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A Man of the People

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,571 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
By the renowned author of Things Fall Apart, this novel foreshadows the Nigerian coups of 1966 and shows the color and vivacity as well as the violence and corruption of a society making its own way between the two worlds.

In the landscape of Western Africa, two political traditions collide: the old bush politians against the new intelellectual generation, and a mentor and
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 18th 2010 by Anchor Canada (first published 1966)
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I confess I never really understood Achebe's popularity until very recently. Things Fall Apart barely held my interest, and I was almost going to give up on him.

I abandoned that horrid misconception after reading A Man of the People. Here, Achebe shows more clearly what I had missed. He is a savvy chronicler of language, personality, and greed. He writes with affectionate and mocking detail.

The story revolves around a young educated man, Odili, and his relationship with Chief Nanga, a corrupt,
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.
Apr 19, 2008 Hanaan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I strongly disliked the first two thirds of this book, but I really enjoyed the last bit. As with other Achebe books, it has a strong sense of foreboding throughout, and at first it seemed like just another moral fable, of a good man going bad. But then the narrator, an idealistic young man in his twenties, decides to stand up to a bully, though for some of the wrong reasons. At that moment, Achebe somehow perfectly captures what it is like to be young and foolish and headstrong and selfish and ...more
Ladies and gentlemen...a reread coming up with a truer review! I have given it 3 stars because I read it in school and the fact that I read it against my will. :D
Steve Gordon
Nov 23, 2011 Steve Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think what I like best about Achebe's writing is his use of African proverbs to reinforce many of the themes of his novels - especially since Western / European proverbs have been overdone to death in literature. I particularly like the narrator's voice in this novel - struggling politically yet still very much in touch with the everyday life of love and family.
Sofia Samatar
Feb 12, 2012 Sofia Samatar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just reread this book for a class, and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. What I remembered from over a decade ago as a rather heavy-handed political satire turned out to be sly, smart and laugh-out-loud funny. Odili is a wonderful narrator, flawed yet so pained by his circumstances it's impossible not to sympathize. The "attempted poisoning" of Chief Koko made me burst out laughing in a coffee shop. Too bad the political had to become so personal in the end--it was more entertaining when it ...more
Winter Sophia Rose
Moving, Funny, Witty, Powerful & Timeless! I Loved It!
Oct 05, 2015 nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
Ideally I would have given it three and a half stars for I liked it more then 'No longer at ease' by the same author. The book however does not deserve four stars due to the fact that it were the last four pages that made the book, were it not for the ending the book would not have made such a positive impression on me. Achebe writes amazing endings, just perfect and that is what makes him to me such an incredible author.

The story is an educated African cynic story on African early post colonia
Nov 04, 2012 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend described this book to me as being the best way to explain why Africa is the way it is... As well as being a very good read, the complexities of African politics are clear here, the tensions of post colonialism, the ambition and criticism of government, and the corruption. Very interesting.
Mar 18, 2012 Afnan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is amazing about Achebe is how simple and deep is his language. The novel addresses the theme of corruption in the post-colonial era and the tyrannic leaders or (the puppets of the colonial authority). LOved it!

A novel assigned for our post-colonial discussion; very sarcastic and has a very witty way of using pidgin to bastardize the English language. The post-colonial significance of this novel is very promising. The prose is somewhat dragging, though.
Feb 27, 2015 Anita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Timeless, gripping and hilarious story, shows us how top guys exploit those below them and flourish even more. They only care about themselves, that's African politics. All laid out clear in this book.
Sep 24, 2011 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great political satire and has one of the best last lines of any books I've ever read. (Some of the dialogue is in pidgin, which was a little confusing at times, but Brian helped me out with what he's learned at his lessons, and I used some Nigerian web sites, as well.)
Rushay Booysen
May 22, 2012 Rushay Booysen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this novel.The writing seems so personal.I dont want to write a review just get a copy and delf into it
Doug Wells
Apr 12, 2013 Doug Wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is really no one that writes stories like Achebe. I find some of it hard to read and understand - but in that way he reminds me of Faulkner. (for me that is high praise)
Jack Kruse
Sep 16, 2012 Jack Kruse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Achebe's Man of the People Notes, Discussion and Summary from my For Unofficial Use Only Blog

This novel takes place in 1964 examines the institutions of Nigeria. Coming out of colonial times, the people have no sense of taxes or being taxed, especially the farmers (because the tax is just being wrapped into the purchase price). Originally published in 1966, during which there were two coups in Nigeria. The first coup ended the first republic. After these two coups Achebe went to Biafra to join t
Daniel Parker
Small masterful piece of fictional work most likely based upon real events and people. About 150 pages of soap opera African politics in the 1960's that reads like it could be written today. This was near the top of the list of the 75 best books of the last hundred years. It is beautifully written with good detail and use of local dialect. I enjoyed it and would pick up any of the other author's writings when I run across them.
Apr 13, 2011 Aziz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, owned
Pokok persoalan novel ini bukanlah tentang hero atau penjahat. Walaupun naratifnya memuncak dari pertelingkahan kuasa diantara 'Saya', seorang intelektual muda dan Ketua Nanga, seorang menteri yang rasuah dan bobrok namun kelihatannya apa yang menyebabkan pertelingkahan itu bukanlah berpunca daripada niat yang murni intelektual itu untuk mengubah keadaan yang sedia diketahuinya bobrok. Penentangan yang lebih berpunca daripada masalah peribadi itu memaparkan secara bijaksana inti cerita Achebe in ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Dewey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Though I had been familiar with Chinua Achebe for awhile now, I had not made a conscious effort to read his books due to an unfortunate association I had developed between his work and cheesy people in first world countries who are incapable of looking at Africa through a lens that isn't labeled AIDS, Noble Savage, Nelson Mandela, corruption, elephants and other narrow stereotypes (and who are proud of believing in them). By chance, however, I stumbled across a free copy of this book, A Man of t ...more
Oct 06, 2016 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction, 2016
Wow... this is not a book I would normally have chosen to read but on the recommendation of a friend I tackled it and I am SO glad I did! :-)
Mr Achebe gently sets you down into what is probably Nigeria into the life of Odili, a well educated school teacher with the common desire to better himself. He is singled out by a former teacher turned politician, Chief Nanga, and plunged into the world of politics. He flounders a bit and then, spurred on by realization of the level of corruption going on
Maheen Masroor
Feb 15, 2015 Maheen Masroor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-romantic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2016 Ryy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If ever you have a conversation about post-colonial literature this should be one of the books mentioned. What a gripping novel with descriptive characters and a plot line that keeps you at the end of your seat. A Man Of The People explores post-colonialism with a satirical spin.

Achebe is able to tell his story of how destructive western influence is on a sociopolitical scale in regions of Africa. Achebe details a well-worded story about a corrupt Minister of Culture through the eyes of the prot
Sep 03, 2014 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping tale, with vividly described characters like the bootlicking Nwege, Edna's greedy, avaricious father, the absurdly hilarious chief Koko, and Odili's own proud, well known and widely hated Father, Hezekiah. This story chronicles the politics of African states, and it's eat-and-let-eat leaders. I read this book 11 years ago in school and I can probably remember it word for word, a must read for anyone seeking insight into the very nature of African state of affairs, from overnight infla ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Karlina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Berkisah tentang Nigeria, yang bekas jajahan Inggris.

Odili adalah sarjana muda yang pernah kuliah di luar negeri dan merasa muak dengan politik di negerinya yang dikuasai para politikus berotak kosong. Ia pun menjadi guru di desa dan kemudian membentuk organisasi rakyat bersama temannya. Namun ternyata gaya hidup, bahasa dan ide-idenya sudah tak nyambung dengan masyarakat yang realistis dan sederhana.

Nanga, adalah politikus picik yang pernah bercita-cita berjuang untuk rakyat namun karena "kead
Elizabeth Oladunni
Satisfying read.

Achebe subtly highlights the plight of a post-independence Nigeria, whilst delivering a sharp rebuke on the apathetic nature of the people in their unwillingness to stand for change. This all brilliantly done through the eyes and narrative of a young man called Odili. He is by no means a perfect character, but the reader is left rooting for him throughout the book. Perhaps more poignantly, by portraying Odili as the only character who sees things as they are - but still maintain
Michelle Milton
Mar 11, 2016 Michelle Milton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always found that having to read a book for class took away from the charm of sticking to a book because you liked it, not because you had to. I had to read this book for my African history class, and I wasn't disappointed. This was the first time I've read Achebe, and I found myself immediately swept up in the story. Understanding a little about African politics and history certainly helped in my appreciation of the book, and I enjoyed exploring the very different political environment than w ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Mercy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book depicting leadership in post colonial Africa, corruption and social inequality. Chief Nanga "A man of the people" is popular but on close inspection he is really interested in serving his interests.
Caleb Bett
Great literature book...opens up to the societal challenges and what is really on the ground. Chinua Achebe
Jul 27, 2015 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deep understanding of party, politics and the nature of corruption. What he presents is universal in its comprehension and applicability.
RK Byers
Nov 10, 2014 RK Byers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a lot of the dialect threw me but it was really lyrical and had a great finish.
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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...

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