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Things Fall Apart

Achebe, Chinua (Book - 1992 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Things Fall Apart

Item Details

[This book is] a simple story of a "strong man" whose life is dominated by fear and anger ... Uniquely ... African, at the same time it reveals [the author's] ... awareness of the human qualities common to men of all times and places.-Back cover.
Authors: Achebe, Chinua
Title: Things fall apart
Publisher: New York :, Knopf :, Distributed by Random House,, 1992
Characteristics: xxi, 181 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Chinua Achebe ; with an introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Summary: [This book is] a simple story of a "strong man" whose life is dominated by fear and anger ... Uniquely ... African, at the same time it reveals [the author's] ... awareness of the human qualities common to men of all times and places.-Back cover.
ISBN: 0679446230
Branch Call Number: FICTION ACHEBE 1992
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Report This Apr 06, 2014
  • ChocolateChips rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Things Fall Apart was my first exposure to African literature. It was interesting to learn a little bit about tribal life before and during the arrival of white people and Christianity in Africa. The prose style is reminiscent of fables and fairy tales. Overall this novel offered an interesting first introduction to pre-colonial African society.

Report This Aug 22, 2013
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An interesting postcolonial novel about the Scramble for Africa. Told from the perspective of a Nigerian, rather than from the colonists, this is a good novel to read with something like HEART OF DARKNESS or perhaps THE POISONWOOD BIBLE. It may not be the most interesting novel, but it isn't a dreadful one. I'd recommend it to someone who likes world literature.

Report This May 01, 2013
  • joliebergman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I lacked sympathy for all parties in this book, save the women and children. I found Okonkwo to be an monstrous person, which in turn effected my thoughts, emotions, and perspectives on all the characters’ outcomes. Overall my heart bled for no one and I think it was supposed to... That said, I think this is a wonderful novel to provoke discussions on the moral and ethical complications between personal freedom, societal traditions, when they should change and by who.

Report This Aug 06, 2012
  • Ansel1 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This novel shows up often on lists of the "classics of literature". I'm not sure why. Neither the plot nor the characters really grabbed me.

This is the 73rd of a series of titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts and literature in particular in the PM, and to also help Harper with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper. Martel has devoted a Web site to the reading list and his kind, considered and often poignant covering letters with each volume. (All of his letters can be read at http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca/. They are also now in printed form, in a book entitled, not surprisingly, What is Stephen Harper Reading? ) Martel's thoughtful persistence in this quest, started in April 2007, is both heartwrenching and highly commendable. He has never received a direct acknowledgement from Harper, and only some fairly form-letter responses from Harper's staff. He has also received a response from Industry Minister Tony Clement, but it wasn't directly related to any of Martel's book selections. As Martel perhaps impishly points out, he is not proroguing his efforts to continue to regularly send Harper new books. Although Harper is busy recalibrating, one hopes might take a break to read a good book, and Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is an excellent choice. The story of a well-intentioned but proud community leader in a fictional Nigerian village was originally published in the late 1950s and is considered a milestone in African literature.

Report This Feb 15, 2012
  • KarenChadwick rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An older novel but a very good read. Would recommend for anyone wanting to learn more about Nigeria & it's culture.

Report This Dec 30, 2010
  • Nubia rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Things Fall Apart" is definitely really interesting. It helped me to better understand Nigeria. If you like to learn more about countries like Nigeria, and the way they lived (which is not good) you should definitely read this book. It helps you to understand the traditions that they have. It is really short and at the beginning you might think that it is going to be boring, but as you get close toward the end you are gonna want it to be longer!!!

Report This Dec 29, 2010
  • jbazal rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fantastic book; read it in my first year English class. Would recommend it to others!

Report This Aug 13, 2010
  • alexy93 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Things Fall Apart was written as a response to novels, such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, that viewed Africa as a primordial and cultureless blob of people. Tired of reading Eurocentric accounts of how primitive, socially backward, and, most important, language-less native Africans were, Achebe sought to convey a fuller understanding of one African culture and, in so doing, give voice to an underrepresented and exploited colonial subjects

Report This Mar 25, 2010
  • GailRoger rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

My elder daughter is reading this for a literature course, right after tackling Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This is an interesting juxtaposition. Conrad is writing about one white man's view of the Congo in the nineteenth century; Achebe is writing from several viewpoints of people dwelling in Nigerian villages in the mid-twentieth century. I was most impressed, especially after slogging through Heart of Darkness, with the humanity of the characters in Things Fall Apart. Achebe tells the tale, which is a series of incidents over a period of several years, by falling into step with different characters, showing their feelings and experience, before moving to another. We hear the viewpoints of elders, fathers, mothers, children, even missionaries and District Commissioners with surprisingly little judgment. Achebe simply illustrates by a certain remoteness in his narrative how world views collide. The ultimate victim is, of course, the man who has held most unwaveringly and without question to what he believes is right. Whether he is right isn't really the issue; by the end of the story we understand why he thinks he's right. This is more than can be said of any character in Heart of Darkness. I understand that Chinua Achebe was a vociferous critic of Heart of Darkness; reading both books together helps a great deal in understanding why he felt as he did.

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