Book review: Things fall apart

I heard about this book from various people as it’s a famous trilogy and it is in the list of books to read in this century. It’s also a Nigerian book and you know, by following my blog, how much I love Nigerian literature and music 😀


More than two million copies of Things Fall Apart have been sold in the United States since it was first published here in 1959. Worldwide, there are eight million copies in print in fifty different languages. This is Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece and it is often compared to the great Greek tragedies, and currently sells more than one hundred thousand copies a year in the United States.
A simple story of a « strong man » whose life is dominated by fear and anger, Things Fall Apart is written with remarkable economy and subtle irony. Uniquely and richly African, at the same time it reveals Achebe’s keen awareness of the human qualities common to men of all times and places. 

My opinion:

It’s undeniable that this books is a masterpiece and a good introduction to the trilogy.

« Things fall apart » is the story of a an African warrior who witnesses the loss of his land and tribe to colonialism and to the new « white man religion ». It covers so many dualities such as the Educated VS the Ignorant, Old VS Young, Paganism VS Religions, Colonialism vs Traditions…

This powerful book follows the downfall of a tribe chief and warrior as he loses everything to British colonizers. We cant help but pity this man, even though he has many defaults as he is a man with few patience, abusive and a misogynist. Okonkwo is a man that values tradition and his tribe and is willing to die to protect it.

The author takes us into a deep dive into the Igbo culture with many proverbs and chants included in the book chapters. He also gives a detailed description on the traditions, Clan system and how society was organized and ran before the so-called introduction of the colonial and organized ways.

Throughout the book we are a powerless audience to the horror coming with the forced introduction of Christianity to Africa and how it destroyed many cultures and families. It’s a very strong window to the effects of colonialism and we find ourselves thinking about how it is still impacting us until now, especially with the use of the colonizer language in our everyday life. As an African, this book made me rethink a lot of subjects and also spiked my curiosity on how religion was introduced worldwide to what the colons consider to be « primitive tribes ».

If you are interested in History, the African culture before the colonial era and how did the falling down happen, this book is for you. It should be taught in classes and the author made me want to do a thesis about the subject 😀 That’s how much I liked it.

« Things fall apart » is a timeless novel, universal and full of raw emotions. Through the lecture I was mad, frustrated, sad, stressed, angry, hopeless… It’s a masterpiece! One of the best books I read about the subject!

The story got interesting as of page 145 and the book is 209 pages. I didn’t quite understand the ending as I am left with a WTF kinda feeling. I may read the second and third book to understand a bit better the story as it’s a trilogy and I need to know what happens next 😀