You can almost feel the warmth of a campfire as Peter Francis James delivers a passionate reading of Chinua Achebe's classic African tale about power, prestige, and the Herculian struggle of one man to acquir status in the face of overwhelming odds and one gigantic obstacle after another: droughts, missionaries, poverty, and, most of all, his own powerful Shakespearian demons.
Things Fall Apart remains one of the most revered African novels ever written, and James brings an authoritative tone to this 1959 classic. Listening to his booming voice, you understand why he previously narrated portions of The Bible. His rich, baritone voice perfectly suits Achebe's fable-like prose. James' melodic voice lulls you into thinking this seemingly simple tale will resolve itself with everyone living happily ever after. Don't be fooled. This short, incisive book packs a punch you might not see coming right away.
The main character, Okonkwo, aspires to be everything his father was not: industrious, serious, successful, respected. But no matter how hard this determined farmer works, fate or the forces of nature seem to conspire against him. Then things become even more complicated when a missionary comes to Okonkwo's village. The changes seem subtle at first, but slowly the social fabric of the village begins to unravel like a loose strand of yarn in a hand-made sweater.
The razor-sharp plot twists could easily feel far-fetched in a lesser author's hands. But Achebe earns every predicament that bedevils Okonkwo with precise sentences and perceptive insights into what drives people to do what they do. And you don't have to know anything about Africa to relate to Okonkwo's struggles. Like all great authors, Achebe taps into the same fears and desires that inspire and consume people around the world, for better or for worse. Ken Ross
With over eight million copies in print world wide, Achebe's work is a definitive novel in African literature. Filled with powerful language and finely drawn characters, Things Fall Apart also shimmers with the sounds and sights of village life.
Okonkwo is born into poverty, with a wastrel for a father. Driven by ambition, he works tirelessly to gain the prosperity of many fields and wives, and prestige in his village. But he is harsh as well as diligent. As he sees the traditions of his people eroded by white missionaries and government officials, he lashes out in anger.
Things Fall Apart traces the growing friction between village leaders and Europeans determined to save the heathen souls of Africa. But its hero, a noble man who is driven by destructive forces, speaks a universal tongue.
©1959 Chinua Achebe; (P)1997 Recorded Books, LLC
"Deceptively simple in its prose, Things Fall Apart packs a powerful punch as Achebe holds up the ruin of one proud man to stand for the destruction of an entire culture." (Amazon.com review)
"Peter Frances James offers a superb narration of Nigerian novelist Achebe's deceptively simple 1959 masterpiece." (Library Journal)
I listened to this story because my 16 year old was reading it in his world literature class. This story was about missionaries coming to Africa in the middle of the 20th century. There were many characters with indigenous African names. Lots of references to culture-specific customs, practices, ,and artifacts. I kept wanting to google the names of various "things" to find out what they were. Perhaps the print edition of this book comes with a glossary to define all the unique names.
This is an interesting story of the culture of First Nations in Africa. The all to familiar mistreatment by so-called 'civilized' people is outlined once again. For me, it was an interesting novel but it did not hold my attention and I have not recommended 'Things Fall Apart' to any of my family.
I first read "Things fall apart"many years ago. I found the words & dialect difficult. It was assigned summer reading for my son, so we decided to try the audible version. The audible version definitely helped get through the book and was well worth the credit spent.
The story is a bit confusing in the beginning as the reader is introduced the the characters, culture & way of life. Later as the story unfolds it is easy to understand the conflicts that arise. While the ending of the story is unexpected, the development of the characters and plot allow one to better understand the events that take place.
Yes, to learn a little more about Africa from an African author.
I was looking for a different end than what happened. I wanted to see how people coped with the changes or sought to mitigate them.
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I couldn't get a handle on this book, the characters and the plot just didn't come through to me
yes, I would try, it is a whole other culture to learn about
you will be captivated by the story of culture, triumph and a young man's journey to live his life full of purpose unlike his father... very interesting tale with a twist that will leave your head spinning.
The ending was quite unexpected. The main character, Okonkwo, is a very interesting person to learn about his backstory. I felt pretty sad after listening to this book due to the ignorance and disruption of the European missionaries and settlers who moved in to control the clans. I loved that the listener got a lot of stories of just the clan before the white settlers so I could really appreciate the clan's customs and rituals (well, most of them anyway)
Just a classic; I "read" this in 9th grade. Now that I am older, I decided that I needed to actually go back a re read it with a different perspective--this book will definitely have a permanent spot on my bookshelf.
Good story. Like the pronunciations. Needed to listen to it as teaching it to 10th graders. Wanted to hear it read for dialect and also because I'm driving my children to sports practices I was able to get through book while driving
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