Jasper's Reviews > Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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's review
Jan 02, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in June, 2008

This book is good, flow easily from page 1 and was like a smooth glass of perfumed white wine after a whole load of harsh throat grabbers BUT I had a few problems with it that left me feeling troubled:

1. Some of the characters were actually caricatures, Richard was hardly believable as a real person and the basis for his character as described by her in a Radio 4 interview recently (based in part on Frederick Forsyth??!!) belies the character she presents us - misplaced, impotent, well meaning, slightly foppish in a Hugh Grant way.....a bit of a prat really. Frederick Forsyth in the popular imagination is a hard nosed Conservative who is not interested in bulls**t. I struggled to see FF in Richard so that made me start questioning the book.

2. It just reads so much like Captain Corelli's Mandolin set in 60s Nigeria / Biafra. The narrative, the breakdown of the book and the depiction of the characters kept reminding me of Captain Corelli. Infact if you look at it from a distance, it is the same book.

3. Her descriptions of the violence of warfare were not believable and were infact gratuitous (man has his head blown off and keeps on running). I have read a lot of military history and first hand accounts of warfare in places like Vietnam and for some reason I just felt like she had asked her 16 year old nephew to write those parts of the book without really researching it.

Having said all of that I liked it, and that should give you an endorsement of this book. It is genius dogged by laziness and a lack of confidence in parts.

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12/14/2016 marked as: read

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