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Old 06-11-2018, 12:44 PM   #1
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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

'With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves together the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. Thirteen-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor’s beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna’s twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and the three must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.'

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This is the MR Literary Club selection for June 2018. Whether you've already read it or would like to, feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time, and guests are always welcome! So, what are your thoughts on it?

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Old 06-12-2018, 04:23 PM   #2
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As the description noted, Adichie seems a natural storyteller from what I've read so far. I was quickly pulled in. I was surprised by the humour and I've already laughed out loud a few times, such as when Ugwu wishes curses on guests of Odenigbo that he doesn't like, such as wishing bad diarrhoea on someone and their future children.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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The writing is wonderful so far. Nice cadence and lots of imagery. I think it will read quickly. I am slowed down because I keep looking up terms and places. It will be interesting history to learn.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:38 PM   #4
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It is a very sad history. I was in high school when the war started, and still remember the coverage on the suffering of the people in Biafra. Very many Igbo starved to death due to the wartime disruption of agriculture and the tight blockade of Biafra.

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Old 06-17-2018, 06:26 AM   #5
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Biafra: A People Betrayed by Kurt Vonnegut

From Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:47 AM   #6
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Biafra: A People Betrayed by Kurt Vonnegut

From Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons
Thanks for the link, BenG!
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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I am past half way through my reread of this book and am glad I returned to it. It rereads as being quite fresh.

For me the story flows well and the prose is great, no rough to read sentences and scenes are set with no use of the exaggerated or tired adjectives, metaphors, etc. many writers use.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:32 PM   #8
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I am past half way through my reread of this book and am glad I returned to it. It rereads as being quite fresh.

For me the story flows well and the prose is great, no rough to read sentences and scenes are set with no use of the exaggerated or tired adjectives, metaphors, etc. many writers use.
Yes, I love the way she writes about things without sentimentalizing or dramatizing; she can write about cockroach eggs, the smell of the night soil, the act of sexual intercourse all without fuss in what seems to be the most natural manner.
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:49 PM   #9
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I am about 50% complete now. It seems that the book is going to follow a timeline something like A, C, B, D rather than a chronological A, B, C, D. I found that a little confusing in Part 2 when it jumped ahead and then only hints at things that happened in the past. It appears the missing links are going to be presented in Part 3 now. It's not immediately obvious to me the benefit of why she has structured the book in this fashion. However maybe it will be once I read the second half!
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:25 PM   #10
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It had me wondering what was happening timewise too, for example Baby seemed to suddenly appear on the scene from nowhere.

I am into the last section now and am finding it all hangs together but despite that I am not sure why the book was constructed non-serially in time. It does seem to keep related events of a particular nature together rather than dispersed through the length of the book - well, I think, perhaps maybe .

I had Adichie's Purple Hibiscus already, but not yet read, and was wondering about getting some others which took me to the Wikipedia page for her short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck where I came across this review "She makes storytelling seem as easy as birdsong" (Daily Telegraph).
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:00 PM   #11
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...I came across this review "She makes storytelling seem as easy as birdsong"
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