Impressions of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe #historical #fiction #books #novels #fiction #amreading

I’ve finished reading Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. This story is fairly short, only 209 pages. A short Glossary of Ibo Words and Phrases is included at the end of the book. The paperback I read has “50th Anniversary Edition” on the cover, too. That tells me this story has been around for a long time and enjoyed/read by many people. The author has written at least 20 other works of fiction and poetry. Achebe is quite a good storyteller and appears to be quite beloved by many readers. If he’s a new author for you, you might give him a try with either this story or any of his others.

As far as Things Fall Apart goes, I found it interesting to experience the culture of the society of the story. The story seems to be about how a strong, ambitious clansman could not adapt to the societal changes wrought by newly arrived white men. Thus the title.

One thing about the story that bothers me is the essential endorsement of the brutality of the clansmen toward their dependents (women and children, in particular). The traditions included, to my 21st-century eye, appear harsh and caveman-ish. I don’t mean to be negative about the story. Moreso that I wonder what other men interpret about the culture of the story and society depicted for present-day men. What is Achebe saying with his story? What do readers glean from it?

Since the story written from a man’s perspective about a man’s experience, women and children are decoration and a backdrop for men’s needs and actions within the tale. This is not unexpected nor unwarranted by any means! I found it interesting to see the world through a man’s experiential lens. I tried to “become” the main character to some extent in order to understand his motivations and reactions to the people and events around him.

Achebe’s writing style in this story left me rather startled and confused at times as he glossed over events with a sentence or passing comment by the characters. Actions happened “off stage” of the story in places where I would have expected to be a witness to them. That’s just me, probably. Or maybe a difference in storytelling technique and expectations? Or both, of course! One of the reasons I embarked on this Historical Fiction Around the World quest is to learn about the similarities and differences in storytelling techniques used by writers from around the world.

Up next is The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho, an author from Malaysia and England.

Happy Reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Announcing the 3rd Edition of this inspiring collection of historical fiction about 19 real-life girls who made a difference in their hometowns. Winner of the 2014 Gold Medal for Young Adult Fiction awarded by Children’s Literary Classics, among other awards.

What would you do if you heard a train crash through the trestle during a violent thunderstorm? How would you suggest to a presidential candidate that he change his appearance in order to be elected? If your family was under attack and surrounded, what would you do to save them? Could you refuse to help someone hoping to better themselves or would you help them?

These are just a few of the situations these girls found themselves in and rose to the occasion, saving the day in more ways than one. Through their bravery, their daring, and their sense of adventure, each used their skills, talents, and insights to meet the need before them.

If you’re a fan of the American Girl series or merely enjoy reading about heroic girls, you’ll love reading about these historic figures in American history.

Books2Read      Barnes & Noble     Amazon     Apple     Kobo

Now available on NetGalley! Thank you for reading and reviewing Hometown Heroines!

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.