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A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without a name walks out of a dust storm in Africa. And in the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the Internet, looking for victims. Lives intersect. Worlds collide. And it all begins with a single email: 'Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help ... ' At once a chilling thriller about a lonely woman avenging her father's death and an epic portrait of morality and corruption across the globe, Will Ferguson's Giller Prize-winning novel plunges into the labyrinth of li.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 49 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This was a weird one for me. Absolutely NOT my normal read. While I do feel the book may have been a touch overlong, with some character stories running longer than they really needed (mostly due to a bit too much backstory), overall, even with the meandering story, it was almost always engaging.

The story does take you for a ride. Just when you think it's a murder mystery, it changes gears. Then you think it's this. Then that. Then back to the murder mystery...

Sometimes the storytelling POV did a strange flip partway through a scene that was a touch off-putting, but it was rare.

Overall though, it was the characters that made this book, that grabbed me and wouldn't let me go, long after a less well-written book would have been set aside.

As I said, not my normal read and not a story I'd be quick to jump back into again, but I did enjoy it. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
internet scams out of Africa one family's involvement and daughter's attempt for justice for father's resulting suicide
shows how oil companies have altered tribal life and how desperation can drive a person to do unethical yhings
  nancynic | Jul 15, 2021 |
While the concept of the book was fascinating - email money scams - I found some of it to be a little unbelievable. This is a very serious situation that takes place all the time and it was interesting to understand the back story of who it works in Africa. However I found some of the situations of the major character a little far fetched. Some of the risks she took likely wouldn't have turned out the way they did in the book. It was an enjoyable story but it takes some suspension of belief to read. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Apr 27, 2020 |
Laura gets a phone call one day saying that her father has had a crash and has been found dead. As the police start to investigate the crash not all is as it seems, and then they discover he has been the victim of a 419 scam, the begging emails that originate from Nigeria

Nnamdi is the son of the chief, and manages to get a job with shell in the oil fields in Nigeria, but he is tempted away by the profits offered by theft of oil and gas, where he puts he is engineering training to good use.

Amina is on the run, and is pregnant too. As she struggles through the desert, existing on water and air almost she manages to meet Nnamdi who takes pity on her, and brings her to Lagos.

Laura decides that she is going to go after the perpetrator of the scam and get her fathers money back so she heads to Nigera.

This is a modern tale of fraud, betrayal of three intertwined live and and of one person seeking justice. It intertwines three peoples lives in a fairly unique story, but it didn't really do so much for me. The scenes in Lagos are very edgy but a little contrived in some ways. It is a shame as it could have been so much more tense. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
What an intriguing look into the murky world of internet money scams. The story weaves the tales of a Nigerian delta boy, a pregnant northern african woman and a Calgary family into a scary cautionary tale that gives an unflinching look that the chaos and destruction the western world has brought to Nigeria; the results of which created the world of the 419ers.
Unputdownable! ( )
  LindaWeeks | May 14, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 49 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
So what to make of 419? Surely, talented authors should stretch their bounds. Ferguson can do many things, from travel writing to joke-telling to satire. What he can’t do is present believable earnestness. As an artist, 419 plays to all of his faults, and few of his talents. He has attempted to test himself by writing an international tragedy in the vein of Michael Ondaatje, but has imported many more of Ondaatje’s excesses than achievements.
adicionado por kidzdoc | editarNational Post
 
The novel is further enlivened by sharp dialogue and imagery. Looking out from her apartment window at Calgary’s crane-crowned winter skyline, Laura sees “a city that was constantly erasing and rewriting itself. A cold city, exhaling steam.” Later, Nnamdi remembers the day the men from the oil company suddenly emerged from the dense mangrove thickets to stake the villagers’ ancestral land: “More and more men boiled out of the [jungle] gap like ants.”

But too often, especially in the novel’s first half, the prose reveals a talented author working against the instincts and storytelling gifts that served him so well in his other works. Hopefully Ferguson finds equally compelling material to work with in his next novel, be it comic or otherwise, and this time trusts his gut a little more.
adicionado por vancouverdeb | editarQuill and Quire
 
Until Ferguson’s characters move toward inevitable confrontations in Lagos, 419 suffers some drag. But from roughly page 187 on, you won’t sleep until you finish, and then rest won’t come easily. Riveting. Provocative.
 
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"Four one nine is not a game, it is a contest of wills," Ironsi-Egobia continued. "It is Nigerian cunning versus oyibo greed, and in such a tussle, cunning always has the advantage. Why? Because greed clouds men's eyes, fogs their gaze. Cunning focuses it. We are tax collectors, Adam. We charge a tax on greed. We should be congratulated, not prosecuted, and yet it is we who are called the criminals. Criminals! They talk about Nigeria's 'culture of corruption.' What of Europe's 'culture of greed'? What of America's? What of these oyibos agreeing to schemes that are so clearly illegal, were they to be true? Moving millions of dollars out of a poverty-stricken nation, profiteering on Nigeria's hardships? Are the mugus not criminals too? Aspiring criminals, but criminals still. Are they not accomplices as much as they are victims? This is what the fools at the EFCC fail to see."
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A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without a name walks out of a dust storm in Africa. And in the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the Internet, looking for victims. Lives intersect. Worlds collide. And it all begins with a single email: 'Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help ... ' At once a chilling thriller about a lonely woman avenging her father's death and an epic portrait of morality and corruption across the globe, Will Ferguson's Giller Prize-winning novel plunges into the labyrinth of li.

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813.6 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction 21st Century

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