Customer Reviews for

Half of a Yellow Sun

Average Rating 4.5
( 85 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    What a book !

    This book hits home . Being a kid that went through the Nigeria / Biafra civil war, the narrations in this book brings back true memory of experiences of that civil war . Two words....... Well written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    In the late 1960s civil war devastates the Igbo people who formed the independent nation of Biafra having broken away from Nigeria. Thirteen year old peasant Ugwu has survived so far even being forcfully conscripted into the shabby Biafran army currently he works as a houseboy for Professor Odenigbo.-------------------- At the same time the lad endures life and death, a savage slaughter of the affluent leaves twin sisters Olanna and Kainene without any other family member left alive. Both choose similar paths to safety the only ones available to young orphaned females. Olanna becomes mistress to Professor Odenigbo, who loathes the Europeans for what their occupation has wrought to his homeland Kainene, on the other hands, selects British writer Richard, who is writing a book on the civil war impact on the Igbo, as her protector. Ugwu and Kainene form a relationship, but she becomes outraged when he spends a drunken night with her twin, putting all three at risk.---------------- Readers will feel and ¿see¿ the impact of war on the innocent in this superior historical novel. Using the Biafra civil war of the 1960s as the influence that directly impacts her three prime characters and to a lesser degree the two support players, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie paints a vivid condemnation of war in which peasants below the frey easily become collateral damage and survivability is everything. Readers (except VP Cheney, who would find a connection to 9/11) will appreciate this powerful look at real world surviving.------------ Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful novel based on events of the Nigerian Civil War 1967

    A wonderful novel based on events of the Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970. In May, 1967, after a widespread massacre of Igbos, the Igbos seceded to form the state of Biafra. This novel begins in the early sixties with three closely connected characters Ugwu, Olanna, and Richard and follows their lives and suffering, as well as the intense suffering of the Igbos, through the end of the civil war.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    The blurb caught my attention and the fact that the story is on

    The blurb caught my attention and the fact that the story is on the Nigerian Civil war I was researching at the time made me go for this book. I am glad I did.

    This story of the poor Ugwu leaving the life he had known in his home village to work as a house help in Enugu, where he got trapped in the world of educated and refined people whose worlds and past mirror the complexities of Nigeria before, during and after the civil. The writing makes understanding the civil war a lot easier, and gives an insight of the various ethnicities (Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani), especially the major ones, whose squabbling and shortsightedness plunged the land into so much misery that it is yet to fully recover from.

    The story spans four decades and tells a story of Nigeria that is exemplary. It comes with Disciples of Fortune, and Things Fall Apart as novels I enjoyed this summer. Stories that provide an insight into African life in this manner win my heart deeply.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Rich, Tragic, and Beautiful Half of a Yellow Sun takes place in

    Rich, Tragic, and Beautiful

    Half of a Yellow Sun takes place in Nigeria during the Nigeria/Biafa civil war. The narrative follows 3 characters: Ugwu, a village boy who is taken in by some politically-inclined academics as a house boy; Olanna, Ugwu's mistress and a rich heiress; and Richard, a British expat who desperately wants to be accepted by the Biafrans as one of them. The stories of these three characters are superbly and tragically woven together on a backdrop of war, racial hatred, and famine. This is one of the most impressive books I've read in quite a while. The characters were so deep that I felt I knew them. The events described had an eerie realism to them that comes from the author's intimate knowledge of the history and people. This is one of those books that makes you feel like every incident described is important and well-planned. This is a story not only of war, but of people--their dreams, their loves, their fears, their strengths and weaknesses. Half of a Yellow Sun is a must-read for anyone interested in international literature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Great read

    This book is incredible. Very engaging; i felt the joy, anger and hope of the characters. Best West African book i ever read. Learned a thing about the Biafran war in Nigeria. Wow... all these happened not so long ago and no one talks about it.
    I realized as i read the book, "pidgin english" was not spoken even by the illiterates....
    This was not just a great story to enjoy but an educative one. I cannot even decipher the deeper meaning of this book in a half page of review.....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Amazing Read

    Very well written. A truly riveting story surrounding the Biafra War in Nigeria. You will love all the characters and go through the motions with them as their country and way of life escapes them. I could not put this book down. You will not regret your purchase. Enjoy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    One of my favorite books of all time - thought provoking, moving, and not sensationalist

    We read this book for an MA-level fiction course, and afterwards I bought my sister a copy for personal reading. Adichie challenges, provokes, and touches her reader through very personal stories of five characters. Adichie lost both grandfathers in the Biafran revolution in Nigeria, and writes her novel to help us remember and to foreground human love. I never found myself bored, never willing to put the book down. I'm not a very "verbal" reader but found myself gasping aloud (much to my fiance's confusion). You will not regret this book, but prepare yourself for an intense experience.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    Highly Recommended

    Half of a Yellow Sun was a great book. It was filled with hope, love, death, and betrayal. It was emotional and hard to think of the things they all had to go through, with moving from home to home, to losing loved ones. Seeing each person's take on the war and how they were each affected by it was a clever idea by the author. It helped set the mood for each chapter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    A reviewer

    After writing a critically acclaimed first novel, it is almost customary to write a dud as a follow-up. Only a few writers succeed in writing a novel better than their first novel Chimamanda Adichie is among the few. Every novelist has a unique story simmering in her (his) head, a story that she feels she must write. Arundhati Roy had ¿The God of Small Things¿, V. S. Naipaul had ¿A House for Mr. Biswas¿, and Chimamanda Adichie had ¿Half of a Yellow Sun¿. ¿This is a book I had to write,¿ Ms. Adichie has said. ¿I have been thinking about this book my whole life.¿ When a writer thinks of a story for years, and then sets out to write it with care and passion, the prose flows as heartfelt, and the novel shines. As a result, long after you finish reading this novel, you will feel your mind lit with the light of this powerful, frightening and also deeply moving novel. Written in simple but elegant prose, her style reminded me of the great Indian writer R. K. Narayan: ¿He looked up at the ceiling, so high up, so piercingly white. He closed his eyes and tried to reimagine this spacious room with the alien furniture, but he couldn't. He opened his eyes, overcome by a new wonder, and looked around to make sure it was all real. To think that he would sit on these sofas, polish this slippery-smooth floor, wash these gauzy curtains.¿ And like R. K. Narayan, who was well-known for his short stories, Chimamanda also has written short stories as well. (She has been compared with Chinua Achebe, but I haven¿t read any of Achebe¿s novels.) In Nigeria, in the late 1960s, there was a civil war between the Muslims in the north and Christians in the south, in the state of Biafra. Ethnic cleansing and massacre of Biafrans followed. As a result, Biafrans tried to secede from Nigeria. The half of a yellow sun refers to the emblem of the flag of the state of Biafra. Using this war as the background, the author has written a story involving five central characters: Ugwu, aged 13, who arrives at professor Odenigbo¿s house to work as a houseboy, and Olanna, a beautiful young woman who chooses to become Odenigbo¿s mistress, and Olanna¿s not so lovely twin sister Kainene, who is in love with Richard, an Englishman. Because other reviewers have narrated the story in brief, I do not feel the need to narrate it again. There are beautiful, subtly erotic passages, as well as graphic passages depicting sex and violence and blood-curdling brutality. I have no doubt that similar incidents, as depicted here, did indeed occur in Biafra. But you need to have an iron stomach to be able to read these passages without feeling sick and fearful. I wish to conclude on a cheerful note however, because I really admired this novel, and so here is a passage I wish to quote. Even though it is slightly erotic, I found it quite lovely: ¿But he liked going on errands to her house. They were opportunities to find her bent over, fanning the firewood or chopping ugu leaves for her mother's soup pot, or just sitting outside looking after her younger siblings, her wrapper hanging low enough for him to see the tops of her breasts.¿ This is truly an impressive and memorable novel. It¿s even more impressive and more accomplished than her critically acclaimed first novel, ¿Purple Hibiscus¿. And it is gripping and searing. But it¿s certainly not for the weak-hearted. Also, ¿Half of a Yellow Sun¿ is an apt title but the novel, however, is luminous like a full moon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Jared

    And it was more truckery....the pomiganteets......... so why did u ask yesterday if i was virgin???? and why u dare me to lick tye hottest chick i knew....who did u thibk id lick

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Clarice

    I do not have any other form, but I can fly and I have a pegasi (female pegasus).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    JAIL

    When you do bad things, well you actually live here!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    TO ALL BOYS

    Were having a football game and we need you on our team. Just sign up and your on . Go to " high school " res 15

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Pierce

    Sits on his bed a vine moving in his hand

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    APRODITE CABIN

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Good read

    Certainly intriguing and great intertwining of history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Elmow.

    Monsterhi.

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  • Posted December 15, 2013

    I was hesitant to purchase this book because the story was based

    I was hesitant to purchase this book because the story was based during the war. I was expecting a long boring description of the war but wow! it blew me away!I could not put this book down! Nothing was predictable! The reader was just as surprised as the characters in the book when a bomb exploded. Cleverly written! Great plot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Recommended

    I was curious to read how Chimamanda approached tales from a war that took place before she was born. Having lived through that war myself, I came away concluding that she did an awesome job, focussing on the human angle. The book helped me appreciate that while Biafra had no choice but to seek self-preservation through secession, it had very little chance of success. Unfortunately, politics, economics, and the sluggishness of the wheel of justice conspired to prevent early detection of man's injustice to one another, and the resultant untold human suffering and death. Finally, it was rather disappointing not to resolve the issue of a missing protagonist, Kainene, by the end of the novel.

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