20060816

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart

Betyg: 4

Really liked this, occasionally exaggerated timeline-jumping notwithstanding. It comes across as equal parts ancient folk tale and modern psychological drama, set in the time when what is now Nigeria was colonized in the late 1800s. He manages the difficult task of having a not-too-sympathetic main character - Okonkwo is a violent, narrow-minded man who would rather do right by his traditions than by his heart, but still we empathize with him. And Achebe doesn't seem interested in painting some false picture of Africans living peacefully and in perfect harmony until the evil white man starts genociding them; the many details of daily life serve up an image of a society which has a lot of faults, yet is a well-ordered society. And what kills it isn't gunpowder but the loss of hope; the last chapter is one of the most brutal sucker-punches I've read in some time.

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