Book Reviews

Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe| Book Review

Hey friends, I’m back with a book review. I know it’s been a while since I posted a review here but I promise I’ll post more in the coming months. (You can also check out my Instagram as I share more reviews on there). I read Things fall apart in June and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts on it.

Things fall apart is probably the most popular book in Nigeria (I mean, rightly so! We all had to read it in high school as part of the curriculum) and more recently, the title was used as a joke on Twitter to mock the state of things in Nigeria at the moment. “ Chinua Achebe, things don finally fall apart o”. I can confidently say it is definitely one of the best books to come out of Nigeria.

My thoughts

I really enjoyed reading Things fall apart even though it had a heavy dose of misogyny and patriarchy. On the one hand, I was disgusted by the main character, Okonkwo and his foolishness and I thought nothing could top that but then as I progressed, I got introduced to the missionaries and the British colonizers & I was furious. It’s really just the audacity for me.

” The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

“If you don’t like my story,write your own”

“If we put ourselves between the god and his victim we may receive blows intended for the offender. When a man blasphemes, what do we do? Do we go and stop his mouth? No. We put our fingers into our ears to stop us from hearing. That is a wise action.”

Things fall apart – Chinua Achebe

The people of Umuofia never questioned their gods. They killed and ostracized people and justified it by assuming it was

I haven’t read a lot of books set in the pre-colonial times but this definitely made me quite interested in reading more books set in that era. I’m quite aware this is fiction but it makes me wonder how much of our history and culture (however problematic) have been erased and replaced by western beliefs and traditions.

Style of writing.

I did appreciate Chinua Achebe’s style of writing. He went straight to the story and the point. The brevity, descriptive style and the vivid picture he painted with ease made this a fave!

Themes.

Themes explored in Things fall apart were the Igbo culture, toxic masculinity, mental illness, patriarchy & introduction of religion/change.


I definitely recommend this if you want to get into African literature. Chinua Achebe was a fantastic writer and I plan to read ALL of his books. I read The Education of a British-protected child last year and I absolutely enjoyed it. You can read my review here.


Have you read any book by Chinua Achebe and which was your favorite?

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