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The African Trilogy (The African Trilogy #1-3)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  370 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Picador 1988, the famous African Trilogy by the recently late Chinua Achebe, 'the man whose writing redefined Colonialism' Achebe was a towering literary figure whose work always repays the reader.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 7th 1988 by Picador (first published 1964)
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Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
Things Fall Apart - Okonkwo is an emotionally stilted African tribesman. He beats his wives, confounds (and beats) his children, has taken human skulls in intertribal warfare. He has what we in the West would call massive gender hangups. Every act of his life is about reaffirming his manliness and shunning womanliness. He has no feminine side. He has no education. He is inarticulate. He is a brute. Achebe gives us a look at a world completely outside the bounds of the reader's experience. In thi ...more
John Farebrother
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I only heard of this author when channel 4 news put together an obituary for him. I immediately bought this, his greatest work, and I didn't regret it. The three stories are set in the author's home country of Nigeria, which I have never visited, although I have lived and worked extensively in other parts of Africa (and I had already read Forsyth's Biafra Story). The underlying theme is the 20th century colonial period, and the struggles faced by Africans and British expats alike to come to term ...more
Nancy Regan
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Happy birthday, Professor Achebe!
Adam O'leary
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Chinua Achebe's African Trilogy is a fascinating insight into the process of European colonialism in Africa, from the point of view of the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria.
It begins in the 1890s with Things Fall Apart, an elegant tragedy written in sparse prose laced with proverbs. The novel follows the efforts of one man, Okonkwo, and his village, to hold on to his ancestral beliefs in times of great times, with British rule and Christianity challenging the village's traditional and ancient way o
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative on African Culture!
Joseph Young
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things Fall Apart I've already reviewed this book, so won't again here, except to say that this is the strongest of the 3 books.

No Longer at Ease: This story talked about the struggle of Obi Okonkwo (Okonkwo's grandson) to assimilate into the new western culture. Although he undergoes much struggle, I can not relate as much with this character. He is misogynistic, and too concerned with status. Ironically, it is Isaac (Nwoye), his father, that is more compelling, as Nwoye has actually paid the p
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This trilogy is told from different perspective and in slight different time settings though all three dealt with the struggle of the African tribal cultures and the coming of white men. In the first book, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo had risen above and beyond his father’s reputation. He became a Strong man and yet in the end, was helpless in his fight for the old ways. The second book, No Longer At East, Okonkwo’s grandson was brought up in a Christian home and was sent to learn the ways of whit ...more
Una interesante trilogía que muestra una historia poco estudiada sobre la colonización en África, en concreto en Nigeria, un acercamiento íntimo a las tradiciones y costumbres de los Igbos quienes son una de las etinias más grandes en este país. Una perspectiva que muestra en cada una de las tres novelas una etapa diferente así como los impactos causados por la colonización británica, todo ello desde una perspectiva personal del autor. A pesar de ser novela, muestra de una forma verídica el cómo ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful stories that are a fascinating insight into the lives and culture of the Igbo people and the changing social, political, and religious landscape in Nigeria throughout a period of British colonial rule. These stories explore both the individual and communal struggles in the face of the turbulence of change.

Achebe's prose is clean and lucid, brought to life by his infusion of traditional language, idioms and song that provides a visceral impact. He builds characters, especially protagoni
Tina Dale
I'm fully aware these books', especially Things Fall Apart's, important place in not only African literature but also in world literature. For once reading about Africa written by an African is interesting and something I think everyone interested in (world) literature should do, considering the fact that other literary traditions than the western tend to be kind of blurry, especially for the «western» reader.

Even though, I must admit - unfortunately - that I did not manage to like Achebe's nove
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't know that I have a coherent review to put together because I just finished the third book today and I am still speechless. I feel like it would be easy to gush about this trilogy, but that seems trite. Achebe's words are masterful, his storytelling incredible. While I am not too familiar with Igbo culture, I see similarities and themes that resonate with my connection to Yoruba-based traditions, and it helped me understand a little more some of the values that have been passed down gener ...more
Tim Green
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1) Things Fall Apart - 4 stars
2) No Longer at Ease - 4 stars
3) Arrow of God - 4 stars

A great collection of novels - the main theme of which addresses the collision of a traditional culture and that of European ideology and colonialism. But what makes Achebe's writing remarkable is the subtle, gentle and non-judgemental way he approaches this topic. He portrays the traditional and "modern" cultures in both a positive and negative light - highlighting the humanity, but also the injustices, that ex
Will Bell
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Achebe has a fascinating style, very lyrical and clear but also giving his prose a fantastic tempo and pace which reflects the atmosphere of the times he is recounting. It is evidently different in the three books, with the narrative style unmistakable in all three but the with the second more modern book different to the other two.
I found all three to be very moving works for very different reasons, each one selecting a particular male theme for investigation. Achebe is a powerful author and h
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultural, classics
To read Achebe's work is to be given a look at an Africa apart from a western media/historical viewpoint. Things Fall Apart explains tribal Africa in a meaningful way, showing more than just the impact of the West on Africa but also the beauty and ugliness inherent in the culture. In a sense, it is more about all people than just Africans -- the names and customs change, but the feelings and ideas are universal. No Longer At Ease was, if anything, even better as it describes cultural transition ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
must read for all of us in the 'third world' witnessing developments/ ruptures across generations... and showed me a loving way to 'forgive'... and turn my angst into a more meditative, ability to intervene.
Jen Austin
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found these books fascinating. Five stars for Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God. Character development was great, particularly in Things Fall Apart. I would recommend these books to everybody!!!
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
just reread these great books- so good!!! and especially interesting to read here at a sudanese university where everyone has an opinion about african literature...wish i hadn't left it quite so long to rediscover them though!!
Marie Bouteille
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three absolutely amazing books with insights into Africa. An arrow of God is the most complex one but all of them are cleverly told and try to analyze the situation without judging anyone or rather judging everybody.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
although all these novels deserve a 5-star, my favorite was THINGS FALL APART and my least favorite was ARROWS OF GOD. the reader gets into the minds of the africans and, setting aside culture differences, finds they are just like us.
Michelle Coovert
Certainly made me consider the perspective of the Nigerians during the European colonization. After all, progress is good but we sacrifice tradition and eliminate other cultures.
Chandrashekar Gangaraju
Arrow of god was a bit stale for me. There are a lot of african proverbs.
All wonderful, but ARROW OF GOD is the stand-out masterpiece.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great set of stories.
Keith Hales
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good.
Jun 19, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: friends
The effect of colonialism on the third world
Orestis Papavasileioy
Providing a thorough insight in the workings of nigerian society, Achebe succeeds in creating a plot that brings both the shortcomings and the oppression of the indigenous population to light.
In the first book, prepare to be schooled on the ethics, the traditions and the mentality of the Igbo people, all the while witnessing the stuborness and hunger for power of the local elite, ending in a crestfall.
In the second book, the focus shifts to the nigerian capital Lagos, in the death throes of a
Joyce Wilson-Sanford
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers

I kept bumping into to this book and the author, in book magazines and in conversation. I was surprised by several things--how some people raved about the author and that many of my well read friends did not know about him. I didn't either. How did that happen, I don't know.
The three books in the African Trilogy tell of Africa's shift from tribe based living to colonization to modern times with Christianity as a major dynamic in the history.

The books follow the same people and their ancestors th
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-part
I read Things Fall Apart more than 5 years ago for O-level and I have yet to re-read it, but I still remember the book with a measure of fondness. Achebe's portrait is written in elegantly simple language and with some degree of nuance. One of the canonical, non-Western classics, and for the right reasons - not just because Achebe was African, but because he was pretty damn good at writing.

I read No Longer At Ease in early 2015, but I remember almost nothing of it now. Arrow of God, I might have
Richard Fursland
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent trilogy. Exceptionally spell-binding and magical (and enlightening) in its humanity and panorama. One of the greatest books I've ever read (superb individually, and even better read as a trilogy).
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No longer at ease 1 9 Apr 30, 2008 06:17PM  
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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)
  • Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
  • No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy, #2)
  • Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3)

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“Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.” 1 likes
“Real tragedy is never resolved. It goes on hopelessly forever. Conventional tragedy is too easy. The hero dies and we feel a purging of the emotions. A real tragedy takes place in a corner, in an untidy spot, to quote W. H. Auden. The rest of the world is unaware of it.” 0 likes
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