419 by Will Ferguson

78%

11 Critic Reviews

Ferguson, who has written other novels and humor and has won the Leacock Medal three times, dazzles us in 419 with an intricately woven, urgent story. It is an unflinching, ambitious work.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

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.

 

About Will Ferguson

See more books from this Author
Travel writer and novelist Will Ferguson is the author of several award-winning memoirs, including Beyond Belfast, about a 560-mile walk across Northern Ireland in the rain; Hitching Rides With Buddha, about an end-to-end journey across Japan by thumb; and most recently the humour collection Canadian Pie, which includes his travels from Yukon to PEI. Ferguson's novels include Happiness™, a satire set in the world of self-help publishing, and Spanish Fly, a coming-of-age tale of con men and call girls set amid the jazz clubs of the Great Depression. His work, which has been published in more than twenty languages around the world, has been nominated for both an IMPAC Dublin Award and a Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and he is a three-time winner of the Leacock Medal.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Toronto, ON, Canada: Viking (Penguin). 432 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for 419
All: 11 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Aug 26 2013

Ferguson provides a template for novels about Africa other Western authors would do well to contemplate.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by William Leith on Oct 02 2013

I can see that this would, and probably will, make a powerful, sweeping movie. From suburban Alberta to the shanty towns of Lagos; I can see it already. And the climax, which I won’t tell you about, is worthy of any thriller.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from Financial Times

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by T.F. Rigelhof on Apr 13 2012

...from roughly page 187 on, you won’t sleep until you finish, and then rest won’t come easily. Riveting. Provocative.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer Hunter on Apr 14 2012

Ferguson, who has written other novels and humor and has won the Leacock Medal three times, dazzles us in 419 with an intricately woven, urgent story. It is an unflinching, ambitious work.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer Hunter on Apr 14 2012

It is a persuasive work of fiction based on a very original premise. Ferguson who swings so deftly from humor to thriller is a writer who can genuinely surprise.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Jacob McCarther Mooney on Apr 20 2012

Ferguson can do many things, from travel writing to joke-telling to satire. What he can’t do is present believable earnestness.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from National Post arts

Digital Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Chanah Rubenstein on Oct 27 2012

Readers will finish with a devoted investment in all his characters. They’re modern and living on basic instincts; they're complex, endearing, flawed, cunning, and ambitious.

Read Full Review of 419

Newstalk 1010

Good
Reviewed by Justine Lewkowicz on Nov 16 2012

...a thriller that will keep you hanging until the end...

Read Full Review of 419

CBC News

Good
on Feb 06 2013

...a novel both epic in its sweep and intimate in its portrayal of human suffering.

Read Full Review of 419

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Jacob McArthur Mooney on Apr 20 2012

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.

Read Full Review of 419 | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reviewing the Evidence

Good
Reviewed by Yvonne Klein on Dec 06 2012

It is a very good book, but it is also a thriller, one that does what every really good thriller does - engage, entertain, and provoke reflection. And it is well worth any reader's time and attention.

Read Full Review of 419

Reader Rating for 419
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 160 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×