Download Black Mamba Boy Audiobook

Black Mamba Boy Audiobook, by Nadifa Mohamed Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nadifa Mohamed Narrator: Kevin Kenerly Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504627511
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Yemen, 1935. Jama is a half-feral child scavenging with his friends in the dusty streets of a great seaport. For Jama, life is a carnival, at least when he can fill his belly. When his mother dies young, she leaves him only an amulet stuffed with one hundred rupees. Jama decides to spend her life’s meager savings to search for his missing father, rumored to be a driver for the British in the north. So begins Jama’s extraordinary journey of more than a thousand miles to Egypt. He slings himself from one perilous city to another, fiercely enjoying life on the road and relying on his vast clan network to shelter him and point the way to his father, who always seems just out of reach. In his travels, Jama will witness scenes of great humanity and brutality; he will be caught up in the indifferent, grinding machine of war; he will crisscross the Red Sea in search of working papers and a ship.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An accomplished first novel.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Odysseus has nothing on Jama, the peripatetic hero of this vibrant debut novel by Somali writer, Nadifa Mohamed…Jama emerges from this tale the kind of hero you weep for. And in a subtle way, Mohammed reminds those of us who live in cities where emigrants wash ashore, that we probably see a man like him every day.”


  • “[A] beautifully rendered debut…Jama is a charming protagonist whose peregrinations—assisted by clansmen, kind strangers, and ghostly visitations—are directed more by historical and biographical significance than by the demands of plot. Mohamed vividly recreates the complex atmosphere of the era, and her personal investment in the story gives it a passionate edge.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Black Mamba Boy is uplifting, inspiring, and heartwarming…Reader Kevin Kenerly gives an exceptional performance. His experience as a Shakespearian actor is evident in his modulated voice, and he has an excellent range of tones and accents. Kenerly’s interpretation of one of Jama’s adult friends—with a warm, booming African accent—is particularly enjoyable, and the thin, sinister voicing of violent Italian soldiers is equally chilling. Kenerly certainly adds to Nadifa Mohamed’s compelling novel.” (starred review)

  • A 2010 NPR Best Book Debut
  • A 2010 Guardian First Book Award Finalist
  • Longlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Myne | 5/14/2011

    " I think for me, the beauty of this book is in the lovely writing of Nadifa Mohamed. Also, I appreciated the perspective that little Jama provides of Somalia and that part of Africa and the middle east at those historical times. I enjoyed the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 3/27/2011

    " Finally! A book about Africa that has a happy ending! You have to go through the sad parts to get to the happy part, but well worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hil | 3/9/2011

    " Really interesting to learn about the history of a part of the world which until now I knew very little. From now on I will view Somalis in a different light! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 1/31/2011

    " Very interesting picture of life in the Horn of Africa, during the middle of the 20th century. The first sections are the most detailed and compelling; the story peters out toward the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy | 12/29/2010

    " Awesome story on the Somali experience. Not an easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 12/16/2010

    " The author packs a lot of adventure into this book, based on her father's life. It's interesting to me because I teach Somali students, but it's also a bit too complicated for its length. I got lost a few times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marge | 11/27/2010

    " Not for the weak of heart; unimaginable atrocities, but incredible history of the region during and after WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judith | 10/11/2010

    " This is a great book! I am overwhelmed by the courage, determination, and soaring human spirit revealed through the character of the Black Mamba Boy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 9/15/2010

    " Not bad. super interesting look at Somalia before WWII...lots of insight into how colonialism made a mess of everything. "

About the Author

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somalia, in 1981 and was educated in the United Kingdom, studying history and politics at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. She lives in London and is currently working on her second novel.

About the Narrator

Kevin Kenerly, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, earned a BA degree at Olivet College. A longtime member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has acted in fifteen seasons, playing dozens of roles.