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I Do Not Come to You by Chance [Paperback]

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Mar 2010

Kingsley is fresh out of university, eager to find an engineering job so he can support his family and marry the girl of his dreams. Being the opara of the family, he is entitled to certain privileges - a piece of meat in his egusi soup, a party to celebrate his graduation. But times are hard in Nigeria and jobs are not easy to come by.

For much of his young life, Kingsley believed that education was everything, that through wisdom, all things were possible. But when a tragedy befalls his family, Kingsley learns the hardest lesson of all: education may be the language of success in his country, but it is money that does the talking. In desperation he turns to his uncle, Boniface-aka Cash Daddy-an exuberant character who suffers from elephantiasis of the pocket. He is also rumoured to run a successful empire of email scams. But he can help. With Cash Daddy's intervention, Kingsley and his family can be as safe as a tortoise under its shell. It is up to Kingsley now, to reconcile his passion for knowledge with his hunger for money, to fully assume his role of first son. But can he do it without being drawn into this outlandish milieu?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826973
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Jackie
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book funny in parts 28 Jan 2011
By H Singh
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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Forty One Niners 29 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wicked satire on Nigeria and computer theft. Article 419 is that section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria dealing with internet fraud. Specifically it refers to a scam whereby e-mail is used to solicit funds for bogus projects. The scam relies on the careful framing of the appeal and the greed of the recipients, who live in the affluent west. Hundreds of e-mails may have just one hit, but thousands of pounds can be earned off just one dupe or mugu. There is a skill, a criminal skill granted, in extracting as much as possible from the mugu. Kingsley is drawn into the scam by his uncle Boniface [aka Cash Daddy] when he finds his family in poverty and himself with no honest means of making progress in life. The author shows how it is greed [yes, and stupidity] that draws in the mugus, who receive little sympathy. She also suggests how the extensive rewards of this corruption can be used to create a workable system in a society where family counts for so much. Kingsley's father believed in education and knowledge, scorning the ignorance and dishonesty of his brother-in-law, Cash Daddy. But he dies penniless. Kingsley, on the other hand, enjoys and dispenses all the good things in life. I am not sure how far one should pursue the morality of these issues - the final chapter seems just a little bit ambivalent. But it is a funny book, a good read and it gives one slant on how Nigeria functions. However, I am not sure how I would feel if my father or mother had been entrapped in this way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable
full of nice little chuckles especially if you have a Nigerian background to really appreciate the depth of some of the details
Published 2 months ago by Efe Sowho
4.0 out of 5 stars great read!
It's a pretty good story and it had me laughing one too many times. I would recommend this most definitely
Published 3 months ago by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars It is hilarious….!
It's a very well written book. It gives great insight into the psychology of 419 scammers and their equally greedy victims.
Published 4 months ago by OAA
5.0 out of 5 stars light hearted read
Good book, well written. I would recommend to any reader looking for light entertainment. Definitely provides an insight into Nigerian culture
Published 7 months ago by Ruth
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest books I've read
The characters come alive in this book and its a fantastic read. Dont want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn't read it but it gives you a deeper insight into the much... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lil yin
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating tale
I loved the humour of this novel. I loved that it admitted the greed of both the 419ers and their mugwus. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Julia Cunliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
This book made me laugh so much. The author writes about a world that so many have heard about......and whispered about ..... Read more
Published 9 months ago by 'Delia
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a great idea for a story
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. Read more
Published 10 months ago by BookWorm
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing and informative
This is an excellent read- a tale of 192ers. Email scammers. Written with a great pace and full humanity--amusing and frustrating. However always an excellent read.......
Published 12 months ago by Leisel-loves-to-read
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read - very relevant
This book is spectacular! I loved it. some truly funny moment but also quite sad. It gives a very vivid insight into con men and their motivation. Read more
Published 13 months ago by SF
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