Foreign Gods, Inc; Okey Ndibe
Blackstone Audio - 2014
Foreign Gods, Inc. tells the story of Ike - Ikechikwu Uzondu, a brilliant man from Nigeria with a degree in Economics from prestigious Amherst College. Ike lives in Brooklyn and now works in New York City as a taxi driver. He's capable of so much more, but has been told that his foreign (Igbo) accent is holding him back from obtaining a job on Wall Street.
Disillusioned with the American dream, trying to make ends meet, and now divorced from the woman he married with the hopes of getting his green card, Ike has a plan. After he reads an article about, "Foreign Gods Inc.", a gallery that buys and sells foreign deities, items which have become popular among the "I have more money than I know what to do with crowd", Ike decides to return his native village of Nutonki, in Nigeria to steal a war statue called Ngene. The statue revered by many from his former tribe, he believes he can sell it off once he returns to New York. After borrowing the money to return home in hope of carrying out his plans, he runs into a few obstacles and surprises along the way.
Back home his family and former friends have their own issues. He finds they are caught up in a religious war and conflicted. The first real love of his life is now a widow with five children. And, to make matters work Ike's uncle is now a devoted priest of Ngene, the very god figure he planned to steal.
Foreign Gods, Inc., is a wonderful tale about one immigrant's pursuit of the American Dream. Ike is a compelling character who experienced more than a few bad breaks. It's easy to get caught up in his story and that of those around him back home. He was an easy character to root for. The writing is engaging, clever and darkly humorous. Foreign Gods, Inc. is one of those stories that I wasn't sure I would enjoy, but ended up liking so much, such a pleasant surprise. This is definitely an author with talent, I plan to be on the lookout for more of his work moving forward. The audio book is read by, Dominic Hoffman who does an excellent job.