bluedolphin_dancer1, November 13, 2013 (view all comments by bluedolphin_dancer1)
While at first glance, this book appears to be boring, when you delve deeper into the plot, it won't disappoint! The plot weaves two stories together. The story of the hardships and trials of small village life in rural Niger, and the struggle against the missionaries that keeps everyone biting their nails till the last sentence. I originally read it for school, but have started rereading in for pleasure!
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skierunner, February 12, 2012 (view all comments by skierunner)
This book is a must read. It is the response to books such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness that portrays the African tribes as culture-less, ignorant tribes with no sense of language or religion. Achebe does an outstanding job retaining the Ibo (an Nigerian culture) rhythm and style of language and illustrating the complexities of Ibo culture.
The story itself follows a famed warrior, Okonkwo, through his life and the life of his tribe. The first half of the story is pre-contact with European peoples, and the second half is the interaction and response to that contact. I wouldn't exactly say that this book is a 'happy' one, but it is one that will get you thinking, and will help propagate understanding.
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Judith Fech, September 16, 2007 (view all comments by Judith Fech)
This book is not for the local pollyanna. It looks at a different way of life and shows us what enforcing "the right way" can do to a single man and to a tribe of people. Very potent stuff!
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"Review A Day"
by Howard W. French, The Nation,
"When it was published fifty years ago, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart caused a stir for its revelation of something hitherto strange and unfamiliar in the world of literature: genuine African voices. Achebe was not the first African novelist, as he has sometimes wrongly been called, but his use of standard English to produce believable characters who inhabited a complex and authentic world marked two existing traditions of writing about Africa as evolutionary dead ends." (read the entire Nation review)
by Nadine Gordimer,
"[Achebe is] gloriously gifted, with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent."
Achebe's masterpiece tells the story of Okonkwo, strongman of an Ibo village in Nigeria, as he witnesses the destruction of his culture and the loss of his own place within it.
Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwos fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
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