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Things Fall Apart

Achebe, Chinua

(Book - 1992)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Things Fall Apart
[This book is] a simple story of a "strong man" whose life is dominated by fear and anger ... Uniquely ... African, at the same time it reveals [the author's] ... awareness of the human qualities common to men of all times and places.-Back cover.
Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1992
ISBN: 0679446230
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS FIC A
Characteristics: xxi, 181 p. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

February 21, 2014

From the critics

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Oct 11, 2014
  • Levi_1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Things do fall apart don't they, an interesting read, and correctly written in such a way the ending only had one way to end. Immersive with its language of african roots, culture, and the destruction of it by the white man, who is ruthless in spreading his religion in lands that really didn't need it. All that is filled with me now is Okonkwo's rage after the conclusion of this book. I recommend you read it for yourself if you can handle keeping up with all the characters various names.

Aug 16, 2014
  • macierules rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The story grabs you about 2/3 the way through...eye-opening tale that is a good read.

Jun 30, 2014
  • 2101kol rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The pacing is slow. Things do not become interesting until the Christian missionaries have invaded and destroyed the Igbo culture.

May 25, 2014
  • omdarbandi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Achebe narrates events pretty objectively, without many embellishments. Readers are left largely to impose emotion on the text and decide for themselves whether characters are admirable or justified in their behaviors.

Apr 06, 2014
  • ChocolateChips rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Things Fall Apart was my first exposure to African literature. It was interesting to learn a little bit about tribal life before and during the arrival of white people and Christianity in Africa. The prose style is reminiscent of fables and fairy tales. Overall this novel offered an interesting first introduction to pre-colonial African society.

Aug 22, 2013
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An interesting postcolonial novel about the Scramble for Africa. Told from the perspective of a Nigerian, rather than from the colonists, this is a good novel to read with something like HEART OF DARKNESS or perhaps THE POISONWOOD BIBLE. It may not be the most interesting novel, but it isn't a dreadful one. I'd recommend it to someone who likes world literature.

May 01, 2013
  • joliebergman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I lacked sympathy for all parties in this book, save the women and children. I found Okonkwo to be an monstrous person, which in turn effected my thoughts, emotions, and perspectives on all the characters’ outcomes. Overall my heart bled for no one and I think it was supposed to... That said, I think this is a wonderful novel to provoke discussions on the moral and ethical complications between personal freedom, societal traditions, when they should change and by who.

Aug 06, 2012
  • Ansel1 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This novel shows up often on lists of the "classics of literature". I'm not sure why. Neither the plot nor the characters really grabbed me.

This is the 73rd of a series of titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts and literature in particular in the PM, and to also help Harper with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper. Martel has devoted a Web site to the reading list and his kind, considered and often poignant covering letters with each volume. (All of his letters can be read at They are also now in printed form, in a book entitled, not surprisingly, What is Stephen Harper Reading? )

Martel's thoughtful persistence in this quest, started in April 2007, is both heartwrenching and highly commendable. He has never received a direct acknowledgement from Harper, and only some fairly form-letter responses from Harper's staff. He has also received a response from Industry Minister Tony Clement, but it wasn't directly related to any of Martel's book selections.

As Martel perhaps impishly points out, he is not proroguing his efforts to continue to regularly send Harper new books. Although Harper is busy recalibrating, one hopes might take a break to read a good book, and Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is an excellent choice. The story of a well-intentioned but proud community leader in a fictional Nigerian village was originally published in the late 1950s and is considered a milestone in African literature.

Feb 15, 2012
  • KarenChadwick rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An older novel but a very good read. Would recommend for anyone wanting to learn more about Nigeria & it's culture.

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May 25, 2014
  • omdarbandi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"He [Okonkwo] had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists."

May 25, 2014
  • omdarbandi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"During the planting season Okonkwo worked daily on his farms from cock-crow until the chickens went to roost."


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May 25, 2014
  • omdarbandi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

omdarbandi thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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May 25, 2014
  • omdarbandi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The main character of this book is Okonkwo, who work very hard but all the sudden, he would see a problem which he cannot deal with it.


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