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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining insight into the world of an email scammer
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...
Published on 19 April 2010 by Jackie

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Do you think this is the sort of life I wanted to live? Do you think I had much choice?'
Light but entertaining read following a promising young Nigerian Chemical Engineering graduate Kingsley. Although he's followed his parents' advice, he finds things just aren't working out - he can't get a job without having friends on the inside. His being reliant on pocket money is causing his beloved Ola to start looking elsewhere. And when his father falls ill, he's...
Published 20 months ago by sally tarbox


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining insight into the world of an email scammer, 19 April 2010
This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book funny in parts, 28 Jan 2011
This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A richly comic novel that will help you to avoid becoming a mugu, 23 July 2013
By 
Dr R (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (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. Nigeria is portrayed as a country of corruption that invades every area of society, a huge country with disaffected youth, lack of trust in politics and religious evangelism. Against this, his parents' simple belief that education is the route to personal success and societal benefit seems very old-fashioned. One of the most affecting parts of the story is Kingsley's mother's refusal to accept any of the gifts, a car, equipment for her business, he gives her because of her belief that his job, and his money, is corrupt. Here again is the tension between the generations.

As a Welshman, I was saddened to see that one of the suckers, mugus, taken in by Kingsley's first scams was a Cardiffian. The author's style is very engaging and, although from time to time the humour almost topples into senselessness, she has written a first novel that is many layered, after one stops laughing at the antics of Cash Daddy, one keeps thinking about the consequences for the mugus, the reputation that Nigerians have to live with as devious and corrupt, and the tragedy of an underperforming country with so much wealth in its human and mineral resources. Kingsley reflects throughout the on the differing perspectives between what you owe to yourself, and what you owe to your family, and how these change depending on whether you and your family are amongst the Haves or Have-Nots.

I have never been to Nigeria and I am sure that some of the description is tweaked for comedic benefit. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the writing - in particular the wide range of dialogue quoted from highly educated, through fashionably hippy to the language of the house helpers who have had only a very basic education. The series of short, sharp chapters constantly referred to the awfulness of the country's power-, communications-, transport- and hospital-infrastructures. Despite all of Nigeria's problems and challenges, there is a vibrancy and energy here that is captivating.

The author is also able to shock, as with the single line describing Kingsley's father's death. She builds up humorous situations slowly but is also able to deliver very funny lines, such as Kingsley describing his father's diagnosis "For a poorly paid civil servant to dabble in an affliction like diabetes was the very height of ambitious misfortune". Equally Nwaubani is able to create laughter out of nothing, one responsive mugu requiring telephone contact to ensure he sends more money is "Mr Del B. Trotter". Another is part-owner of "Lummox Utilities". She also includes a number of scam letters that have probably been copied and adapted, and brought in millions already.

At the very centre of the novel is Cash Daddy, who imitates a platitudinous government minister to perfection in front of a readily impressed English mugu, talks to "Mr Rumsfeld" on the phone, dictates to his secretaries from the toilet and sums up his philosophy to Kingsley as "Is honesty an achievement? Personality is one thing, achievement is another thing. So what has your father achieved? How much money is he leaving for you when he dies? Or is it his textbooks that you'll collect and pass on to your own children", earlier when Kingsley argues that his father's ethics and morality gave him a successful life, his uncle asks "Do you know this is the man whose money is going to feed your children and your children's children and your children's children's children?" Will Kingsley see the error of his ways or will he simply follow his uncle's advice and eventually take over from him?

In any first novel there are inevitably longueurs, here Kingsley's broken relationship with his curiously two-dimensional girlfriend, Ola, might have been dealt with much more succinctly.

This is an excellent book, comic but with serious undertones, which I highly recommend. I look forward very much to reading the author's next work.
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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
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This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Want some free money? This is why you won't get it.... unless you are the scammer!, 28 April 2011
By 
J. A. West (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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How easy is it to make money from greedy people who hope to get something for free! This is the basis of the 419 scamming of which Kingsley becomes a part. Once he has tasted the 'easy life' of having more money than he knows what to do with, he can't go back to his previous ambition of being an engineer - a profession to make his parents' proud. The first half of the book is a bit slow, but this is an enjoyable read. Shows how creative these scammers can be!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exploring Beyond the Scam, 11 Jan 2013
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This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Paperback)
EXPLORING BEYOND THE SCAM - I DO NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE
If like me you have ever wondered what propels people into writing a bogus letter inviting either the greedy or the gullible or the plain unfortunate to fall for one of those E-mail scams, this compelling and intelligent story provides an amusing and informative insight. In peeling back the curtains of this murky world, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani provides us with a glimpse of a place many of us would never know anything about, revealing layers of social and cultural complexity. DoES the circumstance make the criminal or does the criminal make the circumstance? Aren't the victims of these crimes at best simply paying the price of their own greed, and at worst, are actually co-conspirators? Can you use dirty money in a clean way? Do the ends justify the means in a society that has warped its value system to honour the corrupt and glorify the criminal? All these questions and more are touched upon in a very impressive first novel; the author may not thank me for attributing her with the honour of writing probably the first great '419' novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Do you think this is the sort of life I wanted to live? Do you think I had much choice?', 6 Nov 2012
By 
sally tarbox (aylesbury bucks uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Paperback)
Light but entertaining read following a promising young Nigerian Chemical Engineering graduate Kingsley. Although he's followed his parents' advice, he finds things just aren't working out - he can't get a job without having friends on the inside. His being reliant on pocket money is causing his beloved Ola to start looking elsewhere. And when his father falls ill, he's forced to ask for money from Uncle Boniface aka 'Cash Daddy'. This uncle has made a fortune from internet scamming and soon offers his nephew a job. Will the respectable Kingsley overcome his decent upbringing?
Quite humorous in parts; the crazy scams that take in a few white recipients. Also makes you think about the background of the senders in a country where there's no welfare and you have to fend for yourself. It's not great literature but it absolutely kept me reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!!, 14 Sep 2012
This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Paperback)
I Do Not Come to You by Chance - Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Kingsley's parents have one rule that all their children must adhere to: Complete your education & university degree and get a good job. However, Kingsley finds after getting his degree in Chemical Engineering, that there are no jobs and when his father dies, Kingsley is persuaded by his uncle Boniface (AKA Cash Daddy) to start working for him.

Thanks to suckering a couple of very stupid mugus (white people) Kingsley's life of wealth knows no bounds.

I've always had a deep fascination for 419ers. Their emails arrive every day in my spam folder. Sometimes one will be out of the ordinary and warrant a read and sure enough, one arrived the other day (from a US soldier!) which was an absolute double to one of the scams described in the book! It gave me a good chuckle and an almost irresistible urge to reply (managed to keep my fingers off the keyboard!). Because of my fascination with 419ers, when I realised what this book was about, I dived into it and fell in love with bad Kingsley, even worse Cash Daddy and all the other characters. Kingsley's sainted mother fought him tooth and nail to change his ways and does get some satisfaction in this department.

A truly brilliant book and well worth the read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow to start but worth keeping going, 3 Sep 2010
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This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Paperback)
I read this for my reading group rather than choosing it myself. I found the first few chapters slow going but it did warm up. Some of the humour was a bit of the 'doh!' variety. An excellent first novel though and it put an original and informed slant on the scamming issue and I would read more by the same author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant First Book, 30 July 2010
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This review is from: I Do Not Come to You by Chance (Paperback)
Its a very brilliant first book. It leaves a lot to your imagination which is good. I have given it a 4 star because she has not included a glossary for some of the African language that she has used in the book. This is one of those books that you read without putting it down for too long. I think I read it in 2 days and I am a very busy person, so I was reading it on the train to work, on my lunch break and in bed and still managed to finish it in 2 days.
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I Do Not Come to You by Chance
I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (Paperback - 4 Mar 2010)
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