Review: Things Fall Apart

Posted: 22/06/2015 in book reviews, books
Tags: , , ,

Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You ever read a book and REALLY start to hate your own race (even moreso than you might have already hated it)?

This was that book for me. I mean I know through history white people have been going to the Caribbean and Africa and other “non-white” lands and colonizing the “savage natives”. History only teaches us one side of the story. At least the history that most of North America teaches. That we’re right and they were wrong and they were the aggressors for no reason.

Reading books like this one hits it home that they HAD a reason. We came in and tried to take away their religion and way of life because we think ours is better than theirs so obviously since our way is superior it should be practised by all and no consideration should be taken for the indigenous peoples of an area. Which is very obviously a wrong way of thinking.

Going into this book I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting. But I got more than I ever expected that’s for sure. I’ve never understood the mentality of “I don’t understand your way of life so it’s wrong and you should stop and convert to my way of life because it is right”. It’s never made sense to me. So in that way, I know I’m different from a good portion of my ancestors. Same with telling someone that their religion is wrong. Who is to say that one person’s religion is right or wrong? It sure isn’t my place to tell someone that. The most I can tell someone is that it’s great that their religion works for them but it won’t work for me. I have a special hatred of fundamentalists and extremists of ANY religion. I find them to be scum and pieces of shit. And that’s exactly how I felt towards most of the white men in the last segment of the book (because it’s divided into 3 segments). I’m not completely ok with the concept of sending out missionaries of your religion specifically to go out and convert as many people as possible. Especially since a lot of them use manipulative and coercive means to do so and that’s wrong on a lot of levels. This may be because my family was excessively religious on both sides of my family (borderline extremist Roman Catholic on one and borderline extremist Christian on the other) and insisted on basically shoving their religion down my throat every holiday that I was expected to show up to (and had no choice in the matter since I was young enough that my wishes didn’t matter).

I can understand why the book is titled as such (it might not be the understanding the author was trying to get at but it’s an understanding). From section 2 on everything starts falling apart in the book. The clans fall apart because of the missionaries and colonists. Their religion falls apart because of the missionaries and colonists. Their beliefs fall apart. And it all starts falling apart from the accidental death.

This was a very good book and anyone who hasn’t read it yet should read it. I plan to get the other two books of this trilogy to read and hope that they are at least as good as this one was.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble

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Comments
  1. […] African Trilogy(Chinua Achebe) Content warnings for the series: racism, colonialism Things Fall Apart Content warnings: racism, colonialism, fundamentalists, […]

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