Friday, January 11
Book Review: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Summary: Things Fall Apart tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.
The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
My Rating: 7.25/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Originally, I was pulled right into the book. I thought the writing was excellent and I was enjoying the story and characterization. I didn't exactly like Okonkwo, but I thought the author did a fantastic job at shaping him. He created a very realistic, proud, angry character, who adds an interesting dynamic to the book - I don't think I would have enjoyed the book as much if were a passive character, instead of being quite aggressive and set in his ways. I don't necessarily like everything he did and said, but I did understand him as a character.
For the most part the book was well written an well told, but I found that part one started to drag near the end, and I was beginning to lose interest in the story. It didn't feel like it was moving forward, just showing and re-showing the kind of person Okonkwo was like and how he sees himself and the others around him. Which worked to develop the character, but it also caused me to lose my interest. The second half of the story was well done and picked back up fairly quickly. I was very surprised about the ending. It kind of threw me with what happened - and I didn't see that coming. The author shocked me completely and as I figured Okonkwo story would have ended differently.
A fairly enjoyable read overall.
Would I recommend it to read: I probably would, even with the slower parts, it was a very interesting story. It's not the top of my list, in this genre (see what to read next), but worth checking out.
What to read next: Daughters Who Have Walked This Path, Purple Hibiscus
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, 777 Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge, Read-A-Latte Challenge