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Foreign Gods, Inc.    by Okey Ndibe order for
Foreign Gods, Inc.
by Okey Ndibe
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Ikechukwu Uzondu graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and married an American, yet the Nigerian's life has not gone well. In fact, a decade after he graduated, Ike is driving a cab in New York and his marriage is over.

Blaming his sorry plight and inability to find a decent job with his thick accent, Ike also struggles with a drinking problem and gambling addiction. The lower he sinks, the more he blames discrimination and his former wife for his rapid decline.

Suddenly the distraught African sees a glimmer of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Ike discovers that there are people in New York who will spend big bucks to obtain authentic statues of foreign deities. Thinking back to his home village in Nigeria, Ike knows of an effigy that would undoubtedly interest these wealthy collectors.

As he returns to his homeland, Ike believes he now sees a way to reverse his misfortune by stealing this sacred statue but, if anything, he is about to complicate his life even more.

This plan to steal the statue of a cherished native war god is going to set off a maelstrom that will make Ike's former problems seem inconsequential given what he has gotten himself into now.

A multi-faceted novel that operates on a number of levels, Foreign Gods, Inc. not only underscores the false promises and frustrations of the immigrant experience in America but also looks at the nature of religious conflicts as well as the infatuation society has with owning authentic ancient artifacts and how destructive that desire can be.

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