Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

About the book

Things Fall Apart is an English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe published in 1958. Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

Review by King’s Somborne Reading Group:

A Morality Tale. The seeds of a man’s destruction are in his character. A Tragedy in the “Greek” sense. However a number of us felt it lacked pace and cohesion at the beginning but the arrival of the missionaries and the impact of colonisation gave it a focus.

3 stars out of 5

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6 thoughts on “Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe”

  1. Review by Waterlooville Book Group:
    This was an excellent book, written in a very matter of fact way. The reading group enjoyed this novel, although there were a couple of events which required further explanation.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by the Boaters Book Club:
    There were mixed feelings about it. The way of life descriptions were enjoyed, but found sketchy. The actions of the missionaries and the western versus African customs and culture resulted in extensive discussion as well as how much the content is a true reflection of their life especially in 2009.
    Star rating: **+

  3. Review by the October Book Group:
    The group were pleased to read this landmark of African literature. A compelling description of African village life, and the impact of colonialisation.
    Star rating: ****

  4. Review by The Villagers reading group:
    We felt that the book was a dispassionate report of the events rather than a novel one could get excited about. Perhaps a revelation when it was first published. Interesting from the tribal customs related but didn’t expand enough on this – some puzzling corners.
    Star rating: **
    Reading Group: The Villagers

  5. Review by the Arle reading group:
    The group felt that it was thought provoking and gave a good insight into 19th Century tribal West Africa and the impact of colonisation. An interesting read. Many comparisons with modern life.
    Star rating: ***

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