Book review: Things fall apart

March 7, 2009

Title: Things fall apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Pages: 313

This book was my first taste of authentic African literature. It is widely regarded as a classic and that is why I wanted to read it.

Things fall apart follows the life of Okonkwo, a big-shot tribal farmer who was highly regarded in his clan until things begin to fall apart. Okonkwo’s fall from grace is exacerbated by the arrival of foreign missionaries who bring western ideas of justice and administration to the clan.

The descriptions of tribal customs and beliefs are fascinating. Although their beliefs seem strange, primitive and brutal ours should appear the same to the impartial eye.

The style reminded me of some (poor) translations of Indian folk tales I have read. However, the book is perfectly readable and I had a good time reading it.


One Response to “Book review: Things fall apart”

  1. Ben Says:

    Because of Achebe’s famous screed against Joseph “thoroughgoing racist” Conrad, this one’s often thought of as the orientalist counterpart to Heart of Darkness. Honestly—and maybe I’m just a thoroughgoing racist as well—I was more impressed by Conrad’s work than by Achebe’s, if for nothing else than the quality of writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s