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No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy #2)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,240 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews
Obi Okonkwo is an idealistic young man who has now returned to Nigeria for a job in the civil service. However in his new role he finds that the way of government seems to be corruption. Obi manages to resist the bribes offered to him, but when he falls in love with an unsuitable girl, he sinks further into emotional and financial turmoil.
Paperback, 194 pages
Published September 16th 1994 by Anchor (first published 1960)
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Mayoya according to the epigraph at the very begining it means "OUT OF PLACE " he does not belong neither to his homeland nor England where he lived for a…moreaccording to the epigraph at the very begining it means "OUT OF PLACE " he does not belong neither to his homeland nor England where he lived for a long time . this novel represent innerconfliect in Obi where he is in betweenness "two extreme culture "(less)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieSo Long a Letter by Mariama BâNervous Conditions by Tsitsi DangarembgaThe Stranger by Albert Camus
Best by African Authors
7th out of 307 books — 136 voters
Blood River by Tim ButcherThings Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeChasing the Devil by Tim ButcherHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieLong Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Books about AFRICA or by AFRICAN AUTHORS
20th out of 523 books — 295 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Agnieszka
May 23, 2014 Agnieszka rated it really liked it

How much time one need to change the mentality of the man ? One generation ... Is it enough to change the language, culture and faith of man ? Is it really possible to make a new start by breaking from own roots , abandoning tradition and old beliefs ?

Obi Okonkwo can consider himself as a privileged man . Educated in England , thanks to support his local community , what makes him its debtor at the same time . After returning to Lagos is trying to find himself in new reality , convinced that eve
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Anshupriya Goswamy
Aug 09, 2010 Anshupriya Goswamy rated it it was amazing
When is a man corrupt - When he takes his first token of bribe or when he is caught taking his Nth bribe?
When does a man break – when he runs low on means to eke out a decent life; or when he runs out of reasons to live?
What is religion – a code of life or an artificial teat to be sucked on during hours of discomfort and otherwise quickly abandoned to comply with social norms?
What is more difficult to repay – an enormous loan or the burden of perceived gratitude?

Asking these and many more such d
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Paola
Oct 25, 2015 Paola rated it really liked it
Things continue falling apart, this time for Okonkwo's grandchild, Obi. I am not giving anything away here, as the novel starts off with the bad news for him. Even so, the writing is very engaging (and quite different from Things Fall Apart), and it is with trepidation, dread and dismay that I followed Obi's slow but relentless slide into catastrophe in mid '50s Nigeria. But as in Things Fall Apart) here too the story is a pretext to continue the dissection of two great themes - the tension betw ...more
dianne
Chinua Achebe writes about the contrast of cultures so lovingly and empathically that one can’t help but bemoan colonialism, but feel a deep sadness over all that was lost. The West African humor, tradition, intrinsic sense of the FUN of right now, the presence of song and dance- really couldn’t be more divergent from the stiff upper lip, duty bound (no matter how absurd) Englishman of the time.
As only Achebe can do, i was completely drawn in and cared about our unfortunate protagonist from the
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J. Trott
Oct 13, 2007 J. Trott rated it it was amazing
So this is a book that anybody who has had to split two cultures or mesh them should read. It is about a young man who gets an English education and returns to his native Nigeria. Inevitably tribal obligations come into conflict with his new idealism related to corruption and progress. The title is a phrase from a T S Eliot poem, "The Journey of the Magi" and the lines are about how when the magi return after seeing the infant king to their own land they are "No longer at ease here, in the old d ...more
Veronica
Jul 02, 2012 Veronica rated it it was amazing
Reading No Longer at Ease was such a pleasure, as if I were walking barefoot, enjoying all things around me and taking in every little nuance. I truly loved the many parables scattered throughout. The book had such an easy natural flow that it put this reader quite at ease and so able to enjoy all it encompassed. Having read and delighted in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart several years ago, I was prepared for another literary joyride and I was certainly not disappointed.

The story opens with the main
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Ben Dutton
Oct 27, 2008 Ben Dutton rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
While Achebe is best known for Things Fall Apart, you'd be doing yourself quite the disservice to only read that volume. No Longer at Ease is Achebe's take on his time, when the newly independent Nigeria was really trying to find its place. It's very much a mid-century humanist novel, with social issues at the forefront, but it's a good one, and even though the symbolism can be a bit heavy at times, the novel doesn't come off as a didactic show-and-tell session. Given the recent popularity of Ch ...more
Judy
Sep 02, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
Chinua's second novel, following Things Fall Apart, jumps several generations in time. Obi Okonkwo, an Ibo from eastern Nigeria, has returned from university studies in England and takes a position as a civil servant in Lagos.

Obi was the brightest boy from his village and had been granted a scholarship by the Umuafia Progressive Union, a social group that keeps current and former inhabitants of the village connected even after they move to other towns. He is a young man to whom much has been gi
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Babydoll
Aug 06, 2011 Babydoll rated it liked it
Chinua Achebe efficaciously tackles questions of morality in the complex novel No Longer at Ease. Centered on the Umuofia native, Obi Okonkwo, Achebe develops a character who struggles with governmental corruption in the form of bribery, amongst other issues.

No Longer at Ease opens with Obi on trial for a rather unfortunate misdeed. Achebe briefly exposes a defenseless and hopeless Obi before retracing the reader to the starting point of Obi’s story. Hence, readers are provided with a descriptio
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Thing Two
Apr 04, 2016 Thing Two rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one much more than the first book in this trilogy. So much so that I actually am eager to pick up book three. Great writing and great story line.
Lisa
At first glance it’s a straightforward cautionary tale. Obi Okonkwo has been a fool. The novel begins with the judge who convicts him for corruption expressing his astonishment that a young man with a good education and such brilliant prospects should have come to this. Flashbacks explain how one thing led to another and Obi succumbed to temptation as he failed to make the transition from village life to city bureaucrat. At this level the book can be read as a coming-of-age gone awry as we see h ...more
George Hamilton
Jan 08, 2011 George Hamilton rated it liked it
The book is set in Nigeria during the 1950’s. Obi returns to Nigeria from England, where he had studied for his degree, to take up a good paying job in the civil service in Lagos. On his journey home he meets Clara, a Nigerian who trained to be a Nurse in England, and he wants to marry her. But Clara is an osu, and Obi’s parents and his kinsmen from Umofomia do not want him to marry her. Obi must also negotiate the corrupt world of the civil service where citizens wanting their children to gain ...more
Larry
Dec 28, 2009 Larry rated it it was amazing
Another great one by Chinua Achebe. In the early 1950s, a village collects money to send Obi, a bright young student, to get a university degree in England. Obi returns with his degree, determined to be part of a young generation who will build a strong independent Nigeria. He is determined to cast off the corrupt ways of the old guard, who used their government positions for self-enrichment rather than public service.

Once he returnes, however, he is torn between the old ways - both the rural vi
...more
Jendella
Apr 13, 2013 Jendella rated it liked it
'No Longer at Ease' is once again another great story from Chinua Achebe. It is a story that transcends its time, setting and even narrative to speak to the concerns of the human condition. It is almost the sequel to 'Things Fall Apart', the greater backdrop being the colonisation of Nigeria and the complexities that it brings to the original culture.

I admire the way that Chinua Achebe creates characters that although you wouldn't necessarily call them likable, you sympathise with their situatio
...more
Hanaan
Apr 17, 2008 Hanaan rated it it was ok
This was clearly written, culturally fascinating, and had a strong sense of truth. However, it also had a strong sense of foreboding which I found frightening and didn't really like. In fact, I am not sure what books like this are trying to do. Explain how good people fall into corruption? Explain why Nigeria is how it is? Place blame? Achebe's allegory is universal, and is as insightful as anything, but it is frustrating that it doesn't manage to fully answer the awful questions it raises.
Louise
This audio book version of the second part of Achebe's AFRICAN TRILOGY did not disappoint. I wondered how Achebe would maintain the connection between the two novels with them being set about fifty years apart. In each novel, he examines the response of a man of principle to the challenge of following the dictates of his conscience. The enlightening and entertaining African Ibo proverbs which are woven through both tales provide another link between the novels.
Max Miltner
Dec 11, 2014 Max Miltner rated it liked it
No Longer At Ease

The plot: I would say the plot of the story was one that was rather boring, maybe just for my taste. As the whole climax of the story is ruined by starting off the story being at the trial. This leaves the events leading up to why he is at trial to be the climax’s of the story. Without spoiling too much I found the main rising action with Clara that, to be honest, was rather predictable. It seems to have been done a thousand times. This plot rather reminded me of a book I read c
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Brady Hoffman
Dec 12, 2014 Brady Hoffman rated it liked it
No longer at ease written by Chinua Achebe is a very interesting book. The main character, Obi, goes through a lot of hardship throughout his early adulthood. It seems as if he can never catch a break and the reader starts to feel pity for him. It is confusing to the reader at times because Achebe brings the reader to flashbacks and present day often. The plot was almost unrealistic because of the continuous hardship Obi went throughout but I suppose someone could go through that many difficulti ...more
Andrew
Dec 11, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
No Longer At Ease was about an African man who attends a university in London and his life after that and his conflicts when choosing what is right and what is wrong and how the western culture has changed his morals and values from the morals and values from the tribe he grew up in. The book takes place in Nigeria right before Nigeria earns its independence from England. It helped show the new culture he has learned clash with the African culture from his past. The characters were believable, y ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jul 17, 2016 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it
A Nigerian Heart of the Matter but without the "'happy ending'" because "real tragedy is never resolved." (p. 45)
Levi Cahill
May 14, 2015 Levi Cahill rated it really liked it
I felt that it has good meaning and I also thought it was good because it is easy for most people to connect to. It also shows morals in a way that is not religious. That part of it may appeal to a lot of people. It was a pretty good book but I found it boring and that i had to force my self to want to read it. I say it was pretty good because after I finally got done with the boring parts it came together well and had a good message. I would recomend that someone reads it if they have read the ...more
Stephanie
May 13, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-africa, audio
I originally listened to No Longer At Ease by Chinua Achebe in February 2013 and chose to return to the book now so I could include its review in my WorldReads - Nigeria collection. This Audible download is narrated by Peter Jay Fernandez who does a pretty good job although his British and Irish accents are mangled at times. I don't know Nigerian accents well enough to tell if those are accurate or not.

No Longer At Ease is the story of Obi Okonkwo, a talented young man whose village, Umuofia, cl
...more
İsmail Avcu
Dec 27, 2015 İsmail Avcu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“No Longer At Ease” is Achebe’s second novel of what seems to be called the African trilogy. Obi Okonkwo around whom the events are centred is the grandson of Okonkwo of “Things Fall Apart”. Unlike his grandfather, Obi encounters complicated issues related to identity, white&black culture, corruption, hypocrisy, change of traditions and in-betweenness caused by his academic life in England.

Change is an important concept in this novel. Obi’s ideas about European culture, white people, Englan
...more
Ruthie Jones
While No Longer at Ease seems a bit disjointed at times, Achebe does a good job at presenting the conflict and heartache (and heartbreak) of someone at odds with his culture. Obi Okonkwo is the grandson of Okonkwo from Things Fall Apart. After studying in England, he returns to Nigeria a changed man. This sad little story tracks his progress as he attempts to navigate the changes in his Nigerian culture and the changes in himself after his time abroad. The conflicts and contrasts are revealed in ...more
Umer Latif
Aug 31, 2015 Umer Latif rated it it was amazing
Chinua Achabe is best known for his first novel in the African Trilogy, Things Fall Apart. Personally I liked the second one, No Longer at Ease, better which was clearly because of the fact that I could relate to certain things. The novel is set in the colonial era Nigeria with Obi Okonkwo working as a civil servant, having recently returned from England with his youthful enthusiasm and high ideals. But the broken system and rampant corruption in a third world country struggling to stand on its ...more
Chase
Jun 06, 2015 Chase rated it really liked it
Achebe deserves all the acclaim he has received: both as a crucial documentarian of Nigerian history and for his unfailing and poetic narration. His commitment to vivid and rational characters places him, in nearly all of his works, at the top of literary technique. Furthermore, Achebe's unique cross-lingual, cross-cultural dissemination through in-text dialogue and cross-disciplinary explanation highlight his skill as a historian who has felt the devastating effects of colonialism in Africa.

No
...more
Kurt
Jan 20, 2014 Kurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NO LONGER AT EASE is a beautifully realized tug-of-war with a human being as the rope. Obi Okonkwo returns to Africa after being educated in England thinking that he pretty much knows who he is. The ease with which he defines himself is tested as soon as he gets off the boat and begins his new life. Obi is caught between white and black cultures, European and African mindsets, poverty versus affluence, family versus personal and even how a man deals with women. Author Chinua Achebe does not allo ...more
aPriL is sometimes feral
Feb 20, 2012 aPriL is sometimes feral rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary
A village African from Nigeria is sent to University in England after his entire village pools their resources for his tuition. He comes back a bit angry and quite a lot determined to succeed without succumbing to the corruption and commonplace bribery which allows Nigerian society to function in a crippled way. It takes place in 1956, before the English release their territorial claims but it is a few short years away from Nigerian independence. From the information in recent stories in the new ...more
El
Jan 19, 2009 El rated it really liked it
This 1960 sequel to Achebe's Things Fall Apart is the story of Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of the protagonist in Things Fall Apart. Obi has the opportunity and fortune to study in Britain, and in the process is more removed from his African roots. At times it reminded me of American novels of the turn-of-the-century in which the main character, usually a young woman, leaves her home for a bigger city and is confronted by opposition - like Dreiser's Sister Carrie. Obi is the one who needs to make d ...more
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Chinua Achebe was a novelist, poet, professor at Brown University and critic. He is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature.

Raised by Christian parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religion
...more
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Other Books in the Series

The African Trilogy (3 books)
  • Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
  • Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3)

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“The impatient idealist says: 'Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.' But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace.” 23 likes
“Women and music should not be dated.” 17 likes
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