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The African Trilogy

(The African Trilogy #1-3)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  767 ratings  ·  65 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. ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 7th 1988 by Picador (first published 1964)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, fiction, 20-ce
Star rating refers only to Things Fall Apart.

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
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, what can I say? The African Trilogy is a must-read for everyone who is interested in African literature as a whole. In the 1950s, Chinua Achebe, among other writers of his generation, really put African literature on the map. In his so-called African Trilogy he recounts the history of his people (the Igbo people of Nigeria) from the pre-colonial time, over the arrival of the Europeans during the late 19th century and the effects of colonialism on his home country, to the ultimate struggle ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have always had intense admiration for writers who, through their journalistic way of writing, give a lot to think about. Chinua Achebe has taken this admiration to another height. He is easy to read, but difficult to access. He stated things as plainly as he could and leaves the burden of making out the undertones on his readers. To be honest, he leaves a lot on his readers.

Things Fall Apart begins with the protagonist and the reminiscences of his father. Okonkwo is not i
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
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first encounter with African Literature was slow but crowned with immense satisfaction. I adored these three novels, "No longer at ease" (1960) surprisingly more than the other two. Its protagonist Obi Okonkwo has become one of the literary characters closer to me ever and I can't yet get why. Like a brother!
Difficult but highly recommended books.
Nancy Regan
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Happy birthday, Professor Achebe!
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collection, paperback
Glad I finally read these books. Took me a little longer than I hoped. Summer heat is distracting me. I liked the message and the character in these books. The story is a little bland at times, but works overall.
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
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things Fall Apart - 4.5 stars
No Longer at Ease - 4 stars
Arrow of God - 3 stars
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
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.
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
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
Tim Green
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
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!! ...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. ...more
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.
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!!!
Jun 19, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: friends
The effect of colonialism on the third world
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great set of stories.
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.
All wonderful, but ARROW OF GOD is the stand-out masterpiece.
Chandrashekar Gangaraju
Arrow of god was a bit stale for me. There are a lot of african proverbs.
Erik Champenois
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" is considered a classic of African literature so while I don't read much fiction I felt that I needed to read this - along with Achebe's two other books in the trilogy. These three stories remind me of Jung Chang's "Wild Swans" in that they similarly depict three generations - the first generation in "Things Fall Apart," the third generation in "No Longer at Ease," and a middle generation (though disconnected from the family line in the two other books) repres ...more
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
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I own the first book in this trilogy, Things Fall Apart, and I'm glad I found out about this trilogy. all three books have the underlying these of culture clashing, ancient beliefs, and strong male leads. the first one is Okonkwo, who can easily be seen as the most violent of the three. The second is his grandson and the third is an unrelated chief priest if a village deity. All three have a differing response to the new religion sweeping through Africa: Christianity. One opposes it, quite viole ...more
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No longer at ease 1 11 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

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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