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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cultural Awakening
Okonkwo epitomized a die-hard African traditionalist with a firm conviction in the destiny of his people, yet a man who failed to accept the inevitable changes in his world. Things fall apart exposes us to the culture of the Ibo people of Nigeria and brings out the characters to the understandable to the reader. In our own little ways, we are like Okonkwo, caught in a...
Published on Dec 20 2005 by Sancho Mahle

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heinemann edition doesn't add much to the novel
While the story of Okonkwo is a powerful one, and reading "Things Fall Apart" certainly enlarged my perspective, Achebe's writing style is poor indeed. He must have assumed an audience of dumb white people who needed to have things explained to them to such an extent that they needed to be hit over the head with it. Achebe writes in the opening lines of the...
Published on April 15 2004


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cultural Awakening, Dec 20 2005
By 
Sancho Mahle (Charlotte, USA) - See all my reviews
Okonkwo epitomized a die-hard African traditionalist with a firm conviction in the destiny of his people, yet a man who failed to accept the inevitable changes in his world. Things fall apart exposes us to the culture of the Ibo people of Nigeria and brings out the characters to the understandable to the reader. In our own little ways, we are like Okonkwo, caught in a world where we have little influence. The lesson is that No matter how powerful we are, we should not impose our wills on others, especially a will that reflects our egos and not the interest of humanity. Clash of cultures is what this book tells us about. Just as in THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES, OLD MAN AND THE MEDAL,TRIPLE AGENT DOUBLE CROSS,NO LONGER AT EASE,one gets a better idea of what Africans and other native peoples went through after being left with no choice but to accept the values and laws of the foreign powers that came into their lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic story, Feb. 22 2006
By 
Edward Tem (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This was one of the first books in African literature that I read and I was not disappointed. It is amazing. The larger than life character of Okonkwo is reduced to disillusioned man because he could not adapt to the changing times. The big lesson is that we should never attempt to have control of everything beyond ourselves.DISGRACE, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE are fine and hilarious books to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book, April 18 2014
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This review is from: Things Fall Apart: A Novel (Paperback)
Never have I read a book that provided so much insight into life on the Niger Delta at the time of colonial arrivals.

Truly remarkable--mind blowing in fact.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly written classic, Oct. 7 2013
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This review is from: Things Fall Apart: A Novel (Paperback)
A great read. Takes the reader off of the space and troubles of the western world and shows how life is in a culture and environment totally unknown. The writing aside, I really like the quality of this paperback and advise anyone to have this in their collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish there were more like this, Sept. 25 2010
By 
Bryden (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Things Fall Apart: A Novel (Paperback)
An excellently written novel that shows a way of life that I otherwise would have been very ignorant of. I hope to read more like this in the future. I couldn't put it down and read it in 3 sittings. Achebe is a genius at giving the tribal perspective yet somehow delicately showing it's flaws, while at the same time showing the European missionaries in a similar light. This balance in perspective was, I think, perfect.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heinemann edition doesn't add much to the novel, April 15 2004
By A Customer
While the story of Okonkwo is a powerful one, and reading "Things Fall Apart" certainly enlarged my perspective, Achebe's writing style is poor indeed. He must have assumed an audience of dumb white people who needed to have things explained to them to such an extent that they needed to be hit over the head with it. Achebe writes in the opening lines of the novel that "proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten." It's too bad he didn't write more in this manner for the extent of the novel. As a result, we are subjected to such wasted sentences as, "Unoka was a failure" and "Okonkwo was choked with hate." Obviously, Achebe never learned the adage, "Show, don't tell." The only reason he can get away with this style of writing, I imagine, is that there is such a dearth of African literature to begin with. He pales miserably in comparison with the writer whom he loathes, Joseph Conrad.
This Heinemann edition adds little to the text. The so-called glossary explains to you that a harmattan is "a cold, dry wind that blows from the North," even though the text reads that a "cold and dry harmattan wind was blowing down from the north." Gee, that's a helpful gloss, not to mention the poor editing that capitalizes the N in the glossary but not in the text. Much more valuable than useless definitions such as these would have been a guide to pronunciation and the meanings of the names, such as those provided in Austin Shelton's Modern Language Quarterly essay, "The 'Palm-Oil' of Language: Proverbs in Chinua Achebe's Novels."
The Suggestions for Further Reading includes only one reference to criticism, C. L. Innes' and Bernth Lindors' "Critical Perspectives on Chinua Achebe." It doesn't even make reference to Achebe's famous essay on "Heart of Darkness" or the criticism in response to it.
Overall, this is a book you rather have to read as a literate person, but the potential remains strong for much more rigorous writing in this field. In addition, this particular Heinemann edition adds little to the novel itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Read, Dec 1 2007
Native of Nigeria, Africa, Chinua Achebe wrote his own masterpiece fictional novel entitled "Things Fall Apart," which took place in his own country during the 19th century. Achebe has used his own background of an African village to create an interesting story that gives unique perspective of the African life and culture. The book is broken into three parts which describe the main character, Okonkwo, and the lifestyle in his village, the arrival of the missionaries and their actions toward the villagers, and the last year of Okonkwo's life.

The first part of "Things Fall Apart" expresses the lifestyle of the African culture in the village of Umuofia where the main character, Okonkwo, had lived. This first part consists of thirteen chapters that reveal the life in Umuofia, the wives and children of Okonkwo, the life and death of Ikemefuna, and the beginning of Okonkwo's exile. The second part of this book focuses on the life of the exile in Mbanta, the village of Okonkwo's mother. It consists of six chapters which reveal Okonkwo and his family living with his mother's kinsmen in Mbanta, the visits from Obierika, the arrival of the missionaries, the conversion of Okonkwo's son, Nwoye, and the last year of Okonkwo's exile. The final part of the novel expresses the actions of the missionaries, the return of Okonkwo to Umuofia, and the death of Okonkwo. It consists of six chapters that reveal Okonkwo's attempts to urge the villagers to fight against the missionaries after his return, Mr. James' attempt to change the belief of the villagers, and a certain death of the villager.

There is great deal of symbolism and meanings being expressed from this unique novel, and it also expresses a fascinating perspective about African life and the impact of cultural imperialism in "Things Fall Apart."

The novel is quite enjoyable to read and gives one a food for thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cultural Awakening, Jan. 26 2005
This review is from: Things Fall Apart (Paperback)
Okonkwo epitomized a die-hard African traditionalist with a firm conviction in the destiny of his people, yet a man who failed to accept the inevitable changes in his world. Things fall apart exposes us to the culture of the Ibo people of Nigeria and brings out the characters to the understandable to the reader. In our own little ways, we are like Okonkwo, caught in a world where we have little influence. The lesson is that No matter how powerful we are, we should not impose our wills on others, especially a will that reflects our egos and not the interest of humanity. Clash of cultures is what this book tells us about. Just like in The Usurper and Other Stories.
Also recommended: The Usurper and Other Stories, Mission to kala, The Old man and the Medal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why "Things Fall Apart" proves a point, Feb. 24 2000
This review is from: Things Fall Apart. (Paperback)
About a month ago I was assigned to read a book from a suggested reading list in my Lit. & Comp. course. Last Thursday I decided I should probably start looking for a book to read. Since "Things Fall Apart" was readily available, free, and short I decided to go for it. Starting out I thought it was pretty drab and boring. Talking about customs and rituals in some African tribe. "Who cares?" I thought. Slowly as I got deeper into the novel I was beginning to realize something. Achebe put all the tribal information in the beginning to prove something. He proved that we as WASPs aren't always right. The fact that we went into a foriegn country and automatically decided that what we knew was right and everything else is wrong emits the strongest sense of ego possible. Achebe tries to prove that Europeans destroyed much of this planets culture with Onkonkwo and his struggle with life. Okonkwo tried and tried to become the best by achieving all four of his lands titles only to be squashed in the end by a bunch of hypocritical Christians. Americans view themselves as knowing what's right for everyone. None of them see the other point of view. A person knows what's right for them; so let them make their own decision
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful, Oct. 12 2009
By 
A. Regis (QC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things Fall Apart: A Novel (Paperback)
I loved this book. Achebe's style of writing reminds me a lot of Maya Angelou's, it's so simple yet very eloquent and moving. I recommend this book to all African Studies students or anyone just looking for a good read! You won't regret it!
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Things Fall Apart: A Novel
Things Fall Apart: A Novel by Chinua Achebe (Paperback - April 21 2009)
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