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No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,826 Ratings  ·  267 Reviews
In this novel, the so-called sequal to Things Fall Apart Achebe creates a classic story of both personal and moral struggle, and turbulent social conflict.

Written before Achebe was thirty, No Longer at Ease tell the story of Obi Okonowo, a man whose foreign education has separated him from his African roots and made him a part of a ruling elite whose corruption he finds re
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 15th 2010 by Anchor Canada (first published 1960)
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May 23, 2014 Agnieszka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Anshupriya Goswamy
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
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
J. Trott
Oct 13, 2007 J. Trott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ben Dutton
Oct 27, 2008 Ben Dutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2012 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Ruthie Jones
Oct 22, 2015 Ruthie Jones rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Dec 28, 2009 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 17, 2008 Hanaan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Brady Hoffman
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
Dec 11, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Levi Cahill
May 14, 2015 Levi Cahill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
İsmail Avcu
Dec 27, 2015 İsmail Avcu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Umer Latif
Aug 31, 2015 Umer Latif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 does feral sometimes
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
Jan 19, 2009 El rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2012 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of Okonkwo, returns to Nigeria after acquiring his prestigious, "white" education from England. As he returns, he becomes conflicted with the old traditional values and his modernized/westernized ideas. He becomes part of the ruling elite, in this case a step down from being a "superior" white. I appreciate this novel because it presents the conflicting ideas in a clear way. For those who are from or know about Nigeria and West Africa, the story seems very real...and sa ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Nathaniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
Chinua Achebe's reputation earns too much exposure for his jaded and pessimistic stories about how the traditions, cultures and institutions of Africa inevitably destroy its most promising individuals.

"No Longer At Ease" frames the gradual undoing of a young man saddled with being the collective investment of his rural Nigerian community. Their fraternal society pay for his school fees and sponsor his European education so that he can return to Nigeria and use his credentials to acquire a gover
'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
Jun 24, 2012 Becca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a really hard time going through this book. Just couldn't relate to the characters and for me this is somehow a fail. I think it's important when the reader likes the characters and feels for them. I couldn't find it here.

Still, I know that Chinua Achebe is a great author and a man of thought. The style was good and sometimes there were some really interesting quotes - like all the political references and commentaries. But overall it wasn't a book I enjoyed.

I liked the cover an
Juan Manuel Wills
Jan 19, 2016 Juan Manuel Wills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing the saga that began with "Things Fall Apart", that concludes with the current tragedy of the African people, represented in this text by the third generation of the family Okonkowo in which it is perceived the great change operated during the mid-twentieth century to the Nigerian society, when it is assumed that their members have fully assimilated European culture with which they tried to emulate all foreign customs; segregation continues, Christian religion is consolidates its conqu ...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 about Chinua Achebe...

Other Books in the Series

The African Trilogy (4 books)
  • Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
  • Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3)
  • The African Trilogy

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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.” 21 likes
“Women and music should not be dated.” 17 likes
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