Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Center Will Not Hold

"There is no story that is not true," said Uchendu. "The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others." Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart is a truly brilliant book, and I don't know how it is possible that I hadn't read it earlier. It was on my list of books that I was always meaning to read. I doubt very much that I have anything to add to the large body of review and criticism that exists for Things Fall Apart. I can only urge anyone who, like me, has always intended to read this novel to go ahead and do so. The story of Onkonkwo is the gripping psychological portrayal of an individual man, but it is also the story of colliding cultures, and the inevitable tragedy that results from this collision. The novel is perfectly crafted; when I finished the last page I felt a sensation that was like being struck. I had to go back and reread the final chapter immediately; then I went back to the first chapter, the seventh chapter, and so on. Things Fall Apart belongs to that category of book that must be reread to fully absorb the impact of its artistry.


Anonymous said...

i am definitely one of those people that you mentioned that has always meant to read this book, but just hasn't gotten around to it yet.

thanks for the push to read it. i'm scooting it up closer to the top of the pile. :)

Anonymous said...

Have this one sitting on my bookshelf as well. Thanks for the review, will try to pick it up in the next month or so.

bibliophiliac said...

It is really powerful.

Kerry said...

I had to read this in high school and hated it then, but wound up picking it up a second time a few years later and loved it (which is why I have a rule not to judge books based on my assigned reading experiences). Glad to see someone else discover it!

Jeane said...

This is one book I had to read in high school and didn't really care for. I wonder if I'd like it better now.