Book 3: Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
Title: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Genre: Children’s Fiction (I found this through the all-mighty Internet. I don’t know how children this book is…with its violence and depth and all.)
Summary: The story centres around a man named Okonkwo and the tribal cultures of Nigeria. The first half of the book is all about describing the culture and its beliefs through looking at Okonkwo, his thoughts and his lifestyle. The second half of the book sows in the beginnings of colonial conquests through the entry of Western missionaries.
The Good: The ending of the book left me angered and filled with hatred. That, for me, signifies a good book because good books always evoke strong emotional responses. The story is accesible and smoothly-written. Many aspects of the tribal culture described in the book offended my personal values as a woman and as a spiritualist. As such, it was hard at first to relate to the main character. But the wonderful thing about this story is that by the end, I came to sympathize with Okonkwo as a human being whose conviction and emotions I shared, even with our vast differences.
The Rotten: Not really the book’s fault, but there were a lot, and I mean, a lot of Nigerian and tribal words which I couldn’t pronounce properly. These words created sharp arrests in my reading, and I ended up skipping over a lot of them just so it wouldn’t break my smooth reading of the book. Another rotten point is the fact that there weren’t any build-up to the climaxes of the book. The major events that took place just…took place, without much warning or ascent. This, in turn, led me to see these great events as less important than they actually are to the story.
Best Enjoyed: In a quiet place, without distractions. You will most likely, like me, need to concentrate on the myriad of cultural details in the book.
Fate of the Book: Left in this house for the next person.