It goes without saying, of course, that [Obioma's] tricks are not for kids and that only a master of literary form could manage to pull them off ... Obioma’s choice of narrator enhances the work’s timeless quality ... In An Orchestra of Minorities, Obioma deploys whatever literary means necessary to retrieve the precious African knowledge that has been lost. It is more than a superb and tragic novel; it’s a historical treasure.
By having Chinonso’s chi serve as storyteller, Obioma alchemizes his contemporary love story into a mythic quest enhanced by Igbo cosmology, centuries of history revealed through glimpses of the chi’s past hosts, elements of autobiography conjuring Obioma’s own Cyprian education and his meeting a fellow Nigerian whose dire experiences initially sparked the novel. Magnificently multilayered, Obioma’s sophomore title proves to be an Odyssean achievement.
[The plot] may sound like something of a forced march through the Stations of the Cross, but Mr. Obioma keeps a philosophical distance from the hardships through a striking narrative framework ... Originality is a rare commodity in fiction, and Mr. Obioma’s writing sounds like nobody else’s ... And it’s amid the sweat and cries of humankind that Mr. Obioma is best[.]