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8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Memories which linger on, 10. Februar 2008
Von 
Booktower (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(VINE®-PRODUKTTESTER)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun. (Taschenbuch)
'Blue Hibiscus' was Chimamanda's Debut, what followed has an even more intense quality. Anyone interested in African and expecially Nigerian present politics should read this book. Apart from that though it has a high entertaining quality. It even seems ironic to talk of 'entertaining' because the theme is absolutely serious, the contents often devastating as was the war 1967-1970 between Biafra and Nigeria. What I mean here is the way she deals with the topic. She weaves real events into the story and the stories of her protagonists. The Ibo massacres of 1966 in the North of Nigeria, among other things triggered the war. Her protagonists are from all walks of life, househelpers, village people, traders, intellectuals. Once you have started with the novel, you are captivated and want to read on. Anyone familiar with Nigeria will enjoy the novel even more, because you see everything so vividly before you.
The incredible bravery of the then Biafrans, their slogan 'Even the grass will rise to fight', the unfaltering confidence into their leader Colonel Ojukwu, all is true and did happen. Some of her characters are modelled after famous Nigerians of the time. The gap between intellectualism and soldier mentality, the antagonism between them and the helplessness of the intellectuals before their cruelty is shown exquisitely. It is an important book enriching the line of novels about the terrible Biafra war. The novel has an emotional intensitiy which Chimamanda says is one of her creeds, when writing. She certainly has achieved this.
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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen History IS people, 25. Februar 2008
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun (Taschenbuch)
Most of us will have little knowledge of the Biafra war, except, possibly, for the media's haunting images of starving children. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie brings her people's world to us in this beautifully crafted, deeply moving, novel. Set in Nigeria during the 1960s, the narrative alternates between the optimistic early years of the decade and the civil war period at the end of it. With her extraordinary storytelling skill, Adichie draws the reader into an absorbing account of fictionalized realities that is impossible to put down - or to forget after the last page is read. With this, her second novel, she confirms her international reputation, established first with Purple Hibiscus, as one of the leading new voices of African literature.

While the war for Biafra's independence, born out of highly complex Nigerian and international political circumstances, provides the essential context for the novel, Adichie's focus is on the personal and private, the struggle of the civilian Igbo population. Her depiction of the horrors of war, the starvation and destruction is realistic. Yet she does not allow these scenes to take over and succeeds in not overwhelming the reader with them. By concentrating on one family and its close circle of friends and neighbours, Adichie creates an intimate portrait of these people's lives during both these critical periods. She paints her characters and their ongoing interactions against the panoramic view of events and environments that influence their lives and challenges their peace and even their existence.

Central to her story are the twin sisters, Olanna and Kainene, from a wealthy middleclass Igbo family. The beautiful Olanna leaves Lagos for a university environment to be with her political firebrand lover, the math professor Odenigbo. Kainene, on the other hand, having inherited their father's talents, shines as a confident business woman. English researcher and writer, Richard, friend of Odenigbo, falls under her spell. Adichie explores the interactions sisterly intimacy and love as well as its serious tests with sensitivity and empathy for both. Through them and their surroundings she also touches on the social, political and religious tensions of the time.

The list of main characters wouldn't be complete without Ugwu. Brought into the Odenigbo household as a house boy, he matures from the naive village boy to become a well educated, articulate and caring member of the extended family. In fact, Ugwu acts as a sort of understudy to the narrator, adding a very distinctly personal flair to the description of events and bridging the reality of his own family's rural environment with that of the intellectually stimulating social gatherings at the professor's house.

During the war years, intimacies, friendships and loyalties are put to the test. Will they survive the dramatically changed circumstances that the group finds itself in? Some are evicted from their homes and have to join the endless stream of refugees to find shelter and food for survival. Others move into remote rural areas to escape the fighting. Olanna's efforts to maintain her dignity and to protect her small family come alive on the page. So does Kainene's work with her confidence that she can beat adversity and barriers in her efforts to maintain the supplies for a refugee camp. They don't lose hope or humanity. Odenigbo and Richard have their own demons to tackle. And Ugwu juggles his various roles while attempting to maintain something of a private life for himself.

Half of a Yellow Sun, also the symbol of the short-lived Biafran state, represents some of the best that storytelling has to offer. With strong imagery and beautiful language Adichie has created a masterwork. [Friederike Knabe]
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Ties That Bind . . . in Peace and War, 7. Mai 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Highly recommended!

Strip away the thin veneer of civilization, and history teaches that you can quickly fall into savagery. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie disagrees with that conclusion. She sees elemental nobility in people that overcomes for most even the most trying conditions. As a result, Half of a Yellow Sun is a very hopeful work, despite recounting the horrors of the Biafran attempt to separate from Nigeria in 1967-70. She also realizes that even the best people will slip up . . . and deserve forgiveness when they do if they repent.

However, betray someone at a personal level . . . and that's much harder to take than mere life-threatening and degrading challenges. The contrast between surviving external conditions and personal betrayal is deftly and powerfully made in this kaleidoscope of how world politics, colonial policies, religious differences, tribal influences, geographical prejudices, racism, economic class consciousness, business activities, family connections, friendships, sexual desire, obligations, and personal favors interplay.

At the center of the story is one household at rural Nsukka University comprised of the socialist-leaning professor Odenigbo, his beautiful mistress Olanna, daughter of Chief Ozobia, and their houseboy, Ugwu. The plot also heavily involves Olanna's fraternal twin sister, Kainene, who runs the family business interests and her lover, the ineffectual English writer, Richard Churchill. Intellectuals from Odenigbo's university circles also stand-in as surrogates for various attitudes in society. In fact, each character is clearly symbolic of one part of the story or the other. Follow their fates, and you get a good sense of the author's ideas of what happened to the overall social fabric.

Two things make this book special: First, Ms. Adichie has captured the psychologies of different times in Nigeria and Biafra in a subtle and interesting way. Her book is very much more about the psychological landscape than about the physical one. No doubt she was helped by her interviews with her relatives and others still living who experienced those days. Second, she takes the time to endow ordinary life with extraordinary meaning. It's a beautiful gift.

The book has two weaknesses from my perspective: Ms. Adichie curiously decides to turn some of the personal events into a mystery so that for some pages you see characters estranged from one another . . . but without knowing the reason. I felt like this approach simply served to make the story harder to understand . . . as though the reader didn't really qualify to know family matters. The other weakness is that many characters are drawn very superficially while Ms. Adichie shows enormous skill in portraying great depths concerning Olanna, Ugwu, and Odenigbo.

For those of us who don't live in Africa, it's always exciting to see events there from the perspective of Africans . . . rather than American journalists and visiting politicians. I felt deeply rewarded by reading this fine book.
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7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This novel is a remarkable book., 18. September 2007
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun (Taschenbuch)
I bought Adichie's first novel 'Purple Hibiscus' in response to positive reviews. It struck a cord with me and I really enjoyed it, but Half of a Yellow Sun is something else. It will be one of the great classics of the 21st century. Set in Nigeria during the Biafran War it takes its characters through friendships, passionate loving relationships, small triumphs, famine and despair. It never loses sight of their humanity and its characters, from the beautiful and privileged Olanna, her sexy university lecturer friend and lover, Odenigbu to Ugwu their beguiling houseboy are superbly drawn. Love hate sibling rivalry is poignantly realised in a way that many sisters will identify with. This is a wonderful book. And deserves to be widely read. It may be about a group of individuals at a particular and terrifying point in their history but it is about everyone at anytime, their hopes their fears and their tragedies. Above all it celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Also read Tino Georgiou's bestselling novel--The Fates.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Ties That Bind . . . in Peace and War, 7. Mai 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun. (Taschenbuch)
Highly recommended!

Strip away the thin veneer of civilization, and history teaches that you can quickly fall into savagery. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie disagrees with that conclusion. She sees elemental nobility in people that overcomes for most even the most trying conditions. As a result, Half of a Yellow Sun is a very hopeful work, despite recounting the horrors of the Biafran attempt to separate from Nigeria in 1967-70. She also realizes that even the best people will slip up . . . and deserve forgiveness when they do if they repent.

However, betray someone at a personal level . . . and that's much harder to take than mere life-threatening and degrading challenges. The contrast between surviving external conditions and personal betrayal is deftly and powerfully made in this kaleidoscope of how world politics, colonial policies, religious differences, tribal influences, geographical prejudices, racism, economic class consciousness, business activities, family connections, friendships, sexual desire, obligations, and personal favors interplay.

At the center of the story is one household at rural Nsukka University comprised of the socialist-leaning professor Odenigbo, his beautiful mistress Olanna, daughter of Chief Ozobia, and their houseboy, Ugwu. The plot also heavily involves Olanna's fraternal twin sister, Kainene, who runs the family business interests and her lover, the ineffectual English writer, Richard Churchill. Intellectuals from Odenigbo's university circles also stand-in as surrogates for various attitudes in society. In fact, each character is clearly symbolic of one part of the story or the other. Follow their fates, and you get a good sense of the author's ideas of what happened to the overall social fabric.

Two things make this book special: First, Ms. Adichie has captured the psychologies of different times in Nigeria and Biafra in a subtle and interesting way. Her book is very much more about the psychological landscape than about the physical one. No doubt she was helped by her interviews with her relatives and others still living who experienced those days. Second, she takes the time to endow ordinary life with extraordinary meaning. It's a beautiful gift.

The book has two weaknesses from my perspective: Ms. Adichie curiously decides to turn some of the personal events into a mystery so that for some pages you see characters estranged from one another . . . but without knowing the reason. I felt like this approach simply served to make the story harder to understand . . . as though the reader didn't really qualify to know family matters. The other weakness is that many characters are drawn very superficially while Ms. Adichie shows enormous skill in portraying great depths concerning Olanna, Ugwu, and Odenigbo.

For those of us who don't live in Africa, it's always exciting to see events there from the perspective of Africans . . . rather than American journalists and visiting politicians. I felt deeply rewarded by reading this fine book.
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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen History is people, 10. Juli 2007
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun. (Taschenbuch)
Most of us will have little knowledge of the Biafra war, except, possibly, for the media's haunting images of starving children. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie brings her people's world to us in this beautifully crafted, deeply moving, novel. Set in Nigeria during the 1960s, the narrative alternates between the optimistic early years of the decade and the civil war period at the end of it. With her extraordinary storytelling skill, Adichie draws the reader into an absorbing account of fictionalized realities that is impossible to put down - or to forget after the last page is read. With this, her second novel, she confirms her international reputation, established first with Purple Hibiscus, as one of the leading new voices of African literature.

While the war for Biafra's independence, born out of highly complex Nigerian and international political circumstances, provides the essential context for the novel, Adichie's focus is on the personal and private, the struggle of the civilian Igbo population. Her depiction of the horrors of war, the starvation and destruction is realistic. Yet she does not allow these scenes to take over and succeeds in not overwhelming the reader with them. By concentrating on one family and its close circle of friends and neighbours, Adichie creates an intimate portrait of these people's lives during both these critical periods. She paints her characters and their ongoing interactions against the panoramic view of events and environments that influence their lives and challenges their peace and even their existence.

Central to her story are the twin sisters, Olanna and Kainene, from a wealthy middleclass Igbo family. The beautiful Olanna leaves Lagos for a university environment to be with her political firebrand lover, the math professor Odenigbo. Kainene, on the other hand, having inherited their father's talents, shines as a confident business woman. English researcher and writer, Richard, friend of Odenigbo, falls under her spell. Adichie explores the interactions sisterly intimacy and love as well as its serious tests with sensitivity and empathy for both. Through them and their surroundings she also touches on the social, political and religious tensions of the time.

The list of main characters wouldn't be complete without Ugwu. Brought into the Odenigbo household as a house boy, he matures from the naïve village boy to become a well educated, articulate and caring member of the extended family. In fact, Ugwu acts as a sort of understudy to the narrator, adding a very distinctly personal flair to the description of events and bridging the reality of his own family's rural environment with that of the intellectually stimulating social gatherings at the professor's house.

During the war years, intimacies, friendships and loyalties are put to the test. Will they survive the dramatically changed circumstances that the group finds itself in? Some are evicted from their homes and have to join the endless stream of refugees to find shelter and food for survival. Others move into remote rural areas to escape the fighting. Olanna's efforts to maintain her dignity and to protect her small family come alive on the page. So does Kainene's work with her confidence that she can beat adversity and barriers in her efforts to maintain the supplies for a refugee camp. They don't lose hope or humanity. Odenigbo and Richard have their own demons to tackle. And Ugwu juggles his various roles while attempting to maintain something of a private life for himself.

Half of a Yellow Sun, also the symbol of the short-lived Biafran state, represents some of the best that storytelling has to offer. With strong imagery and beautiful language Adichie has created a masterwork. [Friederike Knabe]
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5.0 von 5 Sternen all her books are just great to read!, 20. Juni 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun. (Taschenbuch)
Biafra, the nation in the west of Nigeria existed just for a short while. And in the heads of the people away from Nigeria it is already overlayed with other stories like the genozid in Rwanda. Well, this book brings back the memories of those who already lived in this time, as there has been a Biafran-Nation. Adichie describes in her story of two sisters the happiness of the founding as well as the catastrophe from the war. She stays with her characters which develop through the story and the reader becomes a part of this cruel chapter of history that took so many lives. Adichie wasn't born, but she grew up, "in the shadow of Biafra" like she uses to say. Different than for example Buchi Emecheta, Adichie shows the impact and the deeds of other countries, but her main-subject is love, between man and woman and in this case between two sisters.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen great, 28. Mai 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun. (Taschenbuch)
novel. I cannot wait to watch the movie. Chimamanda Ngozi transported me to the time of the Biafra war in Nigeria. I gelt like I was there.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Do you know much of anything about the Biafra war?, 17. April 2014
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun (Kindle Edition)
Neither did I.

Now I do - soley via this great novel. Sometimes novels are much more effective than news media or history books, because they tell the stories of people who, in the end, matter to the reader.

Another great Adichie.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An interesting story on perhaps Africa's most interesting country, 5. Januar 2014
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Half of a Yellow Sun. (Taschenbuch)
It was the blurb that first caught my attention. Then 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 year. Stories that provide an insight into African life in this manner win my heart deeply.
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Half of a Yellow Sun.
Half of a Yellow Sun. von Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Taschenbuch - 15. Januar 2007)
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