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Anthills of the Savannah (Penguin Modern Classics) by [Achebe, Chinua]
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Anthills of the Savannah (Penguin Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

"[The writer] in whose company the prison walls fell down' Nelson Mandela "The Founding Father of the African novel in English" - The Guardian

Review

"[The writer] in whose company the prison walls fell down' Nelson Mandela "The Founding Father of the African novel in English" - The Guardian

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (25 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C7EGV96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chinua Achebe has ample own experience on the topic writing about - namely how do dictatorships develop - and does a spectacular job of describing the subtle dynamics that will inexorably draw people together and subsequently apart in such a scenario. Set in a fictional African state of Kangan and told through various narrators - all of whom used to belong to a tightly knit group of friends before one of them became His Excellency - it presents a wonderful take on power, delusion and the mechanics of third world autocratic governments.

The story revolves around Chris (commissioner for information), Ikem (editor of the most prominent newspaper in the country), Beatrice (Chris' girlfriend and an employee at the ministry of finance) and finally Sam (His Excellency) - all UK educated, all friends at some point in time - and their deteriorating relationship. The inexorable changes result from Sam slowly but surely losing his grip on reality and spiralling into self delusion. At the same time the country is rapidly approaching truly disruptive change in a development that is as terrible, as it is inexorable.

Modelled on oil boom Nigeria, it is probably one of the more prominent of Achebe's works. Written much later than his early fiction (1987), it loses none of the vitality of works such as Things Fall Apart (Penguin Classics) or No Longer at Ease (Penguin Modern Classics) but adds perhaps a richer, more nuanced understanding of politics into the mix.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you would like to have insight into why Nigeria is the way it is, then this book is a must! Apart from the fact that Achebe is a beautiful and poet writer, this book sends the reader through the minds of those who desire to see their nation remove itself from the military and uneducated rulership that they find themselves in
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Format: Paperback
The worth of a book has to be measured, in part, by whether it is worth reading - a good read in other words. This is not a particulary good read. There are passages which do pass the test as the dialogue flows and the characters come alive. But there are not enough of these and for too long the book wallows in a morass of political preaching.

Saying this - I did obtain an insight into the development of the political tyrant:the ordinary man who is exalted to sudden power which ultimately corrupts and alters him. This aspect was expertly ddealt with.

However, there is much that made the gears of this book grind to stuttering halts - not enough pace and vigour and too much sidelines of rhetoric.

Not a great read but it did contain insights.
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How can a country like Nigeria ever hope to be well governed - maybe helping to understand the basic problems will help any student of Nigerian Politics.
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