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Things Fall Apart: And Related Readings by…

Things Fall Apart: And Related Readings

by Chinua Achebe

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A novel of Nigerian tribal life and how it changes in the course of its interactions with Europeans and specifically, Christians.
  zenosbooks | Sep 9, 2012 |
A difficult book to read (for me), much of it is culturally-relevant; I am not African and so probably am missing much that I would understand if I were. My favorite parts of the book were the folk stories told to instruct and explain life. The book is about a proud man who struggles with the "ghost" of his father's behavior. The man longs to be successful and well-respected in his community, and seeks to achieve it at the cost of kindness and gentleness toward his family and friends. This character is not likable, but others in the book are, and his inappropriate and sometimes violent behavior is shown as having a major negative impact on the lives of so many around him. His life essentially becomes a folk tale of what not to do. An accident causes collapse of his carefully constructed climb to his version of success, and he loses all and runs for his life with his family to a new community for seven years. The balance of his culture is dirupted during his banishment by the arrival of the white Christian European, who assaults the local traditional culture and religious beliefs, and initiates the breakdown of cultural and familial ties. The story is as tragic as a Greek tragedy. The protaganist's unavoidable fate is secured by his character and the events that carry him along to the end. This is a revealing story of pre-contact life and colonialism in Africa, and a morality tale for us all. ( )
  brickhorse | Oct 5, 2010 |
I have trouble enjoying a book if I don't like the main character, and Okonkwo is impossible to like. He's a misogynist and terribly violent. There's a lot of information here, and the setting is described wonderfully, but there is very little plot. It was difficult to convince myself to keep reading, and when I finished I wondered why I'd bothered. ( )
  ryvre | Apr 28, 2008 |
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