Book Review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
I had to grit my teeth to get through this book. (All 209 pages.)
I'm ashamed to admit this since a surprising number of folks online and in person have cited this novella as one of their favorite books, but I found everything about this brief read to be agonizing -- the plot, the narrative style, the characters -- it and I just did not connect.
I went in expecting to love this book given its reputation and subject matter. Achebe depicts the story of a Nigeria broken by white colonialism; our hero is deeply flawed and stubbornly committed, living in a world with problems triply complicated by the unnecessary influence of white colonizers. Achebe's narrative style is straight-forward and clear, even as he articulates a world deeply foreign to modern audiences.
I suspect I didn't understand this book; I'm also not a huge fan of tragedies (I loathe Hamlet) so Okonkwo as a character didn't grab me. His pride and values, even if admirable in context of his place and time, rubbed me the wrong way, and I just couldn't find anything to hold onto to anchor me in the story. For those of you who loved it -- help me out!
He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.
Title: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Genre: Fiction (Historical / 19th Century / Nigeria / Post-Colonial / Ibo / Masculine Identity)
Publisher/Publication Date: Penguin Books (5/2/2017)
Source: My public library