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Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1)

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  175,500 ratings  ·  7,715 reviews
THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict betw ...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published 1959 by McDowell, Obolensky (first published 1958)
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Virginia Pulver Joshua and Maaya - I read widely and well when I was young and frankly, now that I have had more life experience and education, I find those very same…moreJoshua and Maaya - I read widely and well when I was young and frankly, now that I have had more life experience and education, I find those very same books take on a new depth and power. Books that I simply rolled my eyes at have now become rich, insightful gifts. Persepctive certainly changes as one ages. Perhaps you will grow into this powerful fable about falling from grace. Keep reading, keep growing and enjoying good books. - Ginn, In Sunny SC (less)
Gwen You can read as a single book and be perfectly fine though there are other books that technically make it a series.

Personally I only read the first…more
You can read as a single book and be perfectly fine though there are other books that technically make it a series.

Personally I only read the first book.(less)
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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
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
“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
J.G. Keely
The act of writing is strangely powerful, almost magical: to take ideas and put them into a lasting, physical form that can persist outside of the mind. For a culture without a written tradition, a libraries are not great structures of stone full of objects--instead, stories are curated within flesh, locked up in a cage of bone. To know the story, you must go to the storyteller. In order for that story to persist through time, it must be retold and rememorized by successive generations.

A book, s
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
Will Byrnes
In this classic tale Okonkwo is a strong man in his village, and in his region of nine villages. At age 18 he beat the reigning wrestling champion and has been an industrious worker all his life, a reaction to his lazy, drunkard father. He lives his life within the cultural confines of his limited world, following the laws that govern his society, accepting the religious faith of his surroundings, acting on both, even when those actions would seem, to us in the modern west, an abomination. While ...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
Barry Pierce
Y'know when you read a novel that is just so stark and bare and depraved that you know it's going to stay with you for a very long time? Yep, it's happened guys. It's happened. This novel ruined me. Ugh it's so great and so horrible. It's what Yeats would describe as a "terrible beauty". Read it, let it wreck you, and bathe in its importance.
Sherif Metwaly

أفريقيا الساحرة

القارة السمراء ، المهضوم حقها فنياً وأدبياً
يخرج منها عمل أدبى من أجمل ماقرأت

لعل أجمل ما ميّز نجيب محفوظ ، وجعله على قمة الكُتّاب المصريين والعرب أجمعين، وجعله واحد من أعلام الكتابة فى العالم ،
هو قدرته الساحرة على رسم صورة المجتمع المصرى والحارة المصرية بكل تفاصيلها
وهذا مافعله الكاتب هنا
الكاتب نجح ببراعة فى استغلال موهبته الأدبية لرسم صورة كاملة للحياة فى أفريقيا وبالتحديد فى نيجيريا .
فيتخذ من قرية " أوموفيا " نموذجاً يوضح من خلاله الإطار العام للحياة فى ظلال هذا المجتمع تما
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
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
"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
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
إفريقيا الجميلة الساحرة المهملة , تلك القارة النابضة بالحياة , المليئة بالأحداث , القارة السمراء منبع الإنسان وأصل حضارته , والمحافظة على عاداتها وتقاليدها بصورة مثيرة للاهتمام , منبع مهم للغاية للإنسان الأصلي , بطبيعته وسليقته المخلوق عليها.

الأدب الإفريقي من أهم الآداب (المهملة) في العالم , لأسباب كثيرة للغاية , فهي قارة لم تتحرر إلا قريبًا فظلت حبيسة الظلم والاحتلال والطغيان , ولكن مجرد أن تطالع نوعية ذلك الأدب تجد فيه سحر خالص.

المهم : نحن أمام رواية نيجيرية (وتجربتي السابقة مع هذا الأدب مثمرة
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
Ahmed Oraby
رواية ليست بالعادية، أبدًا، وعلى الإطلاق.
هي ملحمة إنسانية بحق، بكل ما فيها من صراعات وحروب وإنهيارات، من ازدهار واندحار، من قيام عشائر وقبائل، وانهيار أخرى، بأديان وآلهة تسقط وتموت، وأخرى تقف وتحارب
تاريخ بطل، ممتزج مع تاريخ قبيلة ودولة وأمة، بكل ما فيها من عادات وخرافات وشعوذات وأسحار سوداء، بكل ما تعبق به تلك الحضارة السوداء من أديان وآلهة
قصة حياة بطل، تداعت حياته، كما تداعى عصره وتداعت أسطورته
قصة حياة جميلة تستحق التأمل، ورواية تحمل كل ما في النفس البشرية من آمال وأحلام، وحتى خرافات، تاريخ صرا
This is a powerful and poetic novel. I'm not sure it belongs in a category. It really seems incomparable to anything I've read before.

There were some difficult things. For one, I don't think the sense of place was well established, which is insane when you think that it's often described as a novel about a place (Africa). I know it's Africa, but where in Africa? This was not established. I know the author is Nigerian, so I assumed it was in Nigeria, but this wasn't clear to me in the reading. P
محمد سيد رشوان
لا أدري ماذا أقول..

هل أقول كلام نمطي من نوعية : أن ثمرة الرواية تعريف الشعوب ببعضها وانفتاح الثقافات على بعضها البعض؟

هل أقول أن الرواية من تلك النوعية التي تنعي أزمنة انقضت وأشياء تداعت(كما هو واضح من عنوانها).. وخصوصًا في ظل العولمة التي أسس لها الاستعمار.. والتي استطاعت محو الثقافات.. وإزالة أثر الشعوب.. وحولت الناس لمسوخ حداثية؟

لا أدري مايمكنني قوله..

إلا أن العنوان وحده.. كفيل بشرح الرواية بكاملها..

قراءة هذه الرواية مغامرة عظيمة.. وأعتقد انها مغامرة تستحق أن يخوضها المرء

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
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
What do I think about this book? I am even unsure of how many stars to give it! Keep in mind my rating is not a judgment of the book; it reflects merely how I reacted to it.

Here is what I liked:

- The writing. Strong, simple language. Even in all its simplicity the lines read as a prose poem. Beautiful metaphors abound.

- Learning about the Igbo people. We learn of their primitive beliefs, their traditions and social mores. This culture is very similar to the life at Achebe's birthplace, Ogidi,
Kee the Ekairidium
Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is a substantial and illuminating piece of African literature written by its author in the English language with the purposes of not only portraying the Nigerian tribal culture through the neutral lenses of one of its native writers, but also to connect with a wider, global audience who very much need a fresh perspective when it comes to how Africans live, worship and govern themselves as families and clans. In this sense, most of the critical acclaim that this ...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 cultures, and although I like to read about such things, 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 and Nigerians are no longer allowed to fight or argue, but when exactly this week is? ...more
"Girando e girando a voltas crescentes
O falcão não escuta o falcoeiro.
Tudo se desmorona, o centro não sustenta.
Mera anarquia avança sobre o mundo."

W. B. Yeats

Um livro, com uma escrita simples e bonita, a contar a vida de um homem que sonha ser grande entre os seus, trabalhando e lutando por esse objectivo, sem nunca se deixar vencer ou desviar do seu caminho.

Okonkwo é um guerreiro de uma aldeia nigeriana, cujo povo vive segundo os costumes ancestrais.
São os deuses, pela voz do Oráculo, que dec
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
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
A completely fascinating book that descibes an African society both before and after the coming of Western European Imperialism. The first part of the book describes daily life in an area of Nigeria during the 19th Century. During this part, the novel focuses on Okonkwo, an ambitious and driven man who hopes to become a powerful person in his clan. Okonkwo is outwardly strong, but inwardly he is consumed by fear. The fear that he will become like his father: lazy, weak, and unable to support his ...more
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
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
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
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Indian Readers: Things fall apart - Gehna, Smitha 56 32 6 hours, 23 min ago  
Catching up on Cl...: Things Fall Apart - SPOILERS 36 72 Sep 15, 2015 04:19AM  
Reading the Classics: Things Fall Apart 17 122 Jul 30, 2015 10:31AM  
I Love My Anythink: Expect the unexpected with Chinua Achebe 1 6 Jul 24, 2015 11:05AM  
Fiction Fanatics: February 2015 - Things Fall Apart 7 31 Jul 21, 2015 12:36PM  
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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 (3 books)
  • No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy, #2)
  • Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3)

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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.” 218 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.” 149 likes
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