the blog of Joseph David Quinton...lover of literary fiction, immigrant narratives, classical fiction, magical realism, world literature, science fiction, fantasy fiction, and cozy mysteries (a guilty pleasure).
Review: Beginning in the summer of 2014, I challenged myself to read more diversely, which I believed would give me a richer reading experience. Frenchiedee recommended I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and, through exploring more about this amazing writer on YouTube, I learned that Chinua Achebe was one of her most favorite writers and served as a writing inspiration to her. Things Fall Apart has been on my TBR listing for several years, but it was not until recently that I borrowed an electronic copy through Pulaski County Public Library. I regret that I waited so long to read this Nigerian writer for he writes with elegant prose that moves the senses.
Things Fall Apart movingly and passionately tells the life story of Okonkwo, a tribal leader who is much respected in his homeleand of Umuofia, Nigeria, as well as the surrounding tribal areas. The opening sentence tells the reader that Okonkwo is "well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond."
Set in the 1890s, Achebe creates a compelling story that foreshadows Nigeria's move to British colonialism and how this change affects Nigerian people, culture, and tradition. Okonkwo serves as the personification of Nigeria during this time of transition. Born to a weak father, Okonkwo's life is guided by the sense to achieve and excel and he does just that as he progesses through tribal society and takes on several tribal titles. As English colonialism is introduced into Umuofia, Okonko holds firm to tribal tradition and strongly opposes colonialsim, which shapes and defines the destiny of this literary hero.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates character study, the study of time and place, readers of literary fiction, fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, or those readers who wish to diversify their reading.