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I Do Not Come to You by Chance Paperback – 4 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826973
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

poignantly funny (WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY)

sparklingly funny debut novel (WIRED MAGAZINE)

In this touching tale, the Nigerian author traces a "419" plot back a generation - a generation full of hope and promise. (PRIDE MAGAZINE)

[Nwaubani] not merely explores a side of modern existence that touches millions every day, but does so with wit, warmth and insight. (Boyd Tonkin THE INDEPENDENT)

[Nwaubani's] pointed and poignant first novel is a lively, good-humored and provocative examination of the truth behind a global inbox of deceit. (THE WASHINGTON POST)

This is a fast, fresh, often hilarious first novel, by one of the remarkably talented young African writers who are rapidly making everyone else look stale. (THE TIMES)

Nwaubani does a great job of detailing the frantic pulse of urban Nigeria (TIME OUT)

beautifully written... More than just a brilliant read, it also turns the whole idea of Nigerian 419 scams neatly on its head, using wit and warm humour to bring to life the stories of the email recipients themselves. (SUNDAY HERALD)

Book Description

A vivid, warm and very funny debut novel set against the colourful back-drop of modern Nigeria.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jackie on 19 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I Do Not Come to You by Chance follows Kingsley, a young Nigerian man who has a good education and a promising career ahead of him. His world is shattered when his father becomes ill and the family is unable to afford the treatment needed to save his life. Desperate to help his father, Kingsley turns to his mysteriously wealthy uncle and gets drawn in to the bizarre world of the email scammer:

"At first, it was difficult. Composing cock-and-bull tales, with every single word an untruth, including `is' and `was'. Blasting SOS emails around the world, hoping that someone would swallow the bait and respond. But I was probably worrying myself for nothing. They were just a bunch of email addresses with no real people at the other end anyway. Besides, who on this earth was stupid enough to fall prey to an email from a stranger in Nigeria?"

The plot was quite simple and the writing wasn't particularly beautiful, but the insight into the life of an email scammer had me hooked. I was fascinated by their activities - continually amazed by what they managed to get away with. I'd love to know how many of the events in this book had actually occurred. This is one of those books that I was telling everyone about, unable to believe that people actually respond to those dodgy emails we all get.

This book also had a very African feel to it. I loved the snippets of African mythology, all presented in a way that was easy for me to understand. It also raised some thought provoking questions, mainly revolving around whether or not it is OK to steal from the gullible rich, to give to the poorest in society.

Overall this was an amusing, insightful and ultimately uplifting tale about an underground world I previously knew nothing about.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H Singh on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book it was good to see the other side of the Nigerian email scams. It was funny in parts and heartwarming. Well worth a read you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
We all know about the famous email scams, promising huge sums of money in return for brief use of the target's bank account, often originating from Nigeria. But what of the people behind those schemes? This novel is narrated by one particular perpetrator of this modern crime. Kingsley's family are well educated, hard-working and honest. But they're also poor and downtrodden. After his father suffers a stroke and they are thrown on the dubious mercy of the Nigerian health system, Kingsley finds himself drawn into the world of his wealthy cousin - who has made a fortune running such scams.

Kingsley is a likeable, although not truly loveable, character. Certainly it is possible to sympathise with him, despite his criminal activities, partly because many of us in the same position may well resort to the same measures. By showing his transformation from an unemployed graduate watching his family descend into more and more abject poverty, to a morally conflicted, rich-but-unhappy fraudster, the reader is able to see Kingsley as a person rather than simply defined by his chosen `career'. This is essential for making the novel work - the reader is never sure if they are secretly cheering for Kingsley or wishing he'd get his comeuppance. Other characters in the novel are also well drawn, particularly the charismatic but rather grotesque `Cash Daddy', a character who manages to exert the same inexplicable pull from the page as he does in real life.

It's a great idea for a story and generally well executed. It's certainly easy to read and reasonably compelling, especially in the final section. The view of life in Nigeria, particularly the corruption that pervades everyday life and enables such enterprises to flourish, is very interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 July 2013
Format: Paperback
In my far off youth, I recall seeking out books in the Heinemann African Writers Series. In those far off days, the works of many post-independence African writers told stories of life and lives lived in far away Africa. Forward 50 years and young African writers are beginning to take over where young writers from the Indian subcontinent have trodden a wide and very successful path. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani comes from the Igbo speaking region of Eastern Nigeria. This, her first novel, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa) and a Betty Trask First Book Award.

The novel centres on Kingsley, a young engineering graduate, from a loving and supportive, but poor, family who pride themselves on education being a route to a successful and valued life. Unfortunately, he is unable to get a job in a country where having the right contacts and offering the right bribes are more important than having excellent qualifications. As the first-born male, it is Kingsley's responsibility to see his siblings through education which, as this is very costly, is a big worry. His worries increase even more with the illness of his British-educated civil servant father who requires urgent and expensive hospital treatment and the signs that his girlfriend and her mother are both tiring of the delays in the couple's marriage.

His father's once-skinny brother, Boniface, now larger-than-life, very rich, and known as "Cash Daddy", through his network of complex internet scam activities, offers his nephew the necessary funding and then takes him into the business. Since we have all received such e-mails we are primed to understand and enjoy the topic of the author's story.

Kingsley is less than honest about his distaste for his increasing wealth and what it can buy.
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