Most people read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe in high school. I am not sure why it wasn’t on my syllabus, but I have had it on my radar for a long time. I believe it is also generally regarded as one of the best books of the century. I, however, didn’t love it. It was short enough that I plowed through, and I can see why it would be good to read, especially in a class where it could be analyzed. But, it didn’t particularly hold my interest (granted, I am still trying to blow through my books at the end of the year with the goal of 100 by tomorrow and grabbed this one as a quick way to accomplish that – perhaps not the best way to read, but…). “Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe’s critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa’s cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man’s futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political and religious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order. With more than 20 million copies sold and translated into fifty-seven languages, Things Fall Apart provides one of the most illuminating and permanent monuments to African experience. Achebe does not only capture life in a pre-colonial African village, he conveys the tragedy of the loss of that world while broadening our understanding of our contemporary realities.” (Amazon) Clearly, reading this review, I missed the boat on this one.
I started it, but I found it difficult to finish. I think what it represented carries more weight than the story itself, which is why it is a giant in the literary world.