Binti: Home audiobook – Audience Reviews
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Binti: Home full audiobook free
One advantage of discovering Nnedi Okorafors Binti late was that I didnt have to wait long for the sequel. I fell in love with the character and the authors writing style exactly suits me so I was delighted that the sequel came out soon after.
Initially I was disappointed that more time wasnt spent at Oomza Uni as Binti and the Medusa Okwu return to Bintis home early in the book. In the original Binti, while clearly sci fi with the existence of aliens and space travel, the scenes of Bintis home were far removed from that and set in a very old, traditional culture. However, like the original, Binti, her family and culture were just as fascinating as any alien world. At first it seemed that the story would be focused entirely on the culture and family but gradually and artfully developed into full-fledged sci fi with the background filling in.
The story kept me enrapt but I did have one issue- a cliffhanger ending. I dislike those so much that it would normally ruin the book for me. But I enjoyed the story so much I have to forgive it 🙂
Binti: Home audiobook in series Binti
There seems to be no better day than today, International Women’s Day, to talk about an extraordinary piece of science fiction written by the brilliant Nnedi Okorafor, about belonging and identity from the perspective of a powerful young woman.
You might recall that Binti was one of my two favorite works of science fiction of last year. It was evocative. Beautiful. Frightening. Most importantly, it was different. It managed to pack an incredible and vibrant world, a complex and compelling protagonist, and a spectacular plot into a fairly short piece of fiction. It told a story that could have easily fallen into the category of sci-fi tropes, but it avoided them by applying a unique voice and perspective through Binti, its main character.
Binti: Home finds Binti after about a year at Oomza University. A year after she heroically (and accidentally, if I recall correctly) brokered peace between two warring planets. A year after she left home in the dead of night, against the wishes of her family and community, to study what is essentially mathemagics off-world. Bintis experiences have changed her enormouslyrepresented by a physical transformation: her dreaded hair has become like the tentacles of the jellyfish-like Meduse.
The physical change is a vital piece of the story, not an on-the-nose metaphor for the internal changes in Binti. Much is made of physical appearances in Bintis world, from the red clay she adorns herself with to the tribal intolerance she suffers at the hands of the upper class on Earth (and at Oomza U), and to the seemingly strange behaviors of the desert people that Bintis tribe finds less-than-worthy of a seat at the table.
As Binti is a story of perseverance and growth in the face of different types of adversity, Binti: Home is a story about shedding preconceived notions and inbuilt intolerances; about how experience inexorably changes us, and changes how the world sees us. The events of Binti were, for the most part, things that happened to Binti. In Binti: Home, she is confronted by the reality that despite her lack of agency or choice in most of the things that happened to her, she is blamed. She is mistrusted. She is made a pariah.
The things that happen to us leave a mark. Sometimes, its subtle. Sometimes, its as dramatic as having tentacles for hair. Binti: Home explores the intersection between changing personal identity and changed external perception. Its a fascinating, emotionally resonant exploration of an eminently relatable condition, couched within beautiful prose and a once-again spectacular plot.
Nnedi Okorafor has once again left me deep in thought. While Binti: Home wasnt as explosive a read for me as its predecessor, it was nevertheless a spectacular book. Nnedi Okorafors storytelling is masterful, and she has made a lifelong fan of me with Binti and Binti: Home. I eagerly await the next installment of Bintis story.
Binti: Home audiobook by Nnedi Okorafor
“I was Himba, a master harmonizer. Then I was also Meduse, anger vibrating in my okuoko. Now I was also Enyi Zinariya, of the Desert People gifted with alien technology. I was worlds. What was home?”
The first Binti novella was excellent, and its sequel did not disappoint. I was hooked from the very beginning and remained at the edge of my proverbial seat the entire time. I fell more in love with Binti on every page, as she struggled to find herself and prove that she belongs with her people, all while she knows who she is deep down, and it’s someone who can be put into a box.
After a year at the galaxy’s top university, Binti feels compelled to return home to attempt to repair her family relationships and prove that she is a true woman of her people by making the traditional pilgrimage. She brings Okwu with her, her friend and classmate who belongs to a species long at war with Earth’s primary race of people. It’s dangerous, but she is a master harmonizer, and she is determined to bring him in peace.
“What will you be? she asked. Maybe it is not up to you.”
As you might expect, her homecoming does not go as smoothly as Binti expects. And her pilgrimagethe journey that will prove to her people and to herself that she is still Himba, still one of themis not to be either. Instead, she is handed another layer of complexity to her identity, and she has to figure out whether she can live with that.
“In the stories of the Seven, life originated from the rich red clay that had soaked up rains. Microorganisms were called into active being when one of the Seven willed it and the others became interested in what would happen. That clay was Mother, otjize. I was clay now.”
Throughout this novella, I found myself especially intrigued by the symbolism ofotijze, the clay mixture with which Himba women cover their skin and hair. They literally cover every inch of themselves in mud. But only the women. And it is considered extremely shameful for them to ever be seen without itif that happens, their chances for marriage are shot. But the women are proud to wear it, and it’s a central part of their identity. To Binti, it is a constant tie to her people and heritage, and rather than seeking to wash it off, she clings to the tradition as though her entire sense of self-worth depends on it. But it is not just mud, not justdirt. It’s alsosoil, rich and fertile. It symbolizes women’s place as dirty, less than, but also their role as mothers, life-giving. It is shame and also pride. Dirt and life.
I loved following Binti’s journey in this part of her story, as she rebels against her own strength and unique identity before she learns to embrace it and become who she is meant to be. I don’t think she’s all the way there yet, but I hope the emergency she’s rushing off to circumvent at the end (darn you, cliffhanger!!) will take her the rest of the way. I can’t wait to read the last one when it comes out soon!
Binti: Home audio narrated by Robin Miles
Still as beautiful, and still too short!
This novella is more about the culture, the home, the land; this is the girl who has been away and changed returning to a place that hasnt changed, and how both she and it adapt. In Bintis case, shes also returning with her good friend who happens to be a deadly enemy of one of her homeworlds tribes, and terrifying and confusing to everyone else. The story is one of adaption and custom, of being a stranger in a familiar land, of family and home and belonging.
Theres also the surprise that Binti has seen the Night Masquerade, a rare and unusual sighting and that her family and tribe may contain secrets and surprises that she does not expect
Read the first one, read this one, and wait impatiently for the third!
free audio Binti: Home – in the audio player below
Binti, changed physically and mentally by the events in the first book, returns home to confront her family and go on a traditional pilgrimage which she hopes will help her come to terms with what has happened. Of course, events don’t go quite as planned.
I enjoyed the first part of this trilogy very much, but I absolutely loved Binti Home.
Here, it feels Nnedi Okorafor really gets into her stride. Once I picked the book up, I had to keep turning the pages until I reached the end.
Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a novella. It is fairly short and I found it easy to read, but at the same time it packs a real punch.
Alongside the masterful storytelling, Nnedi Okorafor deftly introduces complex issues that will make you think but without falling into the trap of preaching or allowing the story to get bogged down.
It’s not flagged as a book for young adults but I think older teenagers especially might enjoy it, not only for the story but also because of the themes it explores. I have a feeling this is a book that could grow with you, one of those you’ll want to keep and go back to over the years.
The writing itself is a delight. There were some observations on human behaviour that had me chuckling and a few surprises in the story that I didn’t see coming at all.
Binti is a sympathetic and completely believable heroine. When she cries it’s messy, when she is traumatised, she doesn’t just bounce back one page later as if nothing happened. Her struggle to make sense of events and to form her own identity, while at the same time finding her place in her family and her society as a whole, is something I think readers of any age will relate to.
The book does end on a cliff-hanger rather than wrapping everything up neatly, but I don’t see this as a problem. Since it’s the second part of a trilogy, I wouldn’t expect it to stand alone.
You don’t need to read Binti in order to understand what happens in this book, but I would suggest you do, it’s well worth it.
Eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
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