Customer Reviews for

Things Fall Apart

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

A Classic Tale.

Things Fall Apart is incredible. Not only is it a story of the encroaching British civilization and how the villagers adapt or do not adapt to the changing ways, Things Fall Apart is about the inner workings of a family. Father and son are very different and very simila...
Things Fall Apart is incredible. Not only is it a story of the encroaching British civilization and how the villagers adapt or do not adapt to the changing ways, Things Fall Apart is about the inner workings of a family. Father and son are very different and very similair at the same time. The father is old school while the son embraces the new way. What is intriguing is the society that is portrayed; a society that is male dominant. However the priestess is not to be disobeyed. Things Fall Apart would make a good reading for students.

posted by Wordzmind on May 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

Story or Documentary?

This book had no plot. Most of the first part had absolutely no relevance to what little storyline there was. The thin plot that finally developed ended up being rushed at the end. The entire thing with the spirits was confusing for me - were they real, or is Okonkwo ju...
This book had no plot. Most of the first part had absolutely no relevance to what little storyline there was. The thin plot that finally developed ended up being rushed at the end. The entire thing with the spirits was confusing for me - were they real, or is Okonkwo just crazy? Personally, I hated Okonkwo simply because his story was so boring. I couldn't really care less what happened to him - I was never able to connect with him. I think this story would have done better as a documentary or encyclopedia entry, because that is basically what it is, and it is a plague to high school students everywhere.

posted by Anonymous on December 12, 2007

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    A decent book.

    Things Fall Apart is a fine book in all of its aspects, it follows the story of Okonkwo and how he thinks he must, ironically, prove how strong he is by showing that he does not care. It certainly does a nice job of connecting you to the character, you actually care about what the protagonist is doing, but I just could not find any way that this could connect to my own life and that is what I believe this book was trying to accomplish. If the objective wasn't to have you relate to the main character than it was to show how religious differences can cause conflict. The story follows Okonkwo as he seems to go through a life that wants to make him as miserable as possible. One of the cruelest jokes in my opinion was when Okonkwo was finally beginning to care for someone they are tragically killed and Okonkwo has to witness and take part in his death. This is the point where I start to feel distanced from the main character. Of course you can try to connect to the villagers in the area that Okonkwo is in, but I could not do that either as I found no relevance to my life and the tribal groups. What I do like is that the author actually cares about the side characters and everyone has their own unique personality and character trait, making them actually seem like they are real. I also like the way that the author presents the story, the story has a nice pacing to it and does not seem like it is just filler and is slogging to the end, but the story does not also seem like it has to cram as much energy and action as it possibly could. That is the kind of format I like my books to be in. What I dislike is why the author felt the need that the reader should have reasons to dislike the main character (because the author could not seriously expect us to connect to a man like Okonkwo). The major message of this story seems to be not to blindly follow what "the rest of the guys" are doing. The author seems to stress this by having Okonkwo have something horrible happen to him every time he listens to his clan. This book certainly does have appeal but the book is just not for me. I would still recommend the book to others however because it seems that people either love the book to death or believe that the book was nothing special.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    Things Fall Apart themes, summary, and review...

    Things Fall Apart was a great novel to read. This book is about major changes not only happening to one man and his life, but also the village that he lives in. The main character, Okonkwo, is a very determined man that tries to basically do the opposite of his father, which includes being masculine in everything he does and trying to make his son do the same. His father was a scared, lazy man in the village who did virtually nothing productive for himself, his family, or the village. In Things Fall Apart, there is African culture on the verge of change after some newcomers arrive in the village. This book raises the question of whether to accept the new changes or stick to the same old tradition in African culture. Likes/Dislikes - I liked the ironic situations in the book that mixed things up and suprised me a bit. - I disliked that the story did not have a real plot to read about. I feel like it was more of a documentary of African culture. I do recommend this novel to read. This is not only a great way to learn about some of African culture, it is overall a great book to read with ironic situations occuring throughout the book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2010

    Not The Best - But Interesting

    'Things Fall Apart' was unlike any book I have ever read. The plot, country, and characters were totally original, at least comparing those from previous reads. The setting of the book is in Nigeria and from what I understood, the time frame was around the slave trade period. Chinua Achebe has a vivid imagination and has a gift for transitioning what is in his head into document and making it seem realistic. I found interest in reading this book from my grandma and mother. Plus, my mom was making me read the required books to have been read for a city nearby, this just so happened to be on the list. In a way, I was forced to read it, but at the same time I was looking for new genres of novels and unique book selections.
    The novel starts out with the history of a tribal man and how he was doomed for failure through his personal chi -or god-. The man's name was Onkonwo and his father was considered a woman. This was because he had gained no title in life and therefore had not 'become a man'. Unoka, in fact, was a coward and a loafer. He was a poor man leaving his wife and children hardly enough to eat. People mocked him and swore they would not dare lend him any more money. However, Unoka always succeeded in borrowing more, along with piling up his debts. Unoka died, before he could pay back any of his debts and leaving Onkonkwo to feed his family. On the other hand, Onkonkwo had already accomplished more than his father when Unoka died. He was known for his wrestling skills and was gaining the trust from neighbors to spare him two barns worth of seed yams. In his life, Onkonkwo gained the privilage of having 3 wives and 2 out of 4 titles. Sadly, at the end of Part One Onkonkwo was forced to leave his clan and travel to the land of Mbanta, where the kinsmen of his mother lived. This leads to his new life and the beginning of Part Two of the book. I do believe that it's unique how 'Things Fall Apart' is split into two intertwining stories telling about Onkonkwo's troubles and trials he has to face. The first describes the clash between individual and society gains. The other describes the conflict between tribes and how European missionaries destroy Onkonkwo's tribal world from the inside out.
    I believe that this book gets slow at many parts. My reasoning simply is: Achebe describes certain parts too much and then whips back to the plot, not describing the parts that spark some interest. The plot is all over and used terms that are foreign and at times un able to comprehend. I have heard many times that it is hard to follow and readers stop reading. Over all, I think this book was an okay read if you have nothing else to read and you like novels with cultural themes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2010

    Daughter's book report

    I have not personally read this book. But my 13 year(s) old daughter has and she liked it a lot. She got this book in a timely fashion (but then all of our orders from here are timely) and read it within the week.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    not for everyone

    This book was very interesting. It gave me the chance to look at another persons life and how another culture works. The main character was very confused to me because he wanted to be the total opposite of his father. He loved his daughter but didn't want to show it. I guess in his tribe the women are to care for the girls and and men are to help the boys to become men. They have to be tough and provide for the family. This book was mostly about Okonkwo and his manly ego being protected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    An ok book

    This book does allot of explaing itself and seams to backtrack on ideas and chariters in the story. I found it very difficult to stay focused on this book because it almost felt like you werent progressing in the story. The main chariter is also a little unrelatable and at times unlikeable. The main good thing about this book is the culture and the clash you get to see in this book. Overall this book is worth reading but i personly wouldent give it any awards.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    To the guy below me...

    You mispelled "right" while trying to critcize other peope spelling. You fail at life.

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is about a man nam

    The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is about a man named Okonkwo who strives to redeem himself after the shameful legacy his father left behind. However Okonkwo determination and overly prideful masculinity, leads to his eventual downfall. The text’s writing style reflects the mindset of the traditional native people, and also make the conflict development all the more complicated due to the simple writing style. Characterization in the novel is derived from the description of the characters as well as their actions. The theme of the novel involves how someone can be noble in committing to his own morals yet it being the cause of their misery. The novel’s plot and writing style definitely provide a deeper meaning to the text and therefore give the novel literary merit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Very nice!

    A little slow at the beginning, but after a few chapters .....you'r part of the village and it becomes more entartaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    I had to read this book for my sophomore English class. This is

    I had to read this book for my sophomore English class. This is a very intriguing book and I found it to be 
    interesting, yet some parts are confusing. The story point of view made some parts difficult to understand. 
    Overall, I enjoyed this book. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    I'm a high school sophomore and this was required reading. It wa

    I'm a high school sophomore and this was required reading.
    It was a great book, with a disappointing ending. 

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    One of my Favorite novels

    I enjoyed this book so much I read it in a single day. I probably missed a lot of the nuance, but this book was excellent. It gave me a real sense of what the colonial experience was like for those on the losing end of it. The lead character, Okonkwo, is a sympathetic figure who holds onto his traditional way of life. Some of the tribe's members convert to the colonial way of life and the friction drives the plot.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    Interesting...

    "Things fall apart" is an interesting story about the ascension of an common man to become a successful and powerful person. The main character is driven to show that he is successful, unlike his father, Unoka. He gains much respect and power through his exploits. Although I found the book to be interesting, I did find it to be long and drawn out, boring, in other words. That is due to my liking of more Sci-Fi type books. However, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes memoirs or historical type books, as well as to young adults and teenagers, as it provides insight into another culture, one that is fairly foreign to most americans.

    -Kendon Ricketts

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  • Posted November 10, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyment comes past the brutality

    If you long to witness vicariously the inner mysticism of old-world Africa and imaginatively participate in the traditions and rituals of its people, then this book is a perfect choice for your next read. Other than that, I found Achebe's exaggerated use of violence and domination as a deterrent to finishing the novel. Studying the many different characters is worthwhile, considering there are characters ranging from an abusive tribal leader to a native oracle; but once the analysis is complete, your stomach may be too uproarious to flip the next page. This is most likely a book everyone should read to grasp how world customs have slightly been altered despite how civilization has changed in the most unwatched of regions; but, except for a few clever metaphors and symbols, this book could easily be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Descent

    I felt that 'Things Fall Apart' was a mediocre book about African life. It showed real promise, but there were very few outstanding things about the text. The various names made the book confusing at times, although the theme itself was very simplistic. The character development, however, was very well thought out and you got the feeling of almost being in the character's heads. All in all, this book is a good read, but not amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2007

    Take it or leave it

    I had to read this book for one of my school classes. It wasn't a horrible, put-me-to-sleep book, but it also wasn't one of my favorites. Again, I have to look at it that I am not a big fan of his type of book either, so for all I know, this could be one of the best in it's own catagory. I really didn't get a sense of realism from this novel. For example, events that should have pushed people over the edge didn't and vice-versa. All and all, it isn't horrible, but I am not going to rush out to B+N to buy it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2007

    A Balanced Dish of Blandness

    Things Fall Apart is Chinua Achebe's counter-strike to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Achebe calls Conrad 'thoroughgoing racist,' and concludes his novel worth little literary value. Things Fall Apart strives to be the 'correct' version of Heart of Darkness. In achieving this goal, Achebe succeeds in honestly illustrating tribal life, and how colonial powers disrupted it. Time and again, Achebe hammers home that the African villagers were humane and intelligent people within their context. However, Achebe spends more than half the book with anecdotes and side plots. The stories of day-to-day tribal life are creative and interesting, but have no real forward drive. When the story finally starts, it gets more interesting, but Achebe was more interesting in proving a point than telling a good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2006

    A different point f view

    Things fall apart represents the Igbo culture before the arrival of the colonists. In order to make this description it is used the figure of Okonkwo (the main character). It shows their religion, social structure, habits and roles that men and women have through Okonkwo's life. In one moment of the book Okonkwo must move to another village for a period of time. In this period of time the book continues telling us Okonkwo¿s life. During the exile of Okonkwo, the colonialists arrive to Umuofia (the village where Okonkwo lived before). In this part of the book the colonists and native people interchange their points of view about their respective cultures and ways of life and the colonist want to impose their culture. In this book native people are portrayed in a good way, as civilised people with another culture but not as savages as in most of books that talk about Nigerians. It shows that Nigerians are not people who European people must educate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2006

    Africa is not as Westerners say

    This book and some other writings from Chinua Achebe can be considered to be a criticism to Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'. Especially to the way Africa was depicted in that novel, but it is important to bear in mind the times when Conrad wrote his novel and the situation. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe criticises that image of Africa by means of showing different customs and traditions of Nigeria. He also makes clear that Africans may differ ones from the others in opposition to what Conrad depicted in his novel. The language uttered in the novel can be considered very simple (plain) Standard English, the language imposed by colonisers. Achebe includes some native words in order to add an idea of language transformation (evolution) as well as a way of standing against the establishment: he uses English, the western language in order to let westerners know how things are really like in Africa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    The centre cannot hold -Things fall apart

    'Turning and Turning in the widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer....things fall apart the centre cannot hold'chinua Achebe through his novel has endeavoured to explain the same.its the struggle of one man {okonkwo}to retain his culture from the clutches of the christianity.No where Achebe is sarcastic or biased then too we seem to become emotional ,because for the explanation he has given and the rapport we build with the characters.To be simple the novel is superb.The descriptipn of every detail never seems to bore the reader,rather it makes things more interesting!!

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