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Things Fall Apart (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 1 Nov 2001
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'The first novel in English which spoke from the interior of an African character, rather than portraying the African as exotic, as the white man would see him' Wole Soyinka "The Founding Father of the African novel in English" - The Guardian
Okonowo is the greatest warrior alive. His fame has spread like a bushfire in West Africa and he is one of the most powerful men of his clan. But he also has a fiery temper. Determined not to be like his father, he refuses to show weakness to anyone - even if the only way he can master his feelings is with his fists. When outsiders threaten the traditions of his clan, Okonowo takes violent action. Will the great man's dangerous pride eventually destroy him?See all Product description
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Taking place in a fictional Nigerian village, at some point during the Victorian era, it is the tale of Okonkwo, a proud, alpha-male patriarch, who is brought down when his age-old values and beliefs come up against Western attitudes, with the arrival of Christian missionaries and colonial governors.
Achebe is unsentimental about the more brutal and irrational aspects of African traditionalism (e.g. twins being seen as cursed), but once one grows accustomed to his studiedly unadorned style and the unapologetically insular perspective, one finds oneself utterly involved. Re-reading it after many years, I was struck both by the tragic inevitability of its hero's downfall, and the even-handedness of the story-telling.
Its reputation as one of the most significant novels of the 20th century is certainly merited.
After a shaky start, where I struggled to get the Ibo names in my head and sort out who was who, I got into this short tale. The first part, describing village life is simple and innocent, where history and tradition play a big part. Then we move to the exile where Okonkwo builds a new, but temporary life in the village of his maternal family. The final bit is the return home to find that the white men who seemed so comical and inconsequential to begin with, are enforcing laws that the villagers can hardly comprehend, and tearing apart the fabric of the whole way of life that had seemed natural for so long. An interesting read.
With Achebes flat style it's not exactly a gripping read, but it's an intriguing and memorable one.
Okonkwos abound in our world today and can especially be found amongst immigrants seeking to rear their second generations kids using parameters of a world they left behind in their countries of origin.
It reflects the changes a society goes through and the problems faced by those who can't or refuse to modify and change along with it.
An absolute must read for all irrespective of ethnicity.
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It is well written and paints a three dimensional portrait of the characters.
Good service from seller. Exactly the copy I wanted and am pleased.