Book title: Americanah
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Year of publication: 2013
Main characters: Ifemelu
Book type: literary fiction/ African-American fiction/ African experiences fiction; mainstream fiction.
My book rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The Review: Americanah
The thing is that I have always found the writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to be a very fascinating writer and one of the very best that the country has.
Now, in the book she has written, Americanah, I would have to say that the book had started really well, with the introduction of the major character who is enmeshed in the life of a place that is alien to her. But then the work started to slide downhill from that moment.
The book was a rich tapestry of experiences, of racism and black-white dichotomy; the dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots; the persons who are the ‘been-to’s’ in Nigeria, and those that are the ‘never-have-been’; it dealt with love and lust; despair and hope; fidelity and marital infidelity; there was also the fact that it touched on the fact that the Nigerian employers have a biase that goes in favor of those that have been outside the country as against those that have never been outside the shores of Nigeria throughout the duration of their lives. . .
The author dedicates several pages and several chapters of the work going through a lot of things, working in ethnic ramblings about a lot of things that is not needed into the work, making the book to be unnecessarily bulky and basically unreadable.
Due to this fact, I will have to admit that I had to be skipping through several pages of her narrative, looking for the dialogue and the forward-propelling action that will make the book go forward. And all to no avail.
Basically, the book was really dragging on and on, with the characters fumbling unnecessarily with their thoughts and the experiences that they were going through; the things they were explaining . . . it was all understandable, if the work was a narrative essay. . . this should not have been the case in a book which is purely fictional in nature.
Many other persons that had read this particular work by the author would easily say the same thing; that the author had overdone the meal that would have been so tasteful otherwise. She had overdone the narrative; the stream of consciousness of the characters in the book_ they had too much to explain, too little to say to each other, too much time to be engaging in mental frolicks about what they were going through and what they were thinking in their heads.
And that is not the point that the work should have pointed forward to the readers. To this end, why did the editors of the work allow her to put it all that? Why was a lot of the pages not trimmed out of the work when they were still going through the editing process of the work?
On the bright side, the book, Americanah, pointed out a lot that needed to be pointed out in the society and about the society. It unveiled the experiences of what the persons who go outside the country experience. It also pointed out the wishes of a majority of the persons living within the country who would love to go outside the country in search of greener pastures, and the fact that should they subsequently succeed in leaving the country, then many of them end up working for very low wages and leaving themselves exposed to racial segregration and the racism that many people in the Western world dole out to persons with a slightly darker shade of skin than they have.
All in all, I will give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.