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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best collection of short stories I have ever read
This is the best selection of short stories I have ever read. Chimamanda's ability to draw you into each of the characters in such a small space of time is phenomenal. The short stories are focused upon Nigerian life, but many of them are based in other countries. The balance between tragedy and happiness is perfect, leading to a book which does not dwell on hardship, but...
Published on 28 April 2009 by Jackie

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer her novels
I loved her two novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, but C.N.A. is not for the faint-hearted. She tackles gritty subjects sometimes in quite graphic detail. If you pick up this book expecting to read some cosy, nice stories, then you can forget it! I must admit I prefer to read novels. Short stories always tend to leave me dissatisfied somehow, but C. N. A.'s...
Published on 4 April 2009 by Nick Flynn


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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best collection of short stories I have ever read, 28 April 2009
This is the best selection of short stories I have ever read. Chimamanda's ability to draw you into each of the characters in such a small space of time is phenomenal. The short stories are focused upon Nigerian life, but many of them are based in other countries. The balance between tragedy and happiness is perfect, leading to a book which does not dwell on hardship, but shows vivid glimpses of it, making the messages come across far more powerfully than continual horrific scenes.

Each story is unique, and although they all contain Nigerian characters, none have the same atmosphere or feel like repetitions of the same idea. The book is very easy to read, and is the perfect introduction to her writing style, as Half of a Yellow Sun, although amazing, is very long.

The only flaw in this book is that I was left yearning to know more about each character. I could easily have read whole novels based on each short story, in fact I'd be happy to read a book written by her once a month for the rest of my life! Sorry for gushing, but talent like this needs to be read by everyone!

Highly recommended to everyone!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Tease..., 16 July 2009
By 
C. CAMPBELL "tagatha" (UK) - See all my reviews
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My idea of a perfect short story is a tale of about 25 pages that doesn't attempt to resolve or explain everything in that space, but instead leaves the reader wanting to read the finished novel - should it ever be written!

When it's done well, a collection of these stories would potentially leave you demanding that the author write full novels for each of them, just so you can see how it ends up. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can expect to see my letter in the post, because I want to read the completed stories for all of her tales collected here.

Essentially, she's being a big tease!

The writing style is fluid and not wasteful of language, and although some of the themes are similar (well read Nigerians ending up at the bottom of the ladder when they get to America), the characters are distinct enough, and their stories are also different enough. Absolutely perfect to dip in and out of, or even better to sit and read in one hit. Recommended!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Africa meets America, 24 Mar 2009
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K. Wright - See all my reviews
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After reading and enjoying Adichie's debut "Purple Hibiscus" and the follow up "Half of a Yellow Sun," I was eagerly anticipating this collection of twelve short stories from the Nigerian author and it doesn't disappoint.

"The Thing Around Your Neck" is similar to her previous work in that the stories focus on Nigerian culture and issues, however I found the stories easier to read. I think this is perhaps because they had a more contemporary and somewhat Westernised feel compared to her 2 novels set in the 60's. Many of the short stories are also influenced by the time Adichie now spends in America.

I would recommend Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and all her works highly and look forward to reading more from her in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 29 Jun 2009
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Mr Gumby "DH" (UK) - See all my reviews
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What a wonderful book. I somehow overlooked this gifted Nigerian-born author's first two novels but now plan to read them at the first opportunity.

These stories are original, compelling and absorbing. Adichie manages to draw you in, filling you with confidence in her story-telling, and all within a few sentences. I love her writing - her use of language and the ease with which stories seem to roll off her pen. In particular, the bemusement felt by characters who find themselves in America for the first time is oh-so cleverly portrayed.

Some of the stories seem to end a little prematurely, abruptly even, but that is simply down to economy of style and leaves you free to use a little imagination. Mind you, there is probably room for each to be developed into a book in its own right.

This is certainly my favourite collection of short stories and I would urge anyone to try them.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does not fail to surprise and delight, 24 Mar 2009
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Mrs. J. Jones "janejones" (Chester) - See all my reviews
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's collection of short stories is a delightful insight into the life of Nigeria and Nigerians - both at home and abroad. Each one is a little cameo, demonstrating the fascinating history of Nigerians and the problems they face today. The characters never fail to surprise and their touching stories are complete in themselves. She really knows how to write in this form, leaving nothing out that is vital and yet putting in nothing superfluous. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and thought-provoking, 18 July 2009
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AR (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent book, filled with beautifully written stories about life in Nigeria, and the experiences of Nigerians in America. I often find short story collections underwhelming, but this one doesn't disappoint, especially after having read the author's previous book Half of a Yellow Sun. There are a couple of stories that are weaker than the rest, but not enough to let the book as a whole down.

Stories such as 'A Private Experience' and 'The American Embassy' return to the theme of political and civil unrest in Nigeria, and both are powerful and moving pieces about how people deal with turmoil and loss. 'The Thing Around Your Neck' and 'The Arrangers of Marriage' explore young women who have moved to the US for a new life that has not lived up to their expectations. The cultural differences between America and Africa, and even recent and long-term immigrants are presented as vast and confusing.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a brilliant and intelligent writer and I would recommend her books to anyone who enjoys literature. This collection is poignant and moving, and full of life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 28 May 2009
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An excellent collection of short stories about life,death and love in Nigeria, fromt eh author of Half of a Yellow Sun. I'd recommend this to anyone, even those who are normally put off by short stories(as I often am). Every story here is a satisfying, worthwhile read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DOES NOT DISAPPOINT - I'M NOW A FAN, 26 April 2009
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This is officially one author whose work I will buy anytime something new is out with no worry, she's passed the test. Her short stories are as exciting & insightful as her first two novels. From the start of each story she captivates you. Interstingly enough, her stories could be set anywhere in the world and it's not restricted by race, class & all the usual divisive categories. I wanted more after the ending of each story in a good way. The stories are strong from the start with a good variety of subjects, arranged marriages, polictical intrigue & murders,conflict between modern & tradional customs, emigration. I espcially love the fact that all Ngozie's characters are able to think, they're not one dimensional. Buy the book I promise it won't disappoint. The stories are insightful but not heavy.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer her novels, 4 April 2009
By 
Nick Flynn "NickF" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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I loved her two novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, but C.N.A. is not for the faint-hearted. She tackles gritty subjects sometimes in quite graphic detail. If you pick up this book expecting to read some cosy, nice stories, then you can forget it! I must admit I prefer to read novels. Short stories always tend to leave me dissatisfied somehow, but C. N. A.'s stories are meatier than most, and she is undoubtedly a big writing talent. If you are already a fan of hers, and you enjoy reading short stories, then this is a book for you. If you are new to C.N.A., I would suggest you read Purple Hibiscus first. It will let you in (slightly!) more gently to her world, and her bravery in tackling big subjects fearlessly and sometimes poetically. She is definitely a very important contemporary writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and evocative stories, 22 Jun 2011
By 
Jeff Markham (Walton-on-Thames, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a superb collection of stories which brilliantly fuses the personal and the political. The writing is spare but instantly evocative of time and place. It is obvious that Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche writes from personal experience, love and understanding of Nigeria and the universal issues that confront people who choose to emigrate.

The ties that bind individuals to country, family and culture are an ever-present theme in these beautifully written stories. Perhaps the most affecting and striking stories are 'The Arrangers of Marriage', which tells of a wife's estrangement from her new husband on arrival in America, and 'A Private Experience' in which a young medical student takes refuge from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose calm dignity and unbending faith makes her re-examine her own fears and realities.
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The Thing Around Your Neck
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Paperback - 1 Oct 2009)
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