Things Fall Apart
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Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1)

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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  147,369 ratings  ·  6,209 reviews
Okonkwo seorang pria yang sepanjang hidupnya takut dianggap lemah. Dia terobsesi menjadi pria sejati, pria yang kaya, kuat, dan dihormati. Menurutnya, dia telah melakukan segala yang harus diperbuatnya, termasuk membunuh anak asuhnya dan memukuli istrinya.

Tetapi semua pencapaiannya menghadapi tantangan nyata ketika misionaris Kristen mulai merambah benua Afrika. Perlahan m...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published July 2007 by Hikmah Publishing House (first published 1958)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Madeline
How To Criticize Things Fall Apart Without Sounding Like A Racist Imperialist:

1. Focus on the plot and how nothing very interesting really happens. Stress that it was only your opinion that nothing interesting happens, so that everyone realizes that you just can't identify with any of the events described, and this is your fault only.
2. Explain (gently and with examples) that bestowing daddy issues on a flawed protagonist is not a sufficient excuse for all of the character's flaws, and is a dev...more
Skylar Burris
I read this many years ago as a teenager, before it was as well known as it is today, and then I read it again in college. Readers often expect imperialism to be dealt with in black and white. Either the author desires to see native ways preserved and consequently views any imperial attempts as immoral and threatening, or he's a Kipling-style "white man's burden" devotee who believes non-European cultures ought to be improved by supervision from their European "superiors." Yet Things Fall Apart...more
Kira
Dec 04, 2013 Kira rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Kira by: Somebody
The fact that this book sympathizes with yams more than it does the victims of imperialism is kind of shocking to me. I mean, I could sit here and praise Achebe for being a person of colour who really made it, because he did, and that deserves recognition, but does that mean I have to praise the content of this book? Because truth be told, I don't understand it. I don't understand how a book like this can manage to project the message that white = civilized, and black = barbarian.

Maybe I missed...more
Rowena
“The drums were still beating, persistent and unchanging. Their sound was no longer a separate thing from the living village. It was like the pulsation of its heart. It throbbed in the air, in the sunshine, and even in the trees, and filled the village with excitement.” - Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

This is a book of many contrasts; colonialism and traditional culture, animism and Christianity, the masculine and the feminine, and the ignorant and the aware (although who is who depends on who...more
Keely
Like the bloom of critically-successful Native American novels of the late seventies, this book does not come from an alien culture. It does not represent an original or alternative storytelling tradition. This is literature that has already been colonized. It has already moved from the oral to the written. Achebe wrote it in English, and gave it the form of the quintessential Western novel.

I don't mean to say that it fails to represent the African cultural experience, but in Achebe's book, it i...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I found this a smooth, good read. Absorbing, well-paced, engrossing and not at all long--novella length. Sad to say, I don't as a rule expect good reads in those books upheld as modern classics, but this pulled me in. Someone who saw me reading it told me they found the style "Romper Room" and some reviews seem to echo that. I didn't feel that way. I'd call the style "spare"--which befits a writer who when asked which writers he admired and who influenced him named Hemingway along with Conrad an...more
M.L. Rudolph
1959. Love it or hate it, Achebe's tale of a flawed tribal patriarch is a powerful and important contribution to twentieth century literature.

Think back to 1959. Liberation from colonial masters had not yet swept the African continent when this book appeared, but the pressures were building. The US civil rights movement had not yet erupted, but the forces were in motion. Communism and capitalism were fighting a pitched battle for control of hearts and minds, for bodies and land, around the world...more
booklady
"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” is from Yeats's poem "The Second Coming". Fifty years after Chinua Achebe wrote this deceptively simple Nigerian tragedy, Things Fall Apart has never been out of print. It's hailed as Africa's best known work of literature and I can easily see why.

At the heart of the story is a strong man, Okonkwo, with an overwhelming need to prove himself--to himself and his tribe; he must overcome the bad reputation of his drunkard ne'er-do-well father. Although Oko...more
Praj
I had said earlier in one of my former reviews, about how if a certain character is not overwhelmed by the plot-theme of a script and stands out on its own potency becoming more memorable than the story itself, the book is worth applauding and so is the author for its creation. When one reads Things Fall Apart, amongst its vast documentary of Igbo culture of the southeastern part of Nigeria; a man named Okonkwo shines not for his tragic fate but for the man he turned out to be due to his wither...more
Shelley
I really love this book. It never gets old, even though I've taught it a few times now. The teens, however, are so resistant to it at first because the characters' names are difficult to pronounce, and they find it challenging to keep track of Okonkwo's many wives and children. The other day, though, I was reading an excerpt from it aloud in class, and I caught a teen boy loving it.

This particular teen, who is not such a fan of reading, made a comment under his breath about how he liked the sto...more
Paul
A real tour de force; but a plain tale simply told. Achebe illustrates and explains rather than judges and provides a moving and very human story of change and disintegration. Set in Nigeria in the nineteenth century it tells the story of Okonkwo and his family and community. He is a man tied to his culture and tradition and fighting to be different to his father. He is strong and proud and unable to show his feelings. His courage and rashness get him into trouble with his community and traditio...more
Mark
Whenever I buy a book for someone as a gift I always include a bookmark, its one of those things I inherited from my parents. As a result of which, whenever I see some nice or quirky or unusual bookmarks I buy them.

A few years ago I bought about ten long metal markers on which were engraved the 50 books one 'ought to have read'. Looking down the list I saw this one and ticked it off as one I had read, though I didn't remember it very well. Then a few months ago my book-club opted to read it. As...more
Deborah
Achebe's acclaimed novel explores what happens when two cultures collide. In this case, western colonialism under the veil of Christianity confronting an animistic tribal system in a rural village in Nigeria. The result is a fascinating exploration of how one man, Okonkwo, who has invested his whole life into attaining a position of authority within the tribe, finds his whole world forever altered and his quest for achievement meaningless in this new Africa.

Okonkwo is not a man who embraces cha...more
Fahad
الأشياء تتداعى

يبدو أنني لا أتعلم من الدروس!! أجلت الكتابة عن هذا الكتاب كثيراً، انتهيت من قراءته في نوفمبر الماضي، وها قد مرت سبعة أشهر وهو ينتظر على مكتبي بإذعان!! قرأت كثيراً وكتبت كثيراً، ولكنه رغم جماله وقوته بقي مؤجلاً، فقط لأنني ويا للحمق كنت أرغب في أن أكتب عنه أفضل، وهو ليس لوحده في هذا المصير!! هناك كتب أخرى أجلت الكتابة عنها أيضاً، حتى فقدت الرغبة في ذلك وأعدتها إلى مكانها الدافئ في مكتبتي، ولكن قصة أوكونكوو لن تعيش هذا المصير، لن أفقد الرغبة في الكتابة عنها.

أول ما فتنني في رواية غين...more
Mr. Brammer
Feb 03, 2012 Mr. Brammer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
The first three-quarters of Things Fall Apart is immersed in the clan culture of eastern Nigeria (we don't actually learn the specific setting - the events of the novel can presumably be transferred to any sub-Saharan pre- and post-colonial setting). The society that Achebe describes can be brutally violent and superstitious, and the protagonist, or anti-hero, Okonkwo is so single-minded and angry that it's difficult to sympathize with him. I think that Achebe chose to show the clan society with...more
Jane
This has been on my list for a while. I enjoyed the economy of style and Achebe's choice of a decidedly unlikable protagonist, which was brave and made for a powerful rendering of a fascinating period of history. Chinua made a clever decision not to fall prey to the temptation to embrace a phony dichotomy - Africa good - Europe bad. He tells the story of the missionary and colonial movement in Nigeria in an unflinchingly dispassionate way. Okonkwo is an anti-hero, proud, cruel, misanthrope, and...more
rachel
I remember this book from high school English as the one my classmates would all pick from selected reading lists because it was short, then whine about that choice a few weeks later because it was "boring."

I'm just going to say it: this book should not be taught in schools.

Not because it's not worthy of being taught, but because the story is "slow," in that there are big stretches where not a lot happens. You don't appreciate idleness as a teenager, in the same way that you don't appreciate r...more
Robert Beveridge
This is another classic example of "what in the world are you thinking assigning this to high school kids?" It's a pretty durned fine book, and there is much therein upon which to reflect, but I'm guessing the adolescent and recently-postadolescent crowd is going to feel a book like this is being rammed down their throats. And they're probably right.

Thankfully, I'm a year or so too old to have been assigned this in school, and I picked up a copy vaguely remembering classmates below me had had to...more
Flesheating D-Ray
This is my new favorite book because within five minutes, a person's reaction will tell me how defensive they are about being considered racist, whether or not they've been accused that minute.
This is an excellent way to identify racists, for fun and profit.

Seriously, covering it in class has been like, "Fielding Racists 101" and "How to Sound Over-Defensive When Talking About How African People Are Actually More Violent, No Totally" class.

One guy actually said there was literally no parallel or...more
Malak Alrashed
This book absolutely falls under the category of "For Nigerians Only" because the writer takes you to a whole new world, a world of its own customs and I like that I love to read about other cultures and customs, but here in this book the writer doesn't introduce these customs properly before telling the story. For example: there's something mentioned in the book called The Holy Week which is clearly a sacred time when Nigerians are no longer allowed to fight or argue, but when exactly this week...more
طَيْف
description

أشياء تتداعى...عنوان اختصر فيه "تشنوا أتشيبي" الروائي النيجيري تداعي حياة القبيلة في قرية "أومووفيا" النيجيرية، أمام الرجل الأبيض والذي يمثل الاستعمار البريطاني في نيجيريا في نهايات القرن التاسع عشر.


وصف الكاتب في روايته كل تفاصيل الحياة في القبيلة من خلال قصة "أكونكوو"...والذي تمتع بقوة منحته مكانة في القبيلة عوض من خلالها ضعف والده المبذر والكسول والعاجز عن التفكير في الغد، واستطاع أن يبني شهرة قامت على إنجازات شخصيّة راسخة..رفض التخلي عنها حتى لما كلّف بمرافقة من قتلوا الصبي المحكوم عليه بالم
...more
Richard
Things Fall Apart Again, Raising More Questions

(Warning: This is a skatebike review in that it combines elements of two classic forms – the anecdotal vignette and comprehensive literary analysis – to create an utterly useless monstrosity that is neither one nor the other. In short, you will be made to pedal really hard without getting anywhere.)

I first read Things Fall Apart (TFA) as a teenager at school in Johannesburg. This was back in the early 1980s when Apartheid was girding its loins for t...more
Diane
My God, this book is depressing. If you ever need an example of how colonialists and missionaries can destroy a native village, this is Exhibit A. The first part of the book follows Okonkwo, who grows up to be a strong leader in his clan in Nigeria, but several events change his course. The stories are beautifully told and are filled with descriptive imagery, but Okonkwo is such a stubborn man and he bullies everyone around him that it is impossible to like the character. The final part of the b...more
Chris
I held the door for the man at college, but I never read his classic novel until I was a teacher. I remember finishing this book and just sobbing on my bed for 15 minutes; if you avoided or hated this in highschool, give it another chance, because it deserves every bit of its reputation.

2-1-8
As of today, I'm teaching it to my Sophomore classes. I think I found it even more tragic the second time through, with Achebe's simple, detached style juxtaposed against the collapse of one mans life and th...more
Hayden Casey
SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes SparkNotes! I really enjoyed this one.
Violet Crush
I loved this book. Chinua Achebe writes a sad and melancholic tale about a man called Okonkwo in a small African tribal village called Umuofia. Okonkwo is a man feared and respected by everyone in his village and beyond. He is a wrestling champion and man who enjoys fame and respect because of his hard work. He is a self made man. His father was considered a looser because he did not work very hard to sustain his crops and did nothing else but play music and laze around. He died as an outcast.

Th...more
Anna
I do not plan on doing an actual review for this book, but I feel I should comment on the hate for Okonkwo many people have expressed in their reviews. Yes, Okonkwo is, to put it simply, a brute who shows few emotions ranging outside of rage and impatience. He beats his wives and children, is extremely sexist, and has standards and expectations for others and - most especially - himself that are simply ludicrous. But here's what I ask the people who point that out and then use it as a reason to...more
Roy
I have been meaning to get around to this book for years. It did not disappoint. Things Fall Apart is the story of an African man named Okonkwo. He is an important man in his tribe and lives the way he understands a man's life is meant to be lived. To compensate for the weaknesses of his father his main purpose is to demonstrate strength. In order to achieve a greater degree of success he figures he must be more ambitious, aggressive, and domineering. And this is what he pulls off. So long as hi...more
Pa
I bought “Things Fall Apart” and was excited and eager to read it knowing that (1) it has sold millions and millions of copies since its debut in 1958, (2) has since stood as a symbol of a crown achievement of African literature, and (3) has sort of turned Chinua Achebe into a Hemingway of Africa. But as life has taught us many times before: great expectations come with greater disappointments. While “Things Fall Apart” never quite fell apart it never really took off either. But I should be more...more
Connie
Okonkwo is a successful farmer in a Nigerian village in the late 19th Century. He has vowed to be the opposite of his relaxed, lazy father. Okonkwo's social status in the village is important to him, and he is respected because he's a strong wrestler and a fierce warrior. But Okonkwo is unkind to his sensitive son and beats his wives because he wants to project a strong, manly image. The first half of the book shows the traditional Ibo village with its folktales, rituals honoring the ancestors,...more
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8051
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
More about Chinua Achebe...
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“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.” 155 likes
“There is no story that is not true, [...] The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.” 103 likes
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