William's Reviews > Things Fall Apart - Classics in Context

Things Fall Apart - Classics in Context by Chinua Achebe
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's review
Feb 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: trade-paper
Read from February 18 to 19, 2012

I took this book from the shelf in my library where my wife is "allowed" to keep the books that she likes to read. Her interest in books is very different from my own, but every now and then I will take something from that particular part of the library to see what it is she is reading. Chinua Achebe's novel is one such book that she described to me as being "a good book, but one that made her sad."
Achebe's short novel is about a man, Okonkwo, who is a proud warrior from his tribe in Niger who is faced with losing his people to the influence of the white man's government and church. We learn lots about what life was like for Okonkwo and his people before the arrival of the outsiders, and the drastic changes that occur quickly after their arrival.
The book itself read like a fable, and I found myself chuckling at some of the lighter moments and "silly" superstitions of Okonkwo's people early in the novel. As things progressed, however, I became increasingly saddened by the outsider's actions which, of course, were done out of the goodness of their hearts to help the native people of Niger be more civilizd but came with disastrous results. Makes you wonder who was the more civilized group. My only real complaint with this book was the vast host of characters and their native names (ie: Ezeudo, Obierika, Uchendu) who did not always play an important role in the main storyline. Achebe sometimes veered off in a completely unrelated tale that did little to propel the main plot along, and it sadly took away from my reading experiance.

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Reading Progress

02/19/2012 page 117

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