Friday, January 18, 2008

Laura's Review - Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe
209 pages

Okonkwo is a Nigerian tribesman, well-known and respected in his community, Umuofia. He has risen above his father Unoka's reputation as a lazy do-nothing. He has three wives and several children. And yet Okonkwo is insecure and easily angered. His anger gets the better of him, and he is exiled from the community for seven years. When he returns, white missionaries have settled in the area, threatening the peace and livelihood of the native people.

The first part of this book is a slow reveal of Nigerian village life. Daily chores, rites of passage. and descriptions of spiritual life are strung together in an almost disjointed fashion. By developing such a vivid picture in the reader's mind, Achebe is then able to quickly show the contrast and impact of the missionaries. This classic work has been on my TBR pile ever since I read Half of a Yellow Sun last year. I had very high expectations, especially since this is one of the "1001 books to read before you die", but it failed to live up to my expectations. In the end, I found it to be "just OK." ( )

My original review can be found here.

1 comment:

nessie said...

Well, the ending of this text is very frustrating. It seems that the narrative till then takes an objective view. And then comes his Christian influence and blows all to hell...

Things Fall Apart is an important book to read. The author's novel not only allows for one to see a (in part) anthropological perspective on the events but to also explore colonialist theory.

that being said, I hate the author if only for his false critics on Conrad. His multi layered novel falls flat to the philosophies he holds to in real life. I recommend his essays.