Top critical review
Not Much To It
on March 8, 2001
As an effective story, "Things Fall Apart" frankly just doesn't work.
A friend of mine sent me this book stating "Chinua will take you there." Where? After 200 pages, even after spending the whole book trying to develop the main character and make the reader feel for him, unfortunately I didn't feel for him like I was wanting too. Its almost like a good script with bad actors. Which takes us to the storyline- potentially potent stuff, especially considering it is based upon the colonization of Africa, but it could have been much more effective. Instead it sounds to me like an angst-ridden tirade, a thinly veiled emotional attack. Unlike Dee Brown's excellent book on the European invasion of America, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" where we could really feel the plight of the indigenes as well as see the crimes of the invaders, in "Things Fall Apart" we are left with only a fleeting shock that doesn't stick because the story dooesn't stick (which in my opinion is a huge loss of an opportunity to tell the bigger story about the ugly conquest of Africa).
While this book is an excellent insight into the daily life of an African tribesman, Chinu's angst, which is easily discerned, seems really juvenile to me. Getting angry at the evildoers is a story as human existence, and its getting really, really trite. People kill people in Yugoslavia too, white people. Am I excited about reading the next book about that? Are you?