I got acquainted with this book, perhaps a year ago- thanks to Wikipedia. It was the topper in ‘Best books of all time’. My mind was sonly stroked by a wave of ‘want-to-read’ sensation, even though it was the first time I was hearing about this Nigerian author. The story pushes through the life of a wrestler, who was nothing short of glory-which he well earned-until he accidently kills a clansman and then havoc is unleashed upon his life. He was boxed out of his clan and forced to live some years in abandon. All his life, he carved for dignity at the highest prospect and he fails just soon before he reaches the point. Once back to his clan after serving the time, misery continues to rot his life as Christian missionaries (Europeans) lure away his elder son from him, and at last to the suicide of this leader.
The first part of the book reveals the unbreakable respect and dignity he enjoyed as a wrestler and a clans leader. Okonkwo’s fame was spread in air throughout West Africa. The author deliberately throws the readers to the realm of African culture which I reckoned as the purest but strangest of this criterion. The superstitions and traditions of these people were brought to the limelight with a pitch of irritation in it. But this is overpowered by the mind-arresting descriptions and jaw dropping chronicles of the African routine. Chinua Achebe may be the only one among the breed of such thought-provoking list.
The simple way of narration helps us to adjourn skipping even exclamations. Tangling us to the end of each sentence, the author pulls us from the start of other. The author pities and criticizes the westernization in Africa, which started as a mere missionary group converting clansmen to Christians. In addition, readers should be grateful to the author, mesmerizing them with the life of a person who is as motivating as tom Sawyer.
The author ravishes the book with a charm that makes the readers turn the pages desperately, wishing it would never end, and when finished the book; the disappointment of nothing-more-to-read was highly crucifying my reading senses.
This author alienated me from this time to the days when Okonkwo breathed the soul of Africa and spoke the spirit of the same.
Thanks, Chinua Achebe…!