In 2014, $12.7 Billion dollars were lost to the common 419 scam.
Scamming, it seems to be the clear issue in this novel. It plague's Nigeria, taking money from the foolish. Losing all of this money could mean many things to a family. But this novel actually talks about a whole lot more than just an internet scam. Things such as suicide cause the victim to feel alone if they fall for the trick. "Ruling it a suicide." (Ferguson 78). Even with Nnamdi in the Delta when big companies started to arrive was a huge issue. "Nnamdi was now 13 or 14 and was having trouble sleeping with the eerie glow of gas flares and heavy thumps underground." (Ferguson 175). (This passage shows one of the first effects of oil companies in the Nigerian Delta). People being killed because they live near the oil, cultures lost. This book has so many issues packed into it, even if you don’t notice them.
The novel itself had so many different parts that made it unique. I was very interested in the whole scamming process before, but it also gave me so much more. I know many other people that would like to read this book. It has deep character development and a large climax. But, if you are looking for a book that sets itself up quickly, steer in the other direction. This book takes a long time to get across all of their points and create all of its characters. Maybe if you're a reader who likes quicker novels, you could try “We all Fall Down” by Eric Walters. It is a quicker story that goes in depth to some of the impacts of 9/11.
Overall, 419 was a great novel, going through the history of internet scams and how they affect everyone, even people who don’t even have access to this type of computer technology. It showcases other issues as well, such as suicide and the Nigerian delta. Many questions are asked and then answered, all except one, still standing without any explanation. Is this issue even anyone’s fault at all?