Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Thought provoking look at the nature of power and corruption
on 29 October 2000
I would recommend this novel to anybody. I became completely wrapped up in it and read the whole book in one sitting. It is about highest level society in a post colonial African state and focuses on five characters, three of whom are the "green bottles" who control the state. The multi narrative structure works very much to the novel's advantage, drawing the reader in and allowing us to discover different character's motives and prerogatives. This structure could have been confusing and unnecessary, but Achebe controls it so skilfully through use of the third person throughout, that it enhances, not detracts from the reading experience. Achebe also manages to show us the effects of the corruption on the state (Kangan), without painting any of the characters in absolute, black and white terms. We are shown all the characters in a measured and unbiased way, allowing us to form our own judgements. The skilful characterisation fully supports this. However at the same time the reader is also aware of Achebe's own political message. All in all, a thoroughly entralling, enjoyable novel, which educates without ever slipping into a boring,dull style.