"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

22 March 2011

Things Fall Apart

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Random House, 1959.

Things Fall Apart is a common entry on many of the "great books everyone should read" lists.  It also used to be an entry on the "great books Jenni hasn't read yet" list.  A friend of mine decided to start reading through this list of great books, and her decision to read morphed into an online book group of sorts, so I was motivated to finish this book because others were also reading it with me.

I was intrigued to follow the story of Okonkwo, his family, and his tribe as Okonkwo first establishes himself as a man very unlike his father, then faces exile from his community, then returns to discover that missionaries have brought division to his once unified tribe.  Truly things did fall apart for him.  I found it interesting that the tribe tolerated and even enjoyed the presence of the first missionary, a man who was more moderate in his views and more willing to accept the cultural differences between himself and the African people, but that the divisions, difficulties, and violence happened when the missionary was replaced by a more zealous and less tolerant person. 

This book is definitely outside my usual genre of literature, but it was an interesting read and I am glad to be able to put it on my "books I have already read" list.


Natalie said...

I'm glad you read this and participated in the book club discussion. I have about 3 more chapters to read--maybe I'll do that tonight! And then I plan on going through and answering the discussion questions. I didn't want to make the book club all about my answers, so I wanted to give others time to answer. . . and I haven't exactly had a lot of free time lately! I'm already looking forward to the next one on the list, Five People You Meet in Heaven, which should be a quick read with good discussion.

Jenni French said...

I will see what I can do about acquiring the "5 People" book so I can start reading that, after I finish the other 8 books in my stack ... :o)