with in every facet of daily existence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Every story leads to a realism that hurts the soul. The final story tells the true history of the world.Published 1 month ago by lucy
Should be a book that everyone reads to understand modern African writingPublished 2 months ago by greenpueo
(contains mild spoilers)
Anyone who read and liked Americanah would also appreciate this work. Read more
So many stories, about so many people, that made me think of Nigeria once more with a new fondness. So much that you can relate to. That's what I liked about it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tsungai
Quick ship which was just what I needed since this was a last minute need for school. Great price so it was perfect all the way around!Published 2 months ago by karen black
short stories, great book to add to your collection. Be sure to check out her other book "Americanah", that is my favorite piece of hers so far.Published 2 months ago by Julie G
A book filled with well crafted tales of different people experiencing completely different and enthralling circumstances. Glad I read this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M.Cou
Elegant collection of short stories from a writer who cherishes the beauty of language and the simplicity of human experiencePublished 3 months ago by LES NEUMAN