Fiction, History

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Title: Things Fall Apart

Author: Chinua Achebe

Goodreads Plot: THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

My Thoughts: Chinua Achebe did a masterful job of portraying the clash between natives and the European missionaries. He was really the first person to write it from a third person perspective. He never sided with either the natives or the Europeans. He illustrated all the good and the bad of both sides. The book also really good job at exploring gender roles as well as defining masculinity in the native culture. The beginning of the book was slow for me as the author really takes his time building and describing the culture. While I did enjoy it, it did drag on. However, the second part of the book was amazing. It flew by much quicker. For a short book, the characters were incredibly developed  and complex. This review doesn’t do the book much justice. Everyone should just go read it.

My Rating: 10/10

Acquired: Library

Amazon goodreads

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Fiction, Magical Realism, Reviews

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

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Title: The Strange Library

Author: Haruki Murakami

Goodreads Plot: A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination.

My Thoughts: To say that this novella was weird is an understatement. This was my first Murakami novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I devoured this book in one sitting. It was a super fast read. The graphic design aspect of the novella was so interesting. One page has text while the other page has a print of some kind. The prints were so cool! The plot was slightly weird, and I think I missed a metaphor or something, but I liked it none the less. I think this was a great novella to start reading Murakami works. I would recommend it for anyone who like different, visually-appealing books.

Acquired: Bought physical copy

My Rating: 9/10

Amazon Goodreads

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