Title: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Published: In 1994 by Anchor
My Rating: 1.5 stars
Tags: Adult | Africa | Historical Fiction | Tribes
Includes: Violence, Difficult Vocab/African terms
First Lines: Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat.
[Description from Amazon because as hard as I tried to come up with my own synopsis, I couldn't since I barely understood the book...] The novel chronicles the life of Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community, from the events leading up to his banishment from the community for accidentally killing a clansman, through the seven years of his exile, to his return. The novel addresses the problem of the intrusion in the 1890s of white missionaries and colonial government into tribal Igbo society. It describes the simultaneous disintegration of its protagonist Okonkwo and of his village. The novel was praised for its intelligent and realistic treatment of tribal beliefs and of psychological disintegration coincident with social unraveling.
I hated this book. The end. Sigh, we were dreadfully forced to read this book in my English class. There were three parts to the story, and the only semi-decent section was part two where it finally started to pick up. There were so many things wrong with this book, and I don't mean to be a downer but as much as I tried to enjoy the reading, I simply couldn't.
Just after the first chapter, I already was confused with what was going on. There are so many characters introduced, and they all have foreign names that are difficult to pronounce. Also, the author includes so many African words that half the time I had no idea what he was referring to. It was hard to grasp the concept and plot of this book; the title didn't even make any sense to me up until the last chapter. Achebe's writing is confusing and bland; I didn't get to know the main characters that well at all, and he failed to include details in the story.
I did, though, like the short folktales that the author weaved into the book. They all seemed to fit along with the current situation that the characters were facing - and taught little lessons. There were many inspiring proverbs included in the story, too. Also, it was interesting learning about African tribal culture back then and their beliefs.
I seriously have no idea why this book was included in my English class reading list/curriculum. I didn't get anything out of it, and was so thankful when I finally finished reading it. Such a waste of time and not to mention had a horrible ending. Again, I don't mean to sound really negative about this book - I'm just stating my honest feelings about it!