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Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  222,766 Ratings  ·  10,350 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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Cynthia What do you think is a major commodity of whatever culture you live in that others might find uninteresting or not fully understand why it is…moreWhat do you think is a major commodity of whatever culture you live in that others might find uninteresting or not fully understand why it is important to you? What else about the book can you relate to? It might be useful to consider those and then find a way to understand the culture in relation to those aspects that you do find familiar, such as family relations (the alienation of son and father), women's roles (very circumscribed), the idea of disappointment in one's life expectations (for females and males), feeling the need to do something different than (and be someone different from) one's parents, points where education and culture clash, and so on. I had some trouble with reading this the way I read fiction about and from my culture, but I realized that is one way in which cultures clash--not understanding that we communicate in different ways (I discuss this more in my review of the book).(less)
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)
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Madeline
Apr 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Rowena
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-lit
“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
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Skylar Burris
Dec 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Bookdragon Sean
Achebe’s protagonist isn’t a very nice man. In reality he is an asshole. I don’t like him. I don’t think anyone really does. He is ruthless and unsympathetic to his fellow man. He grew up in a warrior’s culture; the only way to be successful was to be completely uncompromising and remorseless. His father was weak and worthless, according to him, so he approached life with an unshakable will to conquer it with his overbearing masculinity.

”When Unoka died he had taken no title at all and he was h
...more
Lisa
My son and I had a long talk about this novel the other day, after he finished reading it for an English class.

Over the course of the study unit, we had been talking about Chinua Achebe's fabulous juxtaposition of different layers of society, both within Okonkwo's tribe, and within the colonialist community. We had been reflecting on aspects of the tribe that we found hard to understand, being foreign and against certain human rights we take for granted, most notably parts of the strict hierarc
...more
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
...more
فهد الفهد
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
...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
M.L. Rudolph
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...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)
  • No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy, #2)
  • Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3)
“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.” 301 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.” 202 likes
More quotes…