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Summary

Winner of the Baileys Prize Best of the Best

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece.

Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, is a novel about Africa in a wider sense: about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race - and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

©2016 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Vividly written, thrumming with life...a remarkable novel. In its compassionate intelligence as in its capacity for intimate portraiture, this novel is a worthy successor to such twentieth-century classics as Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and V. S. Naipaul's A Bend in the River." (Joyce Carol Oates)
"Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers." (Chinua Achebe)
"[Deserves] a place alongside such works as Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy and Helen Dunmore's depiction of the Leningrad blockade, The Siege." ( The Guardian)
"Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic." ( Daily Mail)
"Stunning. This novel is an immense achievement." ( The Observer)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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In my living memory

I remember the terrible pictures of Biafran babies, I had a friend who was a Nigerian Ibo, she had been raised in the UK and I never knew the complexity of the story of those times. A magnificent book heartbreaking and extraordinary in the evil and goodness threaded through societies the world .
I will need to hear it again and again. Brilliantly read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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ezcellent

such a moving story. I didn't know the story of Biafra before and almost wish I didnt now. beautifully written and reaf

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An interesting African perspective

The story starts slowly but gets more intriguing as the chapters unfold. A long read but Chimamanda’s command of the English language is certainly exquisite. She beautifully describes even the smallest scenes and considerations. I was disappointed however, that it was not the voice or accent of a true Nigerian. Whilst it may go unnoticed by many, it lacked the authenticity being a reader of African descent who understands the accent. This is not a criticism of the reader who did do a great job in reading the story overall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A triumph of storytelling, wonderfully read

I did not want this book to end. A beautiful, heartbreaking, fierce and quiet story, everyone should read it. And Zainab Jah was the perfect storyteller. Certainly the best thing I've listened to on Audible, and one of my favourite books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing informative read

I started listening to this audiobook forgetting that it had anything to do with the Biafran Civil war and was pleasantly surprised by the sudden change in narrative.
It was a captivating read and a good introduction into the the circumstances that led to the war although the book didn’t give a complete unbiased account of what caused the war, it told the story of a tragedy from a family that will remain changed forever. Though it was fiction I’m sure this mirrored someones story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The world was silent when we died

A chance encounter with a Nigerian Uber driver led me to this book, his way to educate me on his family's struggle to be Biafran.

The story is cleverly told, weaving personal stories through a historical narrative. Read it and weep then realise the struggle is still very much on.

Brilliant narration and by the end of it I could speak a few phrases of Igbo to the amusement of my Nigerian colleagues.

Abu m onye Biafra.

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Brilliant

What a great book. I was gripped. The narrator was excellent and her command of different voices and accents is impressive

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The best book I've read in years

The description was so beautiful that I had to slow down my reading to make sure not a word is missed. I love the story, so rich and full of unexpected turns. I enjoyed learning a period of the Nigerian history.

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beautifully told story of Biafra

well narrated story of peoples upturned lives leading up to and during the Biafran war.

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Captivating

Such great insight into war time life. Loved the characters and their depth. Highly recommend

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  • Dreamer
  • 31-01-18

what a beautiful sad enthralling tale!

what a beautiful sad enthralling tale! I loved this book. it took me a long time to finally buy it- I'd had I was good, but I'm scared of sad stories. Now I'm glad I finally got around to read it. Excellent story telling Ms Adichie!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-18

Zainab Jha ....my hero

I tried to watch the movie but zainab’s voice and role play really suited me better!,, And obviously no one could ever be so successful turning a beautiful book into a movie. For example my imagination of Olanna was so strikingly different than the olana in the movie..

Chimamanda is really one of my favorite authors right now. And I really hope zainab jha reads more books on audible I’m in love with her Nigerian accent. Please oh.

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  • Júlia Mendes Vilela
  • 25-06-18

Great book, but be prepared to suffer for the characters

The book is incredibly well written, but I honestly bought it because of the author and didn't know it talked about war. Only listen if you can take the pain it describes without affecting your state of mind.

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  • Philip
  • 12-05-18

Biafra

Loved it. A beautiful narration of the Biafran war and Igbo life in the sixties

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  • Sandra Tatah
  • 10-04-18

Captivating and engaging

I absolutely loved this book. It took a lot of strength to stop listening for any reason. I watched the movie a few years ago and was a bit apprehensive at reading the book after that. But the pleasure was certainly unaffected.
A story about love, dreams, family, betrayal, lost hopes and innocence, grief, healing... so much emotion.
The narrator's performance is the best I've heard so far for an African story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-03-18

wonderful. facinating & sensitive.

an important lesson if Africa, Nigeria and people, family and friendship. Beautifully written story and a great audio to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-18

One of best five list

Wonderful book. Wonderful narration. Thought provoking and disturbing and awesome. Calling it a must would be an understatement.