Americanah: 7 Questions


It is hard to read a book like Americanah without having an opinion about it. We want to hear yours.

Here, are 7 questions based on the book to help you express those opinions (yes, you have to read it to answer). As a good sport, I’ll answer first.

P/S I can’t wait to read your replies. 🙂

Questions

1. Did you like Americanah?

No? Why?

Yes? Why?

Yes & No? Why?

2. Would you recommend it to a friend?

3. Do you think you will read it again?

4. How does it compare to Half Of A Yellow Sun?

5. Who was your favourite character and why?

6. What was the best part of the book for you?

7. And the worst?

Bonus: Did you notice the -nesses and -ilys?

Me:

1. Yes/No
I liked it because it did show long, hard work and a touch of finesse.

I disliked it because it lacked compassion for most of the characters. The scorn in the narrators voice was heavy and oft times ridiculous.

2. Yes I would.

3. No, not at all.

4. Poorly. Half Of A Yellow Sun is 5X better than Americanah.

5. Blaine; because he strived to do the right thing at all times.

6. The high school romance beween Ifemelu and Obinze.

7 The authorial intrusion; almost every scene had a sermon to preach.

Bonus: What??? They almost blinded me!

8 thoughts on “Americanah: 7 Questions

  1. 1. Yes, I love stories and a big fat book is always enticing. Adichie is a favourite author of mine, I love the way she wove the different tales allowing us peer from different angles at the many characters.

    2. Yes

    3. No, but then I very rarely read books more than once.

    4. I found HOAY more captivating I suppose because of the theme, war meant our favourite characters might actually die. Americanah was almost predictable.

    5. None

    6. Obinze in London. I got to know him a bit more and I could almost touch the scenes and feelings.

    7. The much anticipated reunion of Ifemelu and Obinze. It didn’t come across as having the life/fun it did when they were younger.

    Bonus. I didn’t notice the ‘-nesses and -ilys’

    p.s. Here’s a review I wrote in May, http://veronicankwocha.com/2013/05/06/my-thoughts-on-americanah-by-chimamanda-adichie/

  2. 1.) Yes! I liked it very much. It was a good and entertaining read

    2.) Yes I would.

    3.) Parts of it. I finished it in may and I re read, just two weeks ago, the chapter where ifemelu and obinna met.

    4.) It was a bit of a let down after hoays. I expected more.

    5.) Curt, ifemelu’s white boyfriend was my favorite character. I particularly enjoyed the part where he screamed at her to “fucking love me” I liked him because he was a good, happy guy. What’s not to like?

    6.)The young love of ifem and obinze.

    7.) Some parts seemed unnecessary and the blog post were just the worst. Bleh.

    I actually didn’t notice the “nesses”
    Bonus; what do you think happened to aisha, the hairdresser?

  3. 1.yes, very much
    2.yes, its very entertaining.
    3.err….already read it twice
    4.HOAYS was way better tho.
    5.Obinze’s mother, her death made me sad.
    6.Ifemelu’s return to Nigeria.
    7. The blog posts!!!

  4. 1. Yes and No. The beginning and end were interesting, but the middle part was a bore for me. I skipped lines especially when she wrote about her “racist” blog.
    A lot of hardwork was definitely put into it. Also, I wish Obinze’s life was discussed a bit more and it had alternated between his story and Ifemelu’s story.
    Their friends also were so many they confused me.

    2. I have recommended it already.

    3. I don’t really read books a second time, and with that volume I doubt it. Only Purple Hibiscus maybe…

    4. It’s okay… Half of a Yellow Sun was five years ago, and Thing Around Your Neck is sorta fresher in my memory. Her style of going back and forth is her trademark though. She’s an awesome writer anyday.

    5. My favorite character has to be…
    Obinze’s mother. I could picture someone like Obiageli Ezekweseli.

    6. My favorite part of the book was when Ike came to Nigeria to see her.

    7. Whenever she talks about her blog and racism… Zzzzz

    Bonuses: Ifemelu had superiority complex, same as Obinze. Made them a perfect match for each other.

  5. 1. Yes & No. It was good read but sometimes was lacking
    2. Yes
    3. Yes. I like to read a book more than once to be fully aware of the characters plus I was binge reading when I read it and would like to take my time next time
    4. I still have read HOAYS but I read The Thing Around Your Neck and this was a bit of a let down.
    5. Dike, Obinze’s mother.
    6. young love b/w Ifemelu and Obinze
    7. Ifemelu and Obinze’s love after her return to Nigeria

    Bonus: No

  6. I can’t wait to go to Lag and get a copy. Pity I’ve had to wait but there are no bookshops for Nigerian literature near me (not counting Onitsha pirates).

    I didn’t read the post or any of the comments o. Trying to avoid spoilers.

  7. 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. I like reading books twice, already tried reading Americanah again but it didn’t work. 4.HOAYS is so long ago, I can hardly remember. But I really think Americanah is a good work. 5. Obinze’s mother. She was so cool. 6. Ifemelu and Obinze’ss high school love. It was so sweet, all that ceiling business. 7. Worst part for me was the blog post business (skipped them). Bonus: I didn’t notice them

  8. I came on here to thank you for the kind comment you left on my own ‘Americanah’ post (Quick and shameless plug: http://tolitasmusings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/book-review-americanah-by-chimamanda.html). Sorry I’m probably not going to answer all the seven questions. I did like the novel although it is flawed. I agree that Ifemelu is a very trying character. Obinze was generally more sympathetic but he’d lost my favour by the end. Like you, I liked Blaine even though I wish he stood up to his sister more. Plus his circle of friends were pretentious. I also liked Cleothilde the mixed race Angolan, would-be immigration-only wife of Obinze. Lots of memorable characters so it’s hard to narrow it down.

    Yes there were too many blog entries and they could be annoying especially for us non-Americans who haven’t been immersed in all these ‘issues’.

    Unlike most people here it seems I preferred ‘Americanah’ to ‘Half of A Yellow Sun’ but that’s an easy choice for me because I didn’t really like that one. I prefer everything else she’s done to that book. Has no-one else apart from Rolayo read ‘Purple Hibiscus’? Now, that’s the book that sets the Adichie standard, certainly not HoaYS. Come on people; don’t believe the hype!

    Adichie is a formidable talent, no question. ‘Americanah’ deserves the attention it’s getting even if there are several elements that fall short of perfection. I would definitely recommend it, as I have already.

    Shalom, Miss T x

    PS has anyone read Sefi Atta’s ‘A Bit of Difference’? There are topical overlaps with ‘Americanah’ but addressed on a smaller scale. I always feel to mention her as I think she’s another great talent, arguably even more so, but she gets overlooked.

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