We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Things Fall Apart | [Chinua Achebe]

Things Fall Apart

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.
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (467 )
5 star
 (157)
4 star
 (166)
3 star
 (93)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (24)
Overall
4.0 (361 )
5 star
 (152)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (62)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (17)
Story
4.1 (357 )
5 star
 (152)
4 star
 (122)
3 star
 (50)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Pamela N. Mankato, MN, United States 12-05-12
    Pamela N. Mankato, MN, United States 12-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dry. The narrator was kind of robotic."
    Would you try another book from Chinua Achebe and/or Peter Francis James?

    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.


    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony 11-10-12
    Tony 11-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    194
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "HOW WE TREAT FIRST NATIONS"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Wojcik Maryland 02-12-15
    Simon Wojcik Maryland 02-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very good"

    I loved this book. a great novel. I enjoyed the story and the narration. A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn P. Smith 01-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Homework/action"

    This book sucked, it took too long for the action to pick up. I had to read this for history class so the fact that it was boring and i had to keep reading it was terrible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harriet 01-07-15
    Harriet 01-07-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best African Novel"

    It took me back to my heritage of Africa; the events and descriptions capture the essence of the African people. Achebe is an outstanding author!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Robinson Mount Holly, NJ, US 12-31-14
    M. Robinson Mount Holly, NJ, US 12-31-14 Member Since 2013

    myvallie

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average fare"

    I'm sure this was a great book when first released. It's more of a common tale with a well known historical unfolding in these modern times. Being a more common tale doesn't make it less unfortunate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Portland, OR, United States 12-27-14
    Daniel Portland, OR, United States 12-27-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for the beach"

    Complex psychology expressed in simple, direct prose. The protagonist is hard to love as are the native and invasive societal norms he contends with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Spokane, WA, United States 07-23-11
    Daniel Spokane, WA, United States 07-23-11

    Avid Listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Life's trials and tribulations"

    A proud yam farmer struggles with adversities in his African village at the dawn of colonial age. Author intimates the unique African tribal life eloquently, yet interjects the universal theme of a man's toil under the burden of social tradition, selfish ambition and unstoppable force of changes.

    4 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edwina 03-05-14
    Edwina 03-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Problems with the downloading process and IT help"
    Would you try another book from Chinua Achebe and/or Peter Francis James?

    Initially, I had problems with the downloading process on my tablet, laptop and my desktop computer. Once I worked out errors, security and update issues I was able to play with no problems. I had to uninstall my app on my Microsoft Surface RT and reload it and then all my audio books showed up. When I called the help desk nothing they told me to try solved my problems and I was on hold for a long time and eventually the call dropped.
    But once I work all these issues out I enjoyed the books and the voice of the narrator.

    Chinua Achebe has painted a picturesque view of his native home Africa. It gave my a insightful view of what it has to be like living in the village in which the plot is set. Their religious and cultural ways of life are all laid out in the text for the reader.


    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-19 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.