Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: 419 by Will Ferguson

A car tumbles down a snowy ravine. Accident or suicide?

On the other side of the world, a young woman walks out of a sandstorm in sub-Saharan Africa. In the labyrinth of the Niger Delta, a young boy learns to survive by navigating through the gas flares and oil spills of a ruined landscape. In the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the internet looking for victims.

Lives intersect, worlds collide, a family falls apart. And it all begins with a single email: “Dear Sir, I am the son of an exiled Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help ...”

419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. What she finds there will change her life forever...
First off. This is my second time writing this. I somehow copy and pasted another review on top of this. So this one is going to be a little more succinct.
I give this a 4.5 stars
There are four stories interspersed throughout this novel. The first is the main focus of  the novel.  A father gets sucked into a "419" scam, basically someone emailing asking for money with their sob story. I just can't imagine that people actually fall for these Internet scams. I mean, I consider myself a good charitable person, but there is no way I am going to trust an email saying 'please help me, I'm a starving African former princess with 5 incurable diseases'. But there are people out there who are- like the father.  The father is in a car crash, and the family finally learns exactly how much he's lost (and that he was part of this at all).  This story is combined with Laura. The daughter. Who, in my opinion seems pretty sad. I mean, she eats dinner at the Northill Mall (which is a pretty crummy mall within Calgary).

Anyways, Laura makes it her life mission to find out who exactly conned her father into driving himself off the road, leaving her family in shambles.  Eventually heading to Nigeria to face the scammer one on one.

Enter story #2. You learn the backside of the 419 business in Nigeria. You almost empathize with the guy who emailed Laura's father. I mean, he is just trying to get paid.

 The third and fourth story is about Amina, a young pregnant girl who basically walks across Nigeria for a safer place to raise her unborn child.  At first this story was interesting to me, but I was always like 'umm, I don't care, what does this have to do with anything'. No worries though, you do find out why her story is important. Hers is mixed with the fourth and final story- Nnandi. Hes a promsing young man, travelign to the Delta of Nigeria as well to create a better life.

All in all, I have to say I enjoyed the African stories better. I felt like Will Ferugson put more effort into them.  This may be because I didn't need to Calgary descriptions or the background on economic crimes., as I could identify with the exact road and area of the city that the author was describing.

I also do recommend this read.
"you, I love."

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