“How could such sordidness be juxtaposed with so much affluence.”
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: January 1, 2009
Rate: 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Being the opara of the family, Kingsley Ibe is entitled to certain privileges–a piece of meat in his egusi soup, a party to celebrate his graduation from university. As first son, he has responsibilities, too. But times are bad in Nigeria, and life is hard. Unable to find work, Kingsley cannot take on the duty of training his younger siblings, nor can he provide his parents with financial peace in their retirement. And then there is Ola. Dear, sweet Ola, the sugar in Kingsley’s tea. It does not seem to matter that he loves her deeply; he cannot afford her bride price.
It hasn’t always been like this. For much of his young life, Kingsley believed that education was everything, that through wisdom, all things were possible. Now he worries that without a “long-leg”–someone who knows someone who can help him–his degrees will do nothing but adorn the walls of his parents’ low-rent house. And when a tragedy befalls his family, Kingsley learns the hardest lesson of all: education may be the language of success in Nigeria, but it’s money that does the talking.
Unconditional family support may be the way in Nigeria, but when Kingsley turns to his Uncle Boniface for help, he learns that charity may come with strings attached. Boniface–aka Cash Daddy–is an exuberant character who suffers from elephantiasis of the pocket. He’s also rumored to run a successful empire of email scams. But he can help. With Cash Daddy’s intervention, Kingsley and his family can be as safe as a tortoise in its shell. It’s up to Kingsley now to reconcile his passion for knowledge with his hunger for money, and to fully assume his role of first son. But can he do it without being drawn into this outlandish mileu?
Just from the tittle and the Synopsis, I knew I was going to have a good time with this book and I was right.
I Do Not Come To You By Chance is a bizarre, comical book. To fully enjoy this book you have to suspend all disbelief.
I found Adaobi’s writing to be simple and easy to get through and all I wanted to do is just flip through the pages. There were so many funny moments and it made for a wonderful read. It’s not every day you read African Literature that isn’t filled with trauma.
“I think a child should be named for his destiny so that whenever he hears his name, he has an idea of the sort of future that is expected of him.”
The characters, especially the uncle, have strange habits and have clichéd traits. There’s also the typical stereotypes, and depending on how you read them, you may or may not enjoy the book. Also, the ending may not be what you expect.
All in all, I Do Not Come To You By Chance was such a welcome relief, a read that made me happy with its hilarity and weird notions and I quite enjoyed. And if you’re looking for crime fiction to indulge in, I do recommend this one.
Have you read the book? What did you think about it?