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419
 
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419 [Kindle Edition]

Will Ferguson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 17.86
Kindle Price: CDN$ 12.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: CDN$ 4.87 (27%)
Sold by: Penguin Group Canada
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Product Description

Review

"This book shimmers. Tautly paced and vividly drawn, 419 captures the reader in a net of desire and deceit drawn tight by the interconnections of humanity in the twenty-first century." - Vincent Lam, author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Product Description

A startlingly original tale of heartbreak and suspense

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 ...

From the internationally bestselling travel writer Will Ferguson, author of Happiness and Spanish Fly, comes a novel both epic in its sweep and intimate in its portrayal of human suffering. It’s a story of love in a time of darkness, of one woman’s search for redemption, and of a young boy who will triumph above it all.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 552 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada (Oct. 5 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group Canada
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009M7DO96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #963 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dear Sir.... April 30 2012
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When I think of Canadian author Will Ferguson, it is his travel memoirs that immediately spring to mind. That and his rich sense of humour (He has won The Leacock Medal for Humour numerous times.)

419 takes us in a completely different direction....

We've all received them. In fact Barrister Salvadore Gallarto sent me one this morning. Can I help him with repatriating 8.5 million euros? It's a simple matter really. I'm sure that every reader has had one of these land in our inbox. And we promptly trash them. But what if you didn't?

Laura Curtis is heartbroken when her elderly father Henry is killed in an auto accident. But on further investigation, it appears he deliberately left the road. Why would he do such a thing? Further digging by the local Calgary police on his computer uncovers the truth - he had become embroiled in a 419 scam...."I can help...." (419 is the Nigerian criminal code for "obtaining money or goods under false pretenses.)

On the other side of the world in Nigeria, we follow the story of Winston - a 419 scammer. And Amina - a young pregnant woman walking her way across the country, escaping from something. And Nnamdi, a young man from the depths of the Niger Delta.

In the beginning, I wondered how these disparate stories would tie together, but Ferguson deftly weaves an absolutely riveting plot. The criminal underbelly of Nigeria is presented in all of it's seediness. But really, it is the story of Nnamdi that captured me the most. His story is given the most page space and he is the character I felt I 'knew' the most. The effect of the oil industry on a country and its' people is disheartening. The death of her father changes Laura as well.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Will Ferguson may be known for works that feature humour and may otherwise be interpreted as lighthearted, maybe lightweight. 419 is none of these.

Starting with a "what if" scenario . . . What if someone actually responds to and tries to help one of these people in a Nigerian e-mail scam? From there we get a tour of both ends of the scenario in a well-researched, gripping read that incorporates its knowledge seamlessly into a well-constructed narrative. This is a book that will surprise you, teach you and make you think. It will make you sad.

But it gets us in touch with something that is real, that is part of the world we live in, and for that we can be grateful. And we can safely conclude that Will Ferguson is not only a humour writer, he is a simply a great writer.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Informative Oct. 4 2012
By jacksprat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Everyone gets them. You know, those pesky spams with a Nigerian address promising you a good return if only you will allow funds to be deposited into your account. The spam speaks in terms of desperation and the urgent need to help someone in Nigeria unlock a family wealth. Will Fergusan takes us on the ride where someone (the sucker that is born every day) actually follows through with a response to the spam. He opens the book with a thrill ride and accident in Canada. It is the investigation of the accident that leads his family to travel to Nigeria. It is an opportunity for a look into the life of "normal" life in Nigeria and get into the down and dirty of corruption at many levels. What makes the 419 criminal? Theft can be theft of resources, theft of property, or the transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor.

The book is informative as a travelog to a place one would not normally thinks as a vacation hot spot. Nigeria is a poor country, rich in resources but poor in real management for the people. 419 refers to the Nigerian criminal code dealing with theft. I suspect Will Fergusan is referring to the Big Oil and the Nigerian government itself as the criminals. Everyone else is a victim. Great, easy read and recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Oct. 16 2012
Format:Hardcover
Mr. Ferguson, Thank you so much for this amazing book. I've read most of your others and was not at all sure what to expect of this one. I now know why you were nominated for a Giller....it is much deserved with this effort. Please more, sir! -a fellow Calgarian
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By sean s. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Will Ferguson is a Canadian writer based in Calgary, who is best known for his works of humour and his travel writing. In his novel 419, he undertakes what is arguably a more ambitious task, and succeeds brilliantly.

419 opens with a winter car crash just outside Calgary. A cold evening in one of the coldest countries in the world. The story continues in the hot sands of Nigeria. In the past, it might have been said that this cannot be the same story.

But in fact, 419 is in many ways a meditation on the nature of globalization. The story traces the path of Laura, as she investigates the untimely and suspicious death of her father, an investigation that leads her to the opposite end of the world.

This is not the Disney version of globalization, `It's a small world after all', much less Coca-Cola's `I'd like to teach the world to sing.' It is the version of globalization in which Nigeria is just as connected to Calgary as it is to Africa - by oil, by money, by the Internet. And rather than a rising tide lifting all boats, it is a race to the bottom in which desperate people take desperate measures, and organized crime has global reach and deadly consequences.

419 follows the apparently disconnected paths of Laura, Winston, Amina and Nnambi, to reveal that they are in fact connected. In this the book may remind some readers of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film Babel, especially since Ferguson is a master of description, and 419 has a very cinematographic feel to it.

Ferguson's keen powers of observation, honed in his travels around the world, serve him well, and 419 is an intriguing novel that builds to an enthralling conclusion. Recommended!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really liked this book
I really liked this book. It was intriguing and informative with a neat story all at once. Allows one to get a picture of some
of the 'cons' that happened and are happening. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Rita M. Skinner
4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put this book down. An intrigue of ...
Could not put this book down. An intrigue of several characters which takes us to another continent. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Francine
5.0 out of 5 stars It starts out like a straightforward story but get ready to be...
The most interesting book I've read in a long time - this is a page turner you won't regret buying. It starts out like a straightforward story but get ready to be surprised.
Published 1 month ago by Kathy Daley
3.0 out of 5 stars What who you're talking to!
This is a very scary book. It does, however, show us how much better off we are in this hemisphere than folks in the east. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andrea Pheasey
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it's less then expected...
Published 2 months ago by Jackie
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping towards the end
It was kind of hard to follow at first as the story jumped back and forth between the key characters and it is not till 3/4 way through that it comes together but then very... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cynthia Langford
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Easy Read
Well written. I like Will Ferguson's work. This book provides some insight into how Nigerian 419 scams are run and the impact on people's lives. Read more
Published 2 months ago by --
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An interesting read.
Published 2 months ago by George
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good
Published 3 months ago by Paulette Fournier
4.0 out of 5 stars ... of the world no matter how much we would like to.
I can see why it won a prize and it gives a warning that we can not cure all the ills of the world no matter how much we would like to.
Published 3 months ago by DOROTHY CARMICHAEL
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