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An Orchestra of Minorities

Narrated by: Chukwudi Iwuji
Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Summary

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019

From the Author of the Booker-shortlisted novel, The Fishermen.

A young farmer named Chinonso prevents a woman from falling to her death. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, he and Ndali fall in love, but it is a mismatch according to her family who reject him because of his lowly status. Is it love or madness that makes Chinonso think he can change his destiny? Set across Nigeria and Cyprus, An Orchestra of Minorities, written in the mythic style of the Igbo tradition, weaves a heart-wrenching tale about fate versus free will.  

©2018 Chigozie Obioma (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Chigozie Obioma is a writer to watch." (The Economist)

"Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe." (New York Times Book Review) 

"A spectacular artistic leap." (Guardian

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Orchestra of Minorities

A very rewarding book. A story about love and obsession, vengeance and repentance. A story about transformation, from malign to good and from good to destructive. The story is told from the perspective of the spirit of the main character. The story shares many attributes of the great tragedies, with the inner spirit acting as a Chorus, commenting on its host with objectivity, love and; at times; powerlessness.
The spirit bears witness to to the physical, emotional and moral ruin of an admirable and loving man at the hands of Fate, with which he colludes in his own destruction. Beautifully read by Chukwudi Iwuji, whose voice carries the listener into day-to-day Nigerian society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heart wrenching

A moving and beautifully written tragedy which will remain with me for a long time

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A thrilling read.

The narrator was almost excellent. His voice was as commanding as it was clear. Superb.

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Mystical

I simply could not stop listening, I woke up wanting to know what had happened next. I binge listened and had a most pleasurable experience and am now wondering about my Chi :-)

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Really good story, not so great narration

I loved the book. The story was written beautifully, was quite captivating and I listened to the book rather quickly.

However, as an Igbo person, I struggled greatly with the narrator's incorrect pronunciation of some of the Igbo names and Igbo phrases and Nigerian pidgin words/sentences They did try with the overall narration of the book and it was moving but the incorrect pronunciation seem to rob the story of its "authenticity".

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Breathtaking

I loved this story and was so invested in the main character and his partner. beautifully written and beautifully narrated. I feel privileged to have listened.

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Great Book

What a wonderful emotional story, very moving. Really sad end. I really enjoyed the story.

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Epic

Chigozie Obiama is a wondrous story teller. The best around in present contemporary literature. His is an epic tale with Oddysseum themes. The story takes place in Nigeria, and tells the tale of an innocent poultry farmer, who in an effort to prove his love for his woman, sets in motion a nightmarish series of punitive events that eventually lead to his mental undoing. I couldnt imagine the book being read by a better reader. Fabulous book and so is The Fishermen his previous novel.

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  • Miko
  • Guildford, United Kingdom
  • 06-03-19

Outstanding

I read Chigozie Obioma’s debut, The Fishermen and was impressed. Now this, his sophomore novel, An Orchestra of Minorities, secures his place in my mind as one of those rare authors, the kind that can conceive a complex narrative, write it with precision and eloquence, and make it seem like magic. So many people can write, but not very many can write like this.

An Orchestra of Minorities is cleverly told from the point of view of the protagonist’s chi, a spirit that lives within him, is a part of him, but still maintains a separate consciousness. Like a thoroughly modern version of a chorus, the chi takes us through the tale of its “host”, fluidly giving us insights that could be told no other way. It’s a masterpiece in story telling.

From the beginning of this book there is an underlying feeling of foreboding, a sense there may be tragedy, but with many moments of gentleness and warmth, it is an incredibly well-balanced and compelling listen. It is primarily set in Nigeria, but it is universal; it is, among other things, a story about love, expectations both personal and cultural, and consequences.

The audiobook was beautifully read by Chukwudi Iwuji. I’d never come across him as a narrator before, but I will certainly look for him again. It was a flawless performance.

I’d recommend An Orchestra of Minorities wholeheartedly if you are interested in literary fiction or in Nigerian culture or fiction. I know I will listen to this again in the future and I plan to buy a hardcopy so I can read it in print as well.

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Unsure.

Perhaps this is one to read the old fashioned way and not on audible. I just couldn’t get into the story, and personally, the narrator isn’t for me. I’ll be looking out for it in print though as the whole mythical realism is fascinating and I’d like to give it a chance. (Mostly starred this way as I didn’t finish it and it’s only way to submit review....)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-19

This novel should have been shorter

I can’t understand why this book was 16 hours long. The first 8 hours drag terribly but then it gets very interesting in the last eight.

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  • Aud Jorunn Hakestad
  • 18-09-19

Best novel in decades

I was wrecked and ruined while listening. But it was still so entisingly and beautiful written that I couldn't stop. This story is so sad, so all-consuming and so life changing that I can't help listening to it. The novel reminds me of great authors like Kafka, Dostojevski and Ibsen. It will mean a lot to many people.

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  • Ade
  • 22-08-19

Be yourself, no matter what they say!

This refrain made me smile "I have seen this before, many times"

Love this novel, a great lesson in staying true to yourself and being authentic. The narrator captured the essence and atmosphere of the story quite well.
Looking out for other titles by the author.