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Achebe Chinua (2017 Most Popular Book Lists)

$5.97
1. Things Fall Apart: A Novel
$9.12
2. No Longer at Ease (African Writers
$9.35
3. The Education of a British-Protected
$7.06
4. A Man of the People
$7.91
5. Girls at War
$7.07
6. Anthills of the Savannah
$5.66
7. Home and Exile
 
$56.93
8. Another Africa
$19.50
9. The African Trilogy: Things Fall
$14.99
10. The Trouble with Nigeria
$7.93
11. Arrow of God
$21.69
12. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart:
$7.96
13. Hopes and Impediments: Selected
 
$16.00
14. Things Fall Apart, No Longer At
$8.00
15. African Short Stories
$5.50
16. Things Fall Apart: And Related
 
$0.55
17. Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart:
$8.88
18. Things Fall Apart
 
19. Beware soul-brother, and other
 
20. The Drum

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1. Things Fall Apart: A Novel
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 209 Pages (1994-09)
list price: US$11.00 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0385474547
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
This is Chinua Achebe's classic novel, with more than two million copies sold since its first U.S. publication in 1969. Combining a richly African story with the author's keen awareness of the qualities common to all humanity, Achebe here shows that he is "gloriously gifted, with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent." -- Nadine Gordimer Amazon.com Review
One of Chinua Achebe's many achievements in his acclaimed first novel,Things Fall Apart, is his relentlessly unsentimental rendering ofNigerian tribal life before and after the coming of colonialism. Firstpublished in 1958, just two years before Nigeria declared independence fromGreat Britain, the book eschews the obvious temptation of depictingpre-colonial life as a kind of Eden. Instead, Achebe sketches a world inwhich violence, war, and suffering exist, but are balanced by a strongsense of tradition, ritual, andsocial coherence. His Ibo protagonist,Okonkwo, is a self-made man. The son of a charming ne'er-do-well, he hasworked all his life to overcome his father's weakness and has arrived,finally, at great prosperity and even greater reputation among his fellowsin the village of Umuofia. Okonkwo is a champion wrestler, a prosperousfarmer, husband to three wives and father to several children. He is also aman who exhibits flaws well-known in Greek tragedy:

Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially theyoungest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did hislittle children. Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. Buthis whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious godsand of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature,malevolent, red in tooth and claw. Okonkwo's fear was greater than these.It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear ofhimself, lest he should be found to resemble his father.
And yet Achebe manages to make this cruel man deeply sympathetic. He isfond of his eldest daughter, and also of Ikemefuna, a young boy sent fromanother village as compensation for the wrongful death of a young womanfrom Umuofia. He even begins to feel pride in his eldest son, in whom hehas too often seen his own father. Unfortunately, a series oftragicevents tests the mettle of this strong man, and it is his fear of weaknessthat ultimately undoes him.

Achebe does not introduce the theme of colonialism until the last 50 pagesor so. By then, Okonkwo has lost everything and been driven into exile. Andyet, within the traditions of his culture, he still has hope of redemption.The arrival of missionaries in Umuofia, however, followed byrepresentatives of the colonial government, completely disrupts Iboculture, and in the chasm between old ways and new, Okonkwo is lostforever. Deceptively simple in its prose, Things Fall Apart packs apowerful punch as Achebe holds up the ruin of one proud man to stand forthe destruction of an entire culture. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (603)

5-0 out of 5 stars book
good book, delivered in a timely manner and in the condition it was advertised to be in

1-0 out of 5 stars print
The quality of theprint for the novel is poor, compared to the one i studied back in my secondary school days.
I,m not happy with the purchase,but will manage to read it like that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening read
This was a very enlightening book. I felt like I learned a lot, and not in an axe-grinding or brow-beating way. It was really interesting, seeing what at least a small part of Nigeria was like, long before they were best known for e-mail scams.

The story is about a man in a Nigerian village, living a traditional village life. We get glimpses into the everyday, festivals, weddings, funerals, religion, hierarchy, and all kinds of facets of village life. Then, just when we think that's all it is, in come the foreigners, marked as different by their white skin, separated by their traditions, religions and laws. And we all know how that ends.

I found the story slow in places, and I was afraid it would be over before I got into it. The main character was very unlikeable, and his culture was incredibly dismissive of women, which often annoys me in literature. But, by the end of the book, I sympathized a lot with the domineering, supposedly primitive individual at the heart of the story, and I keenly felt his pain at having everything he'd ever known taken from him by these outsiders who didn't understand anything. I started to question a lot of my own assumptions about colonialism, and whether native cultures really are better off learning how to cope with the white world, rather than keeping their own cultures. Before listening to this audio book, I would've said clothing, modern medicine, abundant food and learning to read is worth it, but now I don't know, and I don't think the ones who integrate quickly are the ones to ask.

I thought the story worked very well as an audio book. It's told in a storyteller's style, with repetition reminding us who the characters were and what their roles were. In a written book, that might've annoyed me. Hearing it aloud, it was a relief.

I didn't much like the narrator, though. He had this gravelly, "manly" sort of voice that sounded very American. I think it would be silly to have a native narrator read it, accent and all, but the flow of the language was often stymied by the narrator's pausing right after or before unfamiliar and hard-to-pronounce words.

Overall, though, I thought this was an excellent choice for an audio edition, and I'm glad I took it out from the library. I really feel like I learned a lot, and am entertaining questions I should've been thinking a lot more about all along.

1-0 out of 5 stars THIS is a classic?
The higher the expectation, the more bitter the disappointment can be.This book proves it.Supposedly, "Things Fall Apart" is one of the three or four classic, must-read books of African literature.If this is a classic, I don't want to see the B-list.Minimal character development; no explanation for bizarre, cruel, impulsive behavior of the protagonist or others.I had no idea what made these characters tick.And so the story didn't grab me because I didn't have empathy or understanding for or of the people who were in it.The title is great; unfortunately, "things fell apart" after I opened the book.STEVE MEISTER

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Stories I've Ever Known - Across Film, TV, Books, Everything.
This book is incredible. I think people of all races and class can relate to the story (me being a sort of proof to this.) I found this book about 5 years ago in a library's "free books" section (when a book gets very worn and must be replaced, and I am forever grateful for whatever curiosity spurred me to pick up the yellowed and worn novel. As I said in my title, it is not only one of the best books I've ever read, but simply one of the best stories (top 10) I've ever encountered. ... Read more


2. No Longer at Ease (African Writers Series)
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 168 Pages (2008-06-20)
list price: US$12.82 -- used & new: US$9.12
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0435913514
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
The sequel to the classic, Things Fall Apart, tells of a troubled young African whose formal education separates him from his roots and makes him part of a corrupt ruling elite he despises. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Achebe's Best, But He Remains a Must-Read Author
This novel (published in 1960, the year in which Nigeria gained its independence) is a sequel to Achebe's powerful and deservedly-famous first novel (1958), Things Fall Apart.The protagonist is Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of the proud, confused, and tragic Okonkwo of the earlier novel.And times have changed.Obi, son of Isaac (whose conversion to Christianity was one of the turning points of the earlier novel), has returned to Nigeria and a post in the senior civil service after studying in London for four years.His parents are still Christians, but Obi has lost whatever Christian dedication he once may have had.Indeed, it seems that he has left even more than that behind, and it is difficult to know what his values are, except for vague ideas about a more sophisticated, modern, independent, and corruption-free Nigeria.I had hoped for a more nuanced treatment of the tensions that Obi experienced as a foreign student in the UK and the colonial context within which he received his higher education, but there is very little other than a brief mention of Obi's joy when he would encounter another Ibo-speaking student in London, and his discomfort when he had to resort to English--the language of Nigeria's colonial masters, and in those masters' own country--when he spoke with a Nigerian from a different tribe.The tensions between Nigeria's past and its future, between subservience and independence, and between generations with competing priorities, all resolve down to Obi's struggles with his job, his fiancé Clara, his finances, and his family.But as a character to drive a novel, Obi does not have the same strength or presence as the character of his grandfather did in the earlier novel.Partly as a result, this one seems less concerned with issues of fundamental importance, and therefore less profound.There is not much question of where Obi is heading; his guilt on the charge of accepting a bribe is announced in the first two pages, and all that follows is the story of how he came to this pass.But the unhappy conclusion to Obi's career in the civil service comes across largely as the result of the listlessness, confusion, and lack of determination of a young man whose dreams overtax his capacity.Perhaps, in the end, that is part of what Achebe was trying to say about Nigeria.This novel is worth reading, especially if you have read the earlier one, but it lacks the power of its predecessor.Achebe remains, however, one of the most important voices in African literature I know of.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ethnographic Fiction
A realistic, nearly panoramic, ethnographic fiction of Nigerian culture. It is at once historical (abundant local slang and explanatory passages about local customs) and fictional (sufficiently exotic imaginaries of both London and Lagos, from opposing perspectives). Overall, an enjoyable read, but the obsessive ethnographic details wear it down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful African story that transcends Africa
As a post-graduate student preparing for diplomatic assignment to Africa, my African history curriculum includes a number of Achebe stories. I particularly appreciate "No Longer At Ease." While many point to "Things Fall Apart" as the masterpiece, I find Achebe's later works more engaging due to deeper character colorization.

Style-wise, "No Longer At Ease" has strengths and weaknesses. The dialogue is alive, the descriptions are vivid, the flow generally smooth. However, the pacing is a tad slow and I'm not sure if the non-linear sequence is the best (story opens with endgame and then flashbacks the preceding events that lead up to it).Female characters are shallower than male, which seems to be consistent in Achebe's earlier works.

Substance-wise, there is a universality to the story that makes it very powerful. The timeless themes of individual will vs mainstream collective, love vs cultural/conventional taboo, opposing pulls from different societies, and tragic fall from grace; all would make Shakespeare proud. Thus, while the setting is southern Nigeria a few years prior to independence, the story is as much a statement(s)about human struggles as it is about African struggles.Not that the latter is neglected.The beauty of this story is that today in 2008, the same contradictions, challenges, and problems are just as relevant as they were pre-1960.In fact that is what makes this fiction more than fiction for those seriously interested in Africa and West Africa in particular.

Some additional comments & observations:
- Globalization didn't just start in the 1990s.The dynamics of modernism from the West merging with urbanized and rural societies of Africa is starkly prevalent.Different segments of society take the changes in stride to vastly different degrees.This phenomenon is in no way restricted to Africa in the 1950s. My own family has varying levels of comfort with technology and communication changes over the last decade or so.

- The Africans in the story place an incredible premium on status.Education is valued not for intrinsic reasons (e.g. become an engineer in order to build things) but as a vehicle to elevated social status - which translates directly to opportunity for prosperity via civil service. "To occupy a 'European post' was second only to actually being European. It raised a man from the masses to the elite..." Africans apparently learn the lessons of the West all too well, that is, with an unhealthy over-emphasis on how "learned" someone is and what credentials one has, rather than practical ability to do productive work. Perhaps it is purposeful Achebe brilliance in that characters (African and European) in the story are perpetually busy with work yet they never seem accomplish anything meaningful; there is merely a ballet of self-supporting bureaucracy.

- The main character, Obi, is a trailblazer reminiscent of Jackie Robinson. His gifts don't free him to simply play the game, but burden him with special wider responsibility. Obi never does succeed in reconciling the traditional demands of his people and those of the colonial establishment and modernizing world. This is in fact the root of his tragic fall.

- Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the story is the reminder of the intelligence and sophistication on the part of the Africans.Isn't it easy to observe the end product - corrupt and dysfunctional governments in Africa today - and "logically" work backwards to deduce that the reason must be personal/individual inadequacy?This self-attribution error is hard to avoid.Don't we think in this vein about our own earlier generations? We imagine them as less shrewd and capable. However did WWI spark off, for example? It's too hard to imagine - people must have been more ignorant or less clever then, no?

2-0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Ease, Apparently
I read this book with great anticipation, as "Things Fall Apart" is probably one of my favourite books of all time.I was sorely disappointed, both with the poor quality of the characterisation, the glacial pace of the plot, the 50 or so pages that could have easily been left out, and the overall not-so-subtle blaming of all life's ills on the white man.Achebe gives the impression that things in Africa would've been just fine had the white man not intervened and gummed up the works.As we can see with the disasters in present day Zimbabwe and Sudan, Africa has long had its own set of problems long before British colonialism.

"Things Fall Apart" was crafted so perfectly that it read like a song...a sad one, but a song nonetheless."No Longer At Ease" repeats so many of the same parables, so many of the same ideas that it seemed almost made up of things that Achebe couldn't find a place for in its prequel.It also seemed to be written in a hurry and skimmed the surface of so many deeper issues one of left pondering in "Things Fall Apart".

I've heard Achebe recently interviewed on BBC Radio, and he is a joy to listen to.This book, however, is not his best effort by far.It was only out of loyalty that I finished it and promptly regretted buying it at all.I give it two stars because I like Achebe's style, but that's being pretty generous.

A great disappointment.

4-0 out of 5 stars To he who is given much
I've read about a couple of recent novels published by Nigerian writers about Nigeria yet I've always wanted my first literary encounter with this contentious nation to be through the gaze of its most honored writer Chinua Achebe. In "No Longer at Ease", his second novel, Achebe explores the moral and cultural conflict that arises as the result of an often cataclysmic collision of European colonialism and African independence. Obi Okonkwo, the novel's main character, is a first generation English educated Nigerian.After college, Obi returns to a transitioning Nigeria, where one's options in life are still limited by the aftermath of British rule and the onset of Nigerian corruption (the later resulting in large part from the former).Upon his return, Obi is faced with the financial expectations of the tribe that helped sponsor his education, the ire of his family for his choice of fiancée and the assumption by many of his countrymen that, through his station with the Senior Service, he is capable of influencing (with a little financial motivation) the outcome of scholarships awarded to Nigerian students. As he navigates through each dilemma Obi must balance the ethical certainties learned through his western education with the cultural practices of his country. The results are at times noble at other times indictable.

Achebe is incredible at capturing the sounds and flavor of Nigeria. Even more remarkable is his ability to do so in English, a language not his own and vastly different from his native tongue."No Longer at Ease" provides excellent insight into the struggles faced by those who transition from the old to the new whether in terms of educational advancement or socio-economic elevation.As a first generation college graduate I found the challenges and expectations faced by Obi to be quite familiar.I was able to connect with his thought processes and clearly understood the emotional conflicts.A relative once said to me that of he who is given much, much is required.I've learned, over time, that we should all do what we can when we can.This was a good read and the novel is as poignant today as it was when it was originally published over forty-five years ago.Enjoy!
... Read more


3. The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.35
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0307473678
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****

From the celebrated author of Things Fall Apart comes a new collection of autobiographical essays—his first new book in more than twenty years.

Chinua Achebe’s characteristically eloquent and nuanced voice is everywhere present in these seventeen beautifully written pieces. From a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria to considerations on the African-American Diaspora, from a glimpse into his extraordinary family life and his thoughts on the potent symbolism of President Obama’s elections—this charmingly personal, intellectually disciplined, and steadfastly wise collection is an indispensable addition to the remarkable Achebe oeuvre.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Educational
This book is a part of a book club reading. I grew up reading Professor Achebes books so I wasnt surprised to find out that this was also excellent. Very interesting to read. Glad that I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars good for college,deals with social issues,politics, slavery
This would have been so helpful in college. Achebe discusses the issues and questions:
Why can't African counrtries get it together?
Did they sell each other into slavery?
Did Europeans 'discover' Africa?
The book 'Heart of Darkness
Martin Luther King

Achebe had a lot of ideas new to me, and from an original viewpoint.

4-0 out of 5 stars What makes us human
"Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" should be repeated every hour on the hour by every school child all over the world until it becomes the mantra of all societies.It is Bantu for "A human is human because of other humans."

The simple but profound adage is the theme of Chinua Achebe's collection of essays, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays. It may also be the theme of his life's work, judging by the simple message it conveys about the importance of the communal aspirations of the peoples of Africa.He uses it several times in various essays in the book, but really drives the point home in the concluding paragraph of the last one, titled "Africa Is People."

"Our humanity is contingent on the humanity of our fellows.No person or group can be human alone.We rise above the animal together, or not at all.If we learned that lesson even this late in the day, we would have taken a truly millennial step forward."

Achebe, winner of the Man Booker International Prize and best known as the author of Things Fall Apart, one of the seminal works of African fiction, has a subtle, dry voice that makes each of these seventeen essays something to savor and linger over.He makes his points about racial stereotypes, African development, history, and politics, and the African-American diaspora, sometimes with humor, sometimes with biting directness, but always graciously and without rancor.You sense Achebe knows that to rail against injustice is futile; change must come through education achieved one cogent argument at a time.

While Achebe is a scholar, he is also a master storyteller.More often than not, he makes his points not with dry logical argument but with an exegetical tale about someone he's met or something that's happened to him.Those little narratives are much more illustrative than pure cant. In "Spelling Our Proper Name," he tells the story of Dom Afonso of Bukongo, for example, who negotiated with King John III of Portugal in 1526 as an equal.He then writes:

"Such stories as Dom Alfonso's encounter with Europe are not found in the history books we read in schools.If we knew them....young James Baldwin would not have felt a necessity to compare himself so adversely with peasants in a Swiss village.He would have known that his African ancestors did not sit through the millennia idly gazing into the horizon, waiting for European slavers to come and get them."

I found his exploration of the complex politics and history of Africa in "Africa's Tarnished Name" to be particularly thought-provoking.He also talks frequently about Joseph Conrad's purported racism, which has become an important theme in the deconstruction of Heart of Darkness.Some of these essays have been presented elsewhere, although they have been revised and updated since they were first published.Nothing in them is dated, however, and Achebe's insightful discussions with Langston Hughes and James Baldwin ring as true as his observations about the potent symbolism of Barack Obama's election as President of the United States.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Education of a British-Protected Child
I am honored to review Chinua Achebe's collection of essays, //The Education of a British-Protected Child//. Reading Achebe's book, I felt like I was meeting him in person. His 1958 novel, //Things Fall Apart//, made him a pioneer in the nascent world of African literature. Achebe is clear about history and literature. We live in a world tainted with imperialism, whose historical legacy is persistent poverty for many. Africa does not have a monopoly on suffering or the ills of colonialism but is a screen that reflects whatever the West wishes to see. The narrative of Africa, created to justify colonization and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, constructed Africans as problems. Today, the narrative remains: Africa is troubled and none of the solutions are working. Africans are in positions to write their own histories, but how can they escape centuries of being subjected to pervasive stereotypes? By giving back to the African her humanity and individual agency, African writers/poets can begin the urgent task of recuperation. Also, the West is now more willing to listen to African voices. Achebe's essays seamlessly weave together biography and history, and his own life story offers hope that Africans will not be eclipsed by history--and they never were!


Reviewed by Viola Allo

5-0 out of 5 stars Read his Novels Instead
I very rarely find essays satisfying, but since this was Achebe and it was a library check out, I went for it. I was hoping to learn more about this author and something of Nigeria. There were a few interesting moments such as Achebe's meeting Richard Wright and Langston Hughes, his views on Conrad, travel in Africa in the early 1960's and his impressions on high level literary or policy gatherings, but on the whole this book validates my feeling.

Achebe is a master in developing themes. The essay forces a point and doesn't have the space for layering ideas. Essays work for news events, but there is not enough space to develop a theme.

These pieces cover colonialism, images of Africans in print and the historical record, the rape of Africa after "independence", etc. The book is OK, but Achebe's views are better expressed in his books.

Later - The 5 star rating does not match my review. I meant to give this 3 stars. My finger must have slipped. It does not appear that this can be edited. ... Read more


4. A Man of the People
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 160 Pages (1989-01-19)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$7.06
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0385086164
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
By the renowned author of Things Fall Apart, this novel foreshadows the Nigerian coups of 1966 and shows the color and vivacity as well as the violence and corruption of a society making its own way between the two worlds. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bribery was not enough
I am a fan of Chinua Achebe ever since I read "Things Fall Apart" quite a few years ago during a trip to Africa. This book does not quite hold up to the power of that one but it is quite interesting and provides some insight into the legacy of colonial rule in Africa and the selfishness and immaturity of some of the politicians. What was called a democracy was nothing more than the trappings of a ruling elite (This book was probably a direct satire on Nigerian rule, post-colonialism.)

The story centers around a protagonist who is educated and part of the growing middle class and his original antagonism toward, eventual befriending of and later total rejection of a powerful minister in the government. The insight into the means that such people exerted in their own personal interest is well documented as through character description of the two main characters. I enjoyed the story and the point of view of the author although I had hoped for a more optimistic outcome of the narrative. Achebe is a wonderful story teller. This book was no exception.

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably my favorite Achebe
I haven't read all of Achebe's works, but so far this is the best. There are two main reasons: storytelling and insight to Nigeria, and by extension, Africa. If you're going to read one Achebe book, it should be this one (unless you're specifically interested in pre-colonial/early colonial setting which would be "Things Fall Apart").

Storytelling: Achebe's strengths are highlighted and weaknesses hidden in this tale. The plot is well-paced, taut and compelling. The style is sharp with a masterful balance of attention amongst setting, characters, and action. In short, "readability" or "page-turnability" is high. The pidgin English conversation may cause a few stumbles for the reader but overall it is more value-added than obstacle. Female characters are still rather more flat than males, which is usual for Achebe.

Insight: The beauty of the storytelling is matched by the contextual insight. In fact, this is the most important aspect of the story for me. One can look up Nigerian history and read that the First Republic lasted from 1960 to 1966, fraught with social unrest and ended by coup and Biafran Civil War in '67. Achebe fills in this time and place with living color - insight as to splits in society, individual motivations, and the legacy of colonial ideas mixing with traditional. He wrote the story real-time, that is, without big picture hindsight of the coup so as to align historical details.However, this makes his prescience all the more remarkable.

Specific observations:
- The single most profoundly insightful scene I've read by Achebe occurs with the post sex-with-Jean drive around Bori (a made-up name - all locations are thus as a means of self-preservation vs Nigerian state censorship and punishment). Though succinct, so much is illustrated about the contradictions inherent in post-colonial Nigerian society as people wend through the frustrating amalgamation of Western and traditional practices.

- Underlying themes are important. It is evident that things are getting worse economically only a few years after independence (1960). There is implication that Nigeria is living partially on the dole as colonial firms still have an important role in the economy. There is also an anti-intellectual movement underfoot.This may be a backlash from the lack of meritocracy and obsession with titles, status, and civil service wealth identified in Achebe's previous story, "No Longer At Ease."

- Achebe tells us that essentially, the second "Scramble for Africa" is INTERNAL. Nigerian elites are grabbing for positions of power and dedicating themselves to consolidating their status while giving lip service to nationalism. The ideals of democracy are trod underfoot by the traditional tendency towards "big man" patron-client apparatus development. The intensity of the struggle over power stems from the rigid assumption of a zero-sum game and lack of true national public interest.

- In Shakespearean tradition, the characters are vibrant and flawed. Hypocrisy abounds as personal agendas and ideological principles intertwine. The most cynical actors of all are the common people. They are so jaded about their leaders and politics that they have no expectations.Indignation about governance inadequacy is bearable; certainly there is no motivation to mobilize and force change - instead everyone remains preoccupied with myopic survival strategies to secure what crumbs that are available from the national "cake." However, this is no "Goodfellas" (the 1990 movie that most people think is brilliant but I absolutely hate because there is not a single redeeming character in it that one can empathize with).Achebe's characters cause head shaking but empathy at the same time.In particular, Eunice is perhaps a Weberian "ideal type" that provides sharp contrast - thoroughly admirable and uncompromising to the end.

- The violence and manipulation dominating elections is far from anachronistic; these details resonate as if written only a few years ago. Elections in Nigeria have changed little, even since the return to civilian rule after Abacha in 1999. The 2007 election, in fact, was judged to be arguably the worst EVER in post-colonial history. Achebe shrewdly and poetically shares with the reader the hints as to "why" the country has been this way.

Happy reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars timeless
very fascinating to read how the writer has captured situations forty years ago that are still so accurate today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Man of the People
"A Man of the People" is another excellent and moving book by the world renowned Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe. His other classic books include: "Things Fall Apart" and "No Longer at Ease".

Chinua Achebe is a gifted story teller. From his writings, one can picture life in his native country and particularly of his Ibo clan. In "A Man of the People", Achebe depicts the life of a post-colonial African politician, who is part of the new elite that has replaced the former colonial masters. Just like the pigs in "Animal Farm by George Orwell", these political elite create a good life for themselves at the expense of the masses, the ordinary folk.

Achebe points out some of the cancer that has infected post colonial Africa of corruption, violence and unbridled greed, which created untold suffering and despair following the initial euphoria, high expectations and optimism that greeted independence. Achebe develops the story in a powerful, humorous, witty and masterful way that clearly shows why he is one of the greatest novelists to have graced the African continent. He is one of my favourite writers.

I recommend his collection of books to anyone who wishes to understand developments on the African continent as well as the high quality of African literature. The books ought to be mandatory reading for the English literature curriculum for schools and colleges in Africa.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Achebe's Best
I loved "Things Fall Apart", and it was what got me to fall in love with African literature in the first place-and download a list of Africa's 100 greatest works of literature in order to try to feed my passion!(I'm not sure how far into it I am now!)It is a masterpiece and so moving.

However, I have to admit there is something so perfect about "A Man of the People", so witty, so well-written, so perfect, so flawless, that it might be better than "Things Fall Apart".Since this book takes place during the post-colonial period, it has a completely different tone than Things Fall Apart.For one thing, it uses a smattering of pidgin (a Nigerian combination of indigenous words, English and slang), which is hard to understand for outsiders to the culture but fascinating-only a little is used and doesn't at all detract from understanding the novel if you're not a native speaker, and it adds a lot of flavor.

Achebe's masterful writing and talent at crafting stories-saying more with subtlety than many have said with bombast- is what makes this book worth reading if you're not interested in Africa in particular.If you are interested in Africa, this is an important exploration of the post-colonial situation.The narrator, part of the educated elite, becomes enamored of the so-called "Man of the People", a man who embodies a Nigerian postcolonial political leader of a certain kind-always ready to take a bribe, charming, populist, and utterly corrupt.

At first the narrator is intrigued by the Man of the People, and admires his style.The realization of what men like this are doing to his country forces the narrator to realize what is at stake when the nation allows itself to accept thievery as a cultural value.Although he is initially immature and moved to vengeance because the "Man of the People" beds his girl, he rapidly matures and comes to identify with his idealist friends, a couple who have not abandoned their optimism and compassion for the people.

A Must-Read, and one of my favorite books of all time.

... Read more


5. Girls at War
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 128 Pages (1991-08-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.91
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0385418965
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good one
Very impressed. I am glad I read it again after all these years. The story of the Mad Man is very funny. I was cracking up while reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn about Nigeria
Did you know that free schooling was only briefly offered in Nigeria?There's a poignant story about it here.

I learned a lot about Nigeria from these stories.Sometimes, the stories seemed to end a little too abruptly, but I guess that's part of the story format: it has to end sooner than a short novel, anyway.

Mr. Achebe is a fine storyteller and he has many interesting things to say about the people and customs of Nigeria.I recommend this book, but only after first reading his classic novel about 19th century Ibo tribe people, Things Fall Apart.

After reading these stories, I was both attracted to Nigeria and repelled by it (I've never been to Africa).Achebe does a good job of capturing the ambivalence aroused by Nigeria's exotic nature (to Americans) mixed with its societal dysfunctions.

Diximus.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great stories by a master writer
This is an impressive collection of short stories that covers a twenty-year period of Achebe's writing. They also cover a period of history in his native Nigeria that spans from the late colonial period to the Biafran war. In them Achebe explores various aspects of a predominant theme in his work, i.e. tradition vs. modernism in his country (as introduced by British colonial administration). The various stories offer glimpses into the lives of people from various classes and walks of life. Achebe has a concise and eloquent writing style; he has an almost singular talent for making very pertinent observations in an extremely pithy fashion. Thus, for example, in the few pages of a story like "Dead Man's Path," Achebe brings to life the problems which ensue from the drive for quick modernization, the desire to adhere to tradition and the hypocrisy of Nigeria's colonial administrators. Also impressive is Achebe's mastery of narrative styles, i.e. first person, omiscient, etc. These stories can be read on their own, or as a supplement to Achebe's similarly powerful novels. ... Read more


6. Anthills of the Savannah
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 224 Pages (1997-02-04)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.07
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0385260458
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
Using the conflict between the city and tribal villages, the ravages of the great African drought, and Third World politics as a compelling backdrop, Achebe weaves a potent drama of modern Africa. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Colonial Legacy
Although in my opinion this book did not seem quite up to the standard of "Things Fall Apart," the novel that made me fall in love with Achebe's writing, it was still an informative and clever piece of writing. It was well worth reading. Achebe sets the story in a mythical country in West Africa (Nigeria?) and the plot centers on a two bit dictator and his cabinet. I did find the beginning a bit slow and the book hard to get into initially, but the interaction of the cabinet, in retrospect, sets the stage for the happenings that occur later on. Achebe's critique of non-democratic rulers and their lackeys is piercing and thoughtful.
The ending of the book is dramatic and hopeful but all along Achebe demonstrates how the British, the former colonial masters, left little for the people to hang on to after they left. The cabinet and the leader are satirical objects almost making the return of the English almost desirable. The one recurrent criticism of the book I would offer is Achebe's use of Pidgin English in the speech of the less educated characters. I had trouble understanding what they were saying, although I do understand his use of the language as a tool. Even when he is not totally on top of his game, Achebe is still worth reading carefully. He is a fine writer.

Stanley C. Diamond, author of "What's an American Doing Here? Reflections on Travel in the Third World."

4-0 out of 5 stars second time around
I purchased this novel, Anthills of the Savannah, not realizing that I had read it years and years ago and was pleased to be able to re-read this story of Kangan, the fictional nation modeled on Nigeria.
The narrowly focused military leader of Kangan and his boyhood friends, one an advisor unsure of his loyalties, the other a journalist sure of his commitment to a more democratic nation, give the reader a glimpse into the political dis-ease of modern west African nations.The two female characters contrast one another and invite the reader to consider a less stereotypical vision of African women.
Mr. Achebe's use of language is dense and is sprinkled with words and phrases unknown to most American readers making slow going through this short novel. His writing, however, does present a nuanced tone that gives more than a cursory glimpse of West African cultures and sensibilities.
aka Elizabeth Evans, author, Sanakhou

1-0 out of 5 stars Loved 'Things Fall Apart' - This book disappointed
There was no point to this book at all.I loved 'Things Fall Apart', but this book was disappointing.

4-0 out of 5 stars "A bleak Little England"
"Anthills" remains Achebe's only novel published in the last four decades; he has otherwise confined his literary output to stories, children's books, poems, political journalism, and criticism. Although he is still primarily known for the ubiquitous "Things Fall Apart," I think this later and distinctive work is nearly as good, abandoning allegory and myth for a bitter realism and a torn-out-of-the-headlines plot.

The story concerns three friends who studied together in England before gaining prominence in the fictional West African nation of Kangan. Sam assumes power following a coup, Chris Oriko takes a position as Commissioner for Information in Sam's Cabinet, and Ikem Osodi becomes editor of a newspaper critical of the new government. For each man politics and postcolonial Africa have a different meaning: for Sam, they are means to stability through a strong-armed rule that quickly deteriorates to authoritarian self-aggrandizement; for Ikem, the idealist, the new government owes its existence to the people. Caught in between is Chris, the practical member of the trio, who sees the need for firmness yet understand the dangers of Sam's egotism.

What truly unites--and divides--all three men is the time they spent abroad. Even Ikem's connection to "the people" is hesitant and insincere. For all Ikem's idealism, Chris's pragmatism, and Sam's self-absorption, the three men have in common the wall that separates each of them from the people they govern. "But why are all you fellows so bent on turning this sunshine paradise into bleak Little England? Sam is no bloody queen," asks a British expatriate, a longtime friend of the group. "The most awful thing about power is not that it corrupts absolutely but that it makes people so utterly boring, so predictable."

But perhaps the strongest character in the novel is another British-educated government official, Beatrice Okoh, who is also Chris's erstwhile girlfriend. In a pivotal scene fraught with menace, Sam invites her (sans Chris) to a dinner intended to convince the American press that all is well in the sate of Kangan. Beatrice becomes little more than Exhibit A for the prominent role of women in Sam's government, and she bridles against the artifice. Her lack of diplomatic tact is just another dangerous spark among the group of friends; as Sam's insecurities multiply, every confrontation, every sarcastic rejoinder, every challenge becomes a threat to the state, and soon every act performed by even his closest friends is seen as insubordination.

In the end, the problem with Kangan's elite is not simply the lingering prevalence of Western influence or that the leaders look to the West for answers and approval. Rather, the new purveyors of African self-rule are not very different than the old colonizers: they have forgotten that the heart of the nation--its very reason for existence--is its people and their traditions. Given the intractable division between rulers and ruled, the despair of the final chapters is hardly surprising--but Achebe suggests that hope might yet be found in the next generation.

1-0 out of 5 stars Achebe quills pill.`Hills' thrill=nil.
Not that I have anything against Chinua Achebe as an author, mind you.I liked those early novels like "Things Fall Apart", "Arrow of God" and "No Longer at Ease" when I read them back in the 1960s.Achebe was kind of a herald for me---announcing the arrival of African literature in English on the world scene.I used them as I taught Anthropology, not because I was engaged in African Studies, I was not, but because they portrayed a whole world, an interesting one, of different values, different life plans, and opened up such a world to students who could not have got anything remotely similar from dry textbooks.Achebe wrote of African history and politics from an African point of view.Well, I left my job and Achebe kind of receeded into the background.Recently, I thought I would renew my acquaintance with his work and picked up a copy of ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNAH.I must say I was extremely disappointed.Wooden characters and a very preachy plot that jerks around, never running smoothly or deep.In a state reminiscent of Nigeria, a military dictator rules but feels the crown rest uneasy upon his brow---so to speak.Stereotypical characters abound.Corruption and the sycophantism of people around a strong man are hardly new topics in the world.Achebe has picked a highly relevant topic for sure.Many conflicting interests surround the government in every country, some in opposition, some in support.Do the common people ever get a day in the sun ?Not likely !However, the vicissitudes of tyranny have been written about in far better ways.For example, read Garcia Marquez' "The Autumn of the Patriarch".If you have never read any Achebe, please try one of his other books.I could hardly wade through this one.It's true that the theme is very relevant to modern Africa, but we are judging literature here, not politics or economics.I don't think this novel measures up.
... Read more


7. Home and Exile
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 128 Pages (2001-09-18)
list price: US$11.00 -- used & new: US$5.66
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0385721331
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
More personally revealing than anything Achebe has written, Home and Exile-the great Nigerian novelist's first book in more than ten years-is a major statement on the importance of stories as real sources of power, especially for those whose stories have traditionally been told by outsiders.

In three elegant essays, Achebe seeks to rescue African culture from narratives written about it by Europeans. Looking through the prism of his experiences as a student in English schools in Nigeria, he provides devastating examples of European cultural imperialism. He examines the impact that his novel Things Fall Apart had on efforts to reclaim Africa's story. And he argues for the importance of writing and living the African experience because, he believes, Africa needs stories told by Africans.
Amazon.com Review
Based on three lectures distinguished Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe gave at Harvard University in 1998, this short but trenchant work does not pretend to be a full-fledged autobiography. Instead, Achebe makes forceful use of his personal experiences to examine the political nature of culture. Born in 1930, the son of a Christian convert, young Achebe received a privileged colonial education and "was entranced by the far-away and long-ago worlds of the stories [in English books like Treasure Island and Ivanhoe], so different from the stories of my home and childhood." Yet he and fellow university students indignantly rejected Anglo-Irishman Joyce Cary's highly praised novel Mister Johnson, which bore no resemblance to their knowledge of Nigerian life. This encounter "call[ed] into question my childhood assumption of the innocence of stories," Achebe comments, using scathing assessments of white Kenyan writer Elspeth Huxley and Indian/Caribbean expatriate V.S. Naipaul to remind us that all literature reflects its creators' beliefs and prejudices. Achebe is not an enemy of Western culture; he merely asserts Africans' right to their own perspective and their own art, as exemplified in works like his groundbreaking 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart. Though blunt, his argument is tempered by humor and a passionate belief in "the curative power of stories." --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you like Achebe, or care about indigenous literature
Since the book is already well-summarized above, I'll just give my own reaction.

I've read a number of Achebe's novels and one essay (the excellent critique of Heart of Darkness) and really enjoyed the "backstage" feeling of hearing the author's first person voice - an insightful and kindly voice. For me, the effect of Achebe's strong positions is heightened by the dignified presentation, and of course by the poignant and funny stories from his own life that he uses to illustrate those positions.As compared to one of my other favorite authors, James Baldwin, Achebe's writing includes less calls to action, and more explanation. For instance, even in his sharp critique of Vidiadhar Naipaul's novels, Achebe's first priority is to shine light on the processes that led to Naipul's failures of vision. I think people who have read Achebe's fiction or essays and liked it, or generally care about literature from an indigenous or "Third World" perspective will really enjoy this short text.Definitely worth the cost, and may be available from the library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Long Live our blessed Statesman and elder
Long live the proud son of Africa and our respected statesman.
Achebe the honest and truthful dispenser of both sides of the story. Colonial griots (to borrow Achebe's words) such as Elspeth Huxley and other apologistshave for too long been left alone to justify the dispossession of precious lands and cultures. Until the proud son of Africa made them eat their own words and exposed them for what they are. Dishonest griots deftly laying the groundwork for self-enrichment at the expense of peace loving and decent Human Beings.
Chinua Achebe as exemplified by his few but precious books writes not to make money but only when he must say something useful. Unlike modern day "authors" who are more about money than substance. I have no doubt Achebe can write profound and moving accounts of African and world issues at the rate of one book a day but he chose only to spend his time teaching.
It is obvious why the Nobel Prize went to Wole Soyinka instead of Chinua Achebe. Achebe refuses to write for a "foreign" audience and does not take his marching orders from anybody. He is his own man. Africans and honest people all over the world have in their own ways given Achebe the best prize in the world.
Continuous interest in his worthwhile classics such as Things Fall Apart,The Man of the People,No longer at Ease,Anthills of the Savannah, Morning Yet on Creation Day,Hopes and Impediments and many others.

Home and Exile may be a small book but has enough three pence (from Achebes "somebody knock me down and have three pence!") to liberate nations and individuals from the grip and stench of colonial and racist apologia masquerading as literature.

Long live Achebe, proud son of Africa and citizen of the world.
To know Achebe (by reading his books) is to know how to be an unassuming and proud Human Being who quitely and calmly states his truth for the benefit of us all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Peice of Compact History
Achebe's work was informative, thought provocing, and at times amusing.His work is another example of how important it is for all people to tell their own story/history, especially people who were once disposessed. This little book inspired me to write a few ideas to prevent my experiences from being misinterpreted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful ramblings from the ascetic, Achebe
The physical brevity of Achebe's "autobiography" truly beliesthe intrisic wisdom he so effortlessly spews upon his listeners.Mr.Achebe sets out to deconstruct the manifold, post-colonial ills (endemic tothe dispossessed of African diasopora) with the assistance ofhistoricalliterature, creation fables, and his own personal memories. Indeed, athought provoking manifesto for any fan of the great Achebe; one which willaid the reader to pursue further literature with a new sense ofenlightenment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Home and Exile
Excellent! Achebe has done it again. This is a must read! ... Read more


8. Another Africa
by Robert Lyons, Chinua Achebe
 Hardcover: 120 Pages (1998-11-13)
-- used & new: US$56.93
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0853317291
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
In Another Africa, renowned photographer Rob ert Lyons and internationally acclaimed author Chinua Achebe have joined together to explore the real Africa behind the stereotypes commonly held by Westerners. ' ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Any five of the photos are worth the price of the book
One hundred -- or so --- photos of a continent as large as Africa can't be full-coverage, and I hate to think which of the photos in this book would have been left out, if the scope had increased.
I'm a photographer myself (not a pro), and I own many photo books, but none hits me so hard with every photo as this one. They're "hard-hitting," but easy and pleasurable to look at. I admit, I don't want to see flies on the lips of babes, or pestilence. I know it's out there, and Africa has its share. Not that there's a lot of happiness here, but it's not depressing. I came away from it with an impression of Africa I hadn't had. There's a lot of normal people doing everyday things, and people-less scenes that are full without people. They appear to be real, I'm sure they are, but they're so detailed and balanced that you think, "man, this guy has a good eye," and it makes you want to know more about the scene. This book can teach a photographer how to look at a scene. Anyway---I enjoyed it.
I haven't read the poetry yet. Well, just a little. It's probably good, and some of it reminds me of Gertrude Stein's automatic writing--but it's not THAT far out.

4-0 out of 5 stars A respectful and decent view of Africa
This book by Achebe and Lyons is infact a decent and respectful view of Africa.It does not contain pictures of Starving children or wars.Thephotographs taken by Lyon shows ordinary Africans going about theirbusiness with dignity.There is also a very good essay by Achebe discussingthe Images of Africa over time.It uses as it's main theme a discussion ofJoseph Conrad's book the heart of darkness.He does not shy away from issuessuch as slave trade and wars,but he treats the subject of Africa's imagewith dignity.There are also a number of poems after a few pictures.Thepictures are about 100. My only grouse with the book is that no pictureswere taken of Nigeria and South Africa which are indeed countries that showall the contradictions and hopes of Africa.I say this mainly forsentimental reasons being a Nigerian i would have loved a picture of thehustle and bustle of Ojuelegba in Lagos or the Onitsha market.It is howevera welcome addition to my library. ... Read more


9. The African Trilogy: Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, and Arrow of God (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
by Chinua Achebe
Hardcover: 536 Pages (2010-01-05)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$19.50
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0307592707
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Here, collected for the first time in Everyman’s Library, are the three internationally acclaimed classic novels that comprise what has come to be known as Chinua Achebe’s “African Trilogy.”

Beginning with the best-selling Things Fall Apart—on the heels of its fiftieth anniversary—The African Trilogy captures a society caught between its traditional roots and the demands of a rapidly changing world. Achebe’s most famous novel introduces us to Okonkwo, an important member of the Igbo people, who fails to adjust as his village is colonized by the British. In No Longer at Ease we meet his grandson, Obi Okonkwo, a young man who was sent to a university in England and has returned, only to clash with the ruling elite to which he now believes he belongs. Arrow of God tells the story of Ezuelu, the chief priest of several Nigerian villages, and his battle with Christian missionaries.

In these masterful novels, Achebe brilliantly sets universal tales of personal and moral struggle in the context of the tragic drama of colonization. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Recommend
Splendid small volume, a most welcome replacement for the original Everyman ed. in which "Things Fall Apart" stood alone. ... Read more


10. The Trouble with Nigeria
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 100 Pages (2000-09-05)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 9781561475
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
The eminent African novelist and critic, here addresses Nigeria's problems, aiming to challenge the resignation of Nigerians and inspire them to reject old habits which inhibit Nigeria from becoming a modern and attractive country. In this famous book now reprinted, he professes that the only trouble with Nigeria is the failure of leadership, because with good leaders Nigeria could resolve its inherent problems such astribalism; lack of patriotism; social injustice and the cult ofmediocrity; indiscipline; and corruption. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not really helpful
Is it Hubris to review a book on a country you know absolutely nothing about?More like Chutzpa, I guess, that perennial curse of us Jews.Although I know little about Nigeria, I hope I can offer fellow clueless Amazonians a taste of what this book is like, and maybe even give people who know something about Nigeria a fresh perspective (well, I said maybe).

I occasionally read books about unfamiliar countries to slightly dispell my general ignorance, but I have to say the "The Trouble with Nigeria" did not do much to enrich my knowledge of this poor little African Country (not so little, actually - it is apparently bigger then France).I learned this little fact about Nigeria's size from Wikipedia.Achebe spares us such mandane details as the size, population, and per capita GDP of Nigeria.He's more interested in maladies such as corruption, immaturity, and tribalism.As a consequence, the vast majority of the book is useless as a source of information to outsiders.Only the last couple of chapters actually bring some useful information, and even then, it is clearly targeted to those in the know.

There are two things to praise about Achebe's book.Achebe avoids both extremes in search of answers to the questions of Nigeria's ills; too often in human history, people have attempted to blame the failure of non-Western societies on their genetic makeup.Achebe rightly rejects this answer forthwith: "There is nothing basically wrong with Nigerian character" (p.1).Another response, more understandable and reasonable, and yet equally unproductive, is to blame the West, Imperialism, and Colonialism.Knowing very little Nigerian History, no doubt a good case can be made that British Colonial rule has been a disaster.But Achebe does not seek to cast blame - he seeks avenues for reform, and for that he should be commanded.

But for Achebe the problems of Nigeria are two-fold:Corruption and Tribalism.That is an oversimplified analysis and won't do.Take corruption first; Achebe quotes shockingly forthright statements by major Nigerian politicians who claim their planning of promoting their own self interest. (pp. 59-60).That is very unromantic, but not terribly surprising.Powerful people are usually ambitious people; even the best politicians, such as the American Founding Fathers, have had their share of pettiness and greed.As we agree that Nigerians are no better nor worse then other people, why would they be singularly blessed with lousy leaders?

Or take tribalism;Achebe observes that tribalism is a serious problem in Nigeria, as tribal identity is often as strong or stronger then national identity.He fails to mention that Nigeria has 250 different ethnic groups speaking some five hundred languages!(Wikipedia again)Another admission of ignorance of all things Nigerian is due here, but I am generally skeptical about the viability of multi-ethnic states.The possibility that a divided Nigeria would be an improvement should be considered, as should the proper form of government to direct such a complex country.

Achebe makes only the scantest mention of comparable African states (p.20).African countries are severely disadvantaged because of their geographical position, historical development, and legacy of Western colonialism.Setting reasonable goals in comparison with other African states, and learning from the successes and failures of other African states is essential for improving the state of Nigeria.

Finally, I'd like to raise a point not mentioned by Mr. Achebe's book: Oil.Nigeria is, to its misfortune, an oil rich country.Oil is a great burden to underdeveloped countries, because it fosters the growth of a small and extremely powerful social stratum that can monopolize its profits.Like mines in Latin America, oil causes great wealth inequalities and hinders democracy.I would be very surprised if Oil wasn't one cause for Nigeria's trouble, and learning to cope with it would have to be a priority.

Chinua Achebe's book is impassioned and well written, but unfortunately it is analytically defective.It contains scarcely any insights from economics, social science, or historical perspective; Of course, it is not that kind of book, but that is the point - it is only that kind of book that can help a country such as Nigeria.So I am afraid I cannot recommend "The Trouble with Nigeria".

4-0 out of 5 stars Another well written book by Achebe.
This book, for me, was an eye opener to the problems in Nigeria. Chinua Achebe talks about how the main problem in Nigeria is the leadership. He did a really good job of proving that the real problem was the failure in leadership. He talked about indiscipline, tribalism, social injustice, and corruption. Even though he talked about the problems of the leadership, he still mentioned and commended Aminu Kano for not being selfish, like most of the leaders, and putting the nation's interests before his own. This book gave me a view, from a Nigerian's perspective, about the real problems in Nigeria.

I think people should definitely consider reading this book. It is a quick read (only 63 pages) and it is very influential. Along with being short, it is for the most part easy to follow and it gives a lot of details, facts, and his opinions of what is going wrong in Nigeria. The only thing I didn't like about this book was some parts in the last chapter when Achebe almost went too much in detail. In the beginning it was really interesting to me, but in the last chapter, the information and facts were harder to soak in. Even though I didn't like parts of the last chapter, I still recommend this book and I think that it is worth it to read it.

Compared to Things Fall Apart, this book is a lot shorter and is a little bit denser. They are both quick reads, and I think if Nigeria interests you, then it is worth it to read both of them. All of the books that I have read by Achebe so far have impressed me, and I think that he is not only an influential writer, but his writing is also fun to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars PASSIONATE ANALYSIS OF THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA
Achebe, the great writer from Nigeria (author of THings Fall Apart and others), provides a passionate and smart analysis of the real problems preventing development in Nigeria.

This book is a bit political and local, meaning that if you don't know the characters you will not get about 10% of the book.He cites examples and tells stories that are clearly very familiar to locals, but not to outsiders.Such writing makes me believe that the audience aimed is in fact Nigerians rather than outsiders.

However, there are important lessons from outsiders, which are condensed into the less than 100 pages of this small book.Issues such as corruption and disrespect for laws are addressed from a very different standpoint than usual economists would.The ideas and concepts from this book are applicable to other countries facing difficulties reaching high standards of living.I, for one, wish someone had written such a book on Brazil.It is a quick read, worth your 2 hours.

4-0 out of 5 stars an important diatribe
This is a good little book about Nigeria's problems written by a Nigerian for Nigerians.The edition I read was one of the smallest books I've ever seen - even smaller than some of those Noam Chomsky Real Story tracts - which makes sense since it was published in Nigeria for readers who might not be able to afford paying $8.50 for a book.Therefore the reader should keep in mind the audience this book is aimed at: Achebe is writing to Nigerians about how they can clean up their country.He is not writing a serious book about the current troubles of Nigeria and how they can be solved on an international as well as domestic front: the lack of the words 'Shell Corporation' is conspicuous throughout the book.

That being said, this is a good way for a non-Nigerian to see how Nigeria's problems are perceived internally.Achebe is strong in his condemnation of tribalism, indiscipline and especially corruption and the prejudice agains the Igbo people.While condeming most current (this was written in 1983) politicians, he does praise the famous Aminu Kano and other politicians like Bola Ige, Bisi Onabanjo and Ernest Ikoli for putting the nation's interest first, not their own.Achebe looks forward to a time when such politicians would lead Nigerians, not divide them or waste their money needlessly.

Unfortunately, good leadership is not the only answer to Nigeria's problems.Nonetheless, this is still a worthy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars This should be required reading...
I first bought this book from a dusty bin in The Metropolitan Hotel inCalabar, Nigeria.I was there on a thirteen day missions trip during thebloody reign of Babangida and I had already experienced, first hand, thetrouble with Nigeria.Achebe had been a favorite author since I readThings Fall Apart during my college days, but with this reading he becamemore than an author -- he became a friend and guide.

In 63 insightfulpages he has written a manifesto for the recovery of people of Africandescent world-wide, of which I am one.He talks about the need forleadership, the scar of tribalism, and a variety of social ills that, as heputs it, Nigerians have relegated to small talk and I am sad to say AfricanAmericans have turned into comedy.

This is a must read for people ofAfrican descent and anyone else who would like to understand and help. Just recently, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing the daughterof former Nigerian President Elect Abiola.Her father died whileimprisoned a few years ago.Now a congresswoman herself, she has highhopes for Nigeria, but sees similar social ills here in American and agreedthat Achebe's views are accurate and needful.

The trouble with Nigeriaand African America is that not enough people have read and applied theprinciples discussed in The Trouble with Nigeria. ... Read more


11. Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 240 Pages (1989-01-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.93
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0385014805
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa's best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
excellent book, very easy to read and follow. I am a big fan of Achebe and while I preferred "Things Fall Apart" this one is still very worthwhile. Strongly recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great writer.
I first read is book many years ago in college, I am just reading them again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Chinua Masterpiece
"Arrow of God" is another excellent novel by the world renowned Chinua Achebe. I have read this novel perhaps five times, having first read it decades ago. I still get thrilled and marvel at the ability of Chinua Achebe to tell a good story that keeps the reader wanting to read more. I have also read "Things Fall Apart" and "Man of the People", which are all excellent reading for those interested in African literature.

The story is set in a traditional Igbo village in Western Nigeria where the author traces how the age old traditions that had stood the test of time were systematically eroded by colonial rule. An important lesson we learn is that we need to change with the times and be adaptive to the constant changes, otherwise we perish.

This is a well written book by a remarkable author that is very interesting to read as well as enlightening.

3-0 out of 5 stars Falls just short of greatness
After reading the great "Things Fall Apart" by Achebe, I had high expectations of this book.I came away befuddled.I guess we were supposed to learn that a man cannot overcome his village, but still..I didn't get how it could have ended like that.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Achebe Novel
I know that many people have read Things Fall Apart, but that is not his greatest novel. I was not forced to read any of his books. I was just curious. It exposed me to some of the greatest literature I could ever have known. Arrow of God is by far my favorite Achebe book. So if you think Things Fall Apart is good, Arrow of God is so much deeper. You get to know the characters so much better. You feel like you are part of the scene. It is more personal. You see more into different people's lives. I read a lot of books. This one is one of my favorite. ... Read more


12. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: A Routledge Study Guide (Routledge Guides to Literature)
by David Whittaker, Mpalive-Hangson Msiska
Paperback: 160 Pages (2007-12-20)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$21.69
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0415344565
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

Offering an insight into African culture that had not been portrayed before, Things Fall Apart is both a tragic and moving story of an individual set in the wider context of the coming of colonialism, as well as a powerful and complex political statement of cross-cultural encounters.

This guide to Chinua Achebe’s compelling novel offers:

  • an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of Things Fall Apart
  • a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present
  • a selection of critical writing on Things Fall Apart, by Abiola Irele, Abdul JanMohamed, Biodun Jeyifo, Florence Stratton and Ato Quayson, providing a variety of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key critical approaches identified in the survey section
  • cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism
  • suggestions for further reading.

Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of Things Fall Apart and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Achebe’s text.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars A Critical Muddle
This book is a shame in relation to its stated agenda: to offer a guide that allows readers to come to understand the African iconic novel Things Fall Apart in the boader context of its history, politics, culture, and sociology. There is some confusion about the book's design. The compilers ("authors" is inapplicable here) make little attempt to extend understanding of the novel as a work of art. Apart from the not-particularly informative Introduction and prefaces to its various sections, the volume comprises in the main of excerpted essays. The collators of these documents present an alternative approach readers have taken to the novel, and then look for an excerpt from an essay to illustrate it. The down-side to this approach is that anyone seriously looking for comprehensive knowledge would be better off consulting the full essay in its original source. All still in print and readily available, none of these essays is by any account inaccessible; therefore, the volume is not as invaluable as hoped. The compilers' approach will disappoint readers who are already familiar with the excerpted essays. Lacking in novelty, I'll take any of the competing titles over this over-priced one anyday. At any event, this book could not have been conceived for the specialist; it does not treat its subject at an adequate level of rigor. Being far too derivate, it will not be much use either to the beginning student.

1-0 out of 5 stars Chinua Achebe-s: Things Fall Apart by Mpalive-Hangson Msiska
I almost bought this book thinking it was the original "Things Fall Apart", had I not read the reviews. I am disappointed that the book itself is not available on Kindle. I hope it would eventuallyappear on Kindle, and we would be able to download it.Please mention that it is a discussion to the works of Achebe.

1-0 out of 5 stars chinua achebes things fall apart
I too was very disappointed in finding out only after purchasing that this was not the actual book.Being my very first purchase I felt that this description was very misleading.I certanly hope that kindle recognizes this as a problem as I find it hard to believe that I just happened upon the one and only misrepresented book description. Now back to the users guide to find out how and even if I can receive a refund for the purchase of this book.Buyers beware.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not the actual story
I bought this in an attempt to help my sister with an English project, but it is not the actual novel and instead was a discussion of the original work and other works seen to be related to Achebe's, "Things Fall Apart." I was very disappointed in that there was no indication of it not being the real story, as translations and edited versions of books often have another person's name tacked on it. Hopefully the actual version of the book will make it to Kindle, but for now only the printed edition is available. ... Read more


13. Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: 208 Pages (1990-09-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.96
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 038541479X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
One of the most provocative and original voices in contemporary literature, Chinua Achebe here considers the place of literature and art in our society in a collection of essays spanning his best writing and lectures from the last twenty-three years. For Achebe, overcoming goes hand in hand with eradicating the destructive effects of racism and injustice in Western society. He reveals the impediments that still stand in the way of open, equal dialogue between Africans and Europeans, between blacks and whites, but also instills us with hope that they will soon be overcome. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Achebe is a master of thought
I read this as part of my required summer reading for my AP English class,and I have only previously encountered Achebe's work in Things Fall Apart.This collection of essays is often thought-provoking, quite debatable, andnever dull. In his opening essay on racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness,it will certainly be more interesting if you have read the novel beforereading Achebe's comments.Among his other essays, he reflects on thetremendous and underrated value of literature, while also fleshing outdetails of his Ibo ancestry. The whole of the collection is far greaterthan the sum of its parts. ... Read more


14. Things Fall Apart, No Longer At Ease, Anthills of the Savannah
by Chinua Achebe
 Paperback: Pages (1995)
-- used & new: US$16.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B00149JB2Y
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Editorial Review

*****
Special book club edition published in 1995 of all 3 stories Things Fall Apart...No Longer at Ease...Anthills of the Savannah ... Read more


15. African Short Stories
Paperback: 176 Pages (1988-03-31)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0435905368
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
A selection of the best African stories written between 1960 and 1985. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good selection
This book contains a good selection of stories written by esteemed African writers from various regions of Africa. The book is divided by these regions: East Africa, Northern Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa. Most of the stories are good little reads and offer insight into African culture. Overall a good book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Introduction to African Literature
This is a great collection of stories. Too often the artistic talent in Africa is overloooked because of the turmoil in some parts ofthe land. This book is for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the Africanpeople and their lives that one cannot get from headlines. ... Read more


16. Things Fall Apart: And Related Readings (Literature Connections)
by Chinua Achebe
Hardcover: Pages (1996-01)
list price: US$20.80 -- used & new: US$5.50
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0395775590
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars geat book
Love his stories I had read this book in high school and could not get it off my mind so i decided to buy it. Like always the book came in perfect condition no dents or scratches awesome buy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Good
I read that this was supposed to be the best book by an African author.I got half way through and could not finish it.There is an essay by Orwell in the book that is great.It is a textbook with related readings which I thought would be a fantastic way to enjoy a book; if the book itself happened to be to my liking.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple and Fantastic
As an African American learning lititure in high school I always lamented the chance to read a novel OTHER than a European classic. Upon confronting my teacher I was told that we would read Othello the following month. Since this terrible experience I have been in search of African and African American literature to quench that thirst that was so brutally dismissed in high school. By luck I eventually came across this book which I later found out is considered the most widely read book in African Literature. The novel is about the life of Okonkwo and the Igbo tribe. The novel is by most standards small (only a few hundred pages) and a very easy read. The language is simple and the characters and narrative is clear. All this being said this is one of the most powerful novels that I've had the recent delight of reading. It's the simplicity of it that drives the core ideals to your heart. You feel like a an explorer as you get an up close view of the social networks, religion and eventual imperialism that shapes the lives of these people. After reading this book I feel I took away a greater understanding of African culture as well as a truer love for its people. ... Read more


17. Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart: Notes (Cliffs Notes)
by John Chua
 Paperback: 86 Pages (1996-07)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$0.55
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0822012766
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Considered by many to be the most influential African writer of his generation, Achebe's works have been translated into more than 45 languages. This story paints a sweeping picture of Nigeria, informing the world of the dense riches of the country and culture. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars It got me the "A" I wanted!!
The actual book is so hard to read and make sense of.The Cliffs notes sure helped!Read this before I tackled the novel so that I wasn't so terribly confused with the unfamiliar names, places and culture.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Help!
This purchase was a great aide to my 15yr old son in his IB/AP English class assignment.Recommend highly!!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Cliff Notes
The Cliffs notes were a big help for my daughter in understanding the book.We received the item very quickly.Thanks.

1-0 out of 5 stars sent this back 'cause I had mistakenly ordered two
I'm upset because I never received a refund after sending this item back to Amazon.

3-0 out of 5 stars No Need for This Notes
Things Fall Apart is an easy book to read. This CliffsNotes are not really needed. Besides that, I'd like to say a couple of things. In page 98, the chapters "Choosing a Language" and "The Use of English" explain why Achebe chose to write his book in English. I think it is a contradiction. If one (or the main) of Achebe's purpose writing this book was to restore dignity to the Igbo culture, the first thing he could have chosen to do is to write the book in his own language. I come from Catalonia and our language has been prosecuted for so many years. I know what I am talking about. If Catalans chose to write in Spanish because it is a majority language, Catalan would be dead by now. It is a matter of integrity. In fact, if the book was good at all -but written in Igo language-, it would have been translated into English or any other language. Second, the brief synopsis is a plot spoiler. I would have liked to be told they were about to tell me how the end of the book goes. Anyway, this is a review about the CliffsNotes, which are good, although not necessary for an easy book to read. If I was about to review Achebe's book itself, I would not give it more than 2 stars.
One thing I still do not understand though is why ClifssNotes are still being printed, when they can be read for free at their own website. I mean, I bought this book, but found out later about the free online service, which is exactly the same text printed on paper ... Read more


18. Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
Paperback: Pages (1994)
-- used & new: US$8.88
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B0037XYU4E
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19. Beware soul-brother, and other poems
by Chinua Achebe
 Paperback: 38 Pages (1971)

Asin: B0006CB6QY
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20. The Drum
by Chinua Achebe
 Paperback: 31 Pages (1977-04)
list price: US$15.95
Isbn: 9781560436
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