Review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Publication Date: 1958
 
 
Synopsis:
Taking a look into the lives to people in the Ibo tribe in Nigeria, Chinua Achebe brings a story that follows several different characters.
The story traces the conflicts that Okonkwo faces in his life, as well as looking into the traditions of the village. When the white missionaries come along, the clash of cultures threatens to tear apart the careful harmony that has been maintained for generations.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Thoughts:
I have never read any kind of African literature before, so this was a very interesting way for me to get into that area of world literature. Not only was this a really good way for me to experience African culture as written by an African author, it was also a really fun and easy read that I enjoyed.

This was one of the three books that I have to read for my World Lit class in college right now, and I was hesitant to read it because my best friend on campus said that she had to read it and she didn’t like it. And while I understood why she didn’t like it, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would.

It was really fun and interesting to explore the culture of the Igbo tribe and be in the village of Umuofia with the characters. While I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself into the story because of how we broke up the reading, I found that it was very easy to leave and get back into it. Just the way that Achebe writes his book makes it so smooth, kind of like getting in and out of a pool.

I like how he used foreshadowing, metaphors, and parables constantly throughout the book, especially when I looked back on it during the discussions in class. Something about that writing style made the story more enjoyable and added to it a lot more than if he were to write it any other way.

Somewhere after the halfway point of the book, I realized that I had no idea where the story was going and how things were going to end. No matter what I did to figure out what the ending would be like (well, everything aside from reading the last page of the book), I just couldn’t seem to see the end. But that wasn’t a bad thing. It meant that I was going to be more surprised when the ending rolled around.

And I have to say, I definitely was surprised when the book ended, mostly because I was totally thrown off. I didn’t see it coming at all and actually thought that the book was missing a couple of chapters. I wanted something more after the book ended, and that’s really why I took 0.5 stars off my final rating. While the end made perfect sense, I wanted more out of the ending and I wanted more resolution. I just felt like it stopped too abruptly for my liking, and I wished that there was something more or something else that I could read that would give me a better ending that what I had. I mean, I dealt with my disappointment that the ending was so abrupt, but still, I want something better than what I got.

Character(s):
I really don’t have a whole lot to say about the characters because I feel like I didn’t get enough time with them. While I liked that the book was short, I wanted to get to know the characters more. We had a chance to see various characters develop and change, but I still wanted more.

Overall:
4.5 stars. I think the main conclusion that I came to was that I wanted more from the book, even though what it gave me was fairly satisfying. I would recommend this if you’ve never read it before, because there’s a lot of interesting history about it and about the author. It’s also a good book in general and made its way on the list of books I’ve have to read for school that I actually liked more than I thought I would.

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