This short novel tells the story of Okonkwo,a traditional African farmer-warrior of the Ibo people of Nigeria. The story describes life in Ibo villages shortly before and during colonization by the British in the early part of the 20th century. The narrator's language is direct and simple, and the story is told as if to an audience comprised of people who share and understand Okonkwo's culture and history, with something of the cadence of a fable or a fairy tale. Okonkwo is proud, capable, and admired by his community for his strength and industry. Yet, he is deeply afraid of failure and of appearing weak, and his fear and inflexibility ultimately cause Okonkwo to have terrible difficulty adjusting to change. This famous African novel explores how both Okonkwo and his people handle the blessings and tragedies they face in both old and new ways. I found it memorable, but without the depth and layering that I prefer in my favorite fiction.
This book didn't do much for me. I never connected to the characters or the events in the village. It read more like a cultural study than a novel based on three-dimensional characters. The last chapter was the best as Achebe reveals the way outsiders view the tribe as opposed to how they view themselves. I've heard great things about it from other people. Overall, not my style.
I spent a good chunk of this book wondering if there was more to it than a retelling of how this Nigerian village and its people went through their days. But when it all comes into focus, be prepared for anger and tears.
Beautiful book. A classic.
A beautifully woven story of strength and tradition painted in the colors of Africa, this book was truly touching. It is the story of a "strong man" living a life of simplicity in a small tribal village. I truly enjoyed the descriptions of their ceremonies and religious traditions. It was very eye-opening as it tells a familiar story from an unfamiliar point of view. Simply written and an "easy" read that really makes you think! A must-read!
I read this book for a college class and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. If you're into history, I'd definitely recommend this book. Educational and interesting.