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No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy, #2)
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No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy #2)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,135 Ratings  ·  377 Reviews
Obi Okonkwo is an idealistic young man who has now returned to Nigeria for a job in the civil service. However in his new role he finds that the way of government seems to be corruption. Obi manages to resist the bribes offered to him, but when he falls in love with an unsuitable girl, he sinks further into emotional and financial turmoil.
Paperback, 194 pages
Published September 16th 1994 by Anchor (first published 1960)
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Mayoya according to the epigraph at the very begining it means "OUT OF PLACE " he does not belong neither to his homeland nor England where he lived for a…moreaccording to the epigraph at the very begining it means "OUT OF PLACE " he does not belong neither to his homeland nor England where he lived for a long time . this novel represent innerconfliect in Obi where he is in betweenness "two extreme culture "(less)

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Sawsan
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
الرواية الثانية من ثلاثية الكاتب النيجيري شينوا آتشيبي
حياة أوبي أوكونكو حفيد أوكونكو في رواية "الأشياء تتداعى
أوبي الحائر بين فكره ومبادئه وبين التقاليد وموروثات الجهل والتمييز في بلده بعد عودته من بعثته التعليمية في بريطانيا
ومع تعقيدات وضغوط المجتمع على حياته الخاصة, والرشوة والفساد السائد في الحياة العامة, لم يعد هناك إحساس بالراحة
أسلوب بسيط يطرح الأفكار بدون تعقيد, ويُصور نيجيريا من جوانب مختلفة
تمسُك الشعب بالأساطير والآلهة الموروثة كجزء من الهوية والتراث النيجيري وكفعل مقاوم للاستعمار البريط
...more
Agnieszka
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it

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. He is convinced that every
...more
Anshupriya Goswamy
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Paola
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Steven
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature, african
"Our women made black patterns on their bodies with the juice of the uli tree. It was beautiful, but it soon faded. If it lasted two market weeks it lasted a long time. But sometimes our elders spoke about uli that never faded, although no one had ever seen it. We see it today in the writing of the white man. If you go to the native court and look at the books which clerks wrote twenty years ago or more, they are still as they wrote them. They do not say one thing today and another tomorrow, or
...more
Kavita
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
No Longer at Ease is a story that carries on from Things Fall Apart. In this second instalment of The African Trilogy, we meet Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of Okonkwo. While the first book talked about sexism in traditional society and how the coming of missionaries completely destroyed a way of life, and consequently, a lot of people who were unable to adapt, this book clearly shows how the effects of colonisation and racism affects people.

Everyone loves to joke about Nigerian scams and the daily
...more
dianne
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
J. Trott
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Shane
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Corruption is the central theme of this novel, the second in Achebe’s African Trilogy that jumps ahead to Igbo strongman Okonkwo’s grandson Obi’s life in the 1950’s, on the eve of Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain.

How does a young man, educated in Britain, with a strong moral belief in what is right and wrong, fall back into the very cesspool that he repudiates? Achebe takes us through a detailed set of incidents that tears at Obi’s convictions, stripping away his acquired cultural trapp
...more
Veronica
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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Andrew
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
Babydoll
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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
...more
Ben Dutton
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shuhan Rizwan
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
অনেকদিন পর আজ পুরো দিনটাই শুয়ে-বসে-পড়ে কাটালাম।

পরে কখনো লিখবো এই বইটা নিয়ে।
Ronald Morton
An excellent story of a young (once idealistic) man's fall from grace; his effortless slide into corruption both serving as a stand in for Nigeria's political situation at the time Achebe was writing, and also directly affected and driven by that same situation within the narrative itself.

Deals with many of the same themes prevalent in African literature from this time: conflict between tradition and modernity; Christianity vs ancestral teachings; socio-political impact of colonial rule, and bot
...more
Judy
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
İsmail Avcu
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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Louise
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.
Hanaan
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Thing Two
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: country-nigeria
I enjoyed this one much more than the first book in this trilogy. So much so that I actually am eager to pick up book three. Great writing and great story line.
Brady Hoffman
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Max Miltner
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
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
...more
Martina
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are books, which one can read with pure pleasure, uplifting books with happy ending. This is not a case of No Longer at Ease. The book is nicely written, I enjoyed its plot and a narrative, but at the same time I really wasn’t at easy during nor after reading. It was not because of the main character, Obi Okonkwo, but for its core topic – corruption at all levels of government service – that seems to be impossible to weed out.

Hardship of humankind to ensure a decent education and living i
...more
Umer Latif
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Chase
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Achebe deserves all the acclaim he has received: both as a crucial documentarian of Nigerian history and for his unfailing and poetic narration. His commitment to vivid and rational characters places him, in nearly all of his works, at the top of literary technique. Furthermore, Achebe's unique cross-lingual, cross-cultural dissemination through in-text dialogue and cross-disciplinary explanation highlight his skill as a historian who has felt the devastating effects of colonialism in Africa.

No
...more
Lisa
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
Ruthie Jones
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
George Hamilton
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Larry
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Andrew
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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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
More about Chinua Achebe...

Other Books in the Series

The African Trilogy (3 books)
  • Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
  • Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3)
“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.” 30 likes
“Women and music should not be dated.” 18 likes
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