Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-08-2013, 01:28 AM   #1
sun surfer
in this great future
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,801
Karma: 17129704
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: ipad mini & sony 950
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

This is the MR Literary Club selection for August 2013. Whether you've already read it or would like to, feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time! Guests are also always welcome.


Some ebook availability-
Australia- Bookworld 1 Bookworld 2
Canada- Amazon
U.K.- Amazon
U.S.- Amazon


So, what are your thoughts on it?


sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 831
Karma: 8241096
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
I look forward to this book, but I'll probably be a bit late posting as i still have to finish Buddenbrooks and The Doomsday Book.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Advertisement
Old 08-10-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,933
Karma: 36641744
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
OK, this made me laugh:

Quote:
And now the rains had really come, so heavy and persistent that even the village rain-maker no longer claimed to be able to intervene. He could not stop the rain now, just as he would not attempt to start it in the heart of the dry eason, without serious danger to his own health. The personal dynamism required to counter the forces of these extremes of weather would be far too great for the human frame.
That said, it's an example of the issue I'm struggling with. At the opening of the book, I found the prose beautiful and lyrical and evocative, but now I'm catching a whiff of condescension. Jury's still out. Clearly this will involve issues of colonialism, cultural imperialism and language.

I'll add that this book has been on my "Have to get to that" list for a long time, so I was very pleased when the club picked it.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 02:18 AM   #4
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,220
Karma: 73037545
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo Touch (mine), Sony PRS-T1 (husband's)
I have just finished reading it. I liked the way in which the mothers' story-telling to their children was woven into the main story. Achebe writes with such apparent simplicity and yet the effect of the book is profound.

I found the book as a whole very believable, especially the way in which the missionaries won over converts through kindness to the outcasts and those ill-treated by the harshness of the tribal laws. If I was the mother who gave birth to twins, I think I would be a very early convert!

Also depressingly believable was the way in which the Africans working for the white men ill-treated their fellow Africans.

I'm looking forward to hearing what others think about the book, but meantime I'm going to find something cheerful to read!
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,933
Karma: 36641744
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Achebe writes with such apparent simplicity and yet the effect of the book is profound.
This was my reaction, too. At first, I was a little taken aback by the writing; it seemed to me that Achebe was using a very stripped down style to evoke the primitiveness of the society he was describing, and indeed this was an element, but then it became obvious to me that just as the society, despite being primitive, was at the same time highly evolved and complex, so Achebe's style was a good deal more subtle than had initially been apparent to me.

Written in the language of the oppressor, but with a rich vocabulary of native words, the two stories evoke all the messy contradictions of post-colonialism and raises many issues that are ultimately irresolvable. Just as the Victorians had as a matter of faith that colonialism was good, we have have the same ingrained reaction that says colonialism was bad, as indeed it was evil. And yet Achebe doesn't shy at the violence and cruelty of pre-colonial life. The exposure of new-born twins and the killing of Ikemefuna are the most obvious examples, but in addition we have the treatment of women, and I'd argue that Okonkwo stood in a similar relationship to his wives as the colonial masters did to the natives, where punishment could take place on a whim (the banana leaves) with no recourse. The difference of course is that his wives were fully integrated into their society and didn't perceive an injustice, but viewing it from the outside the issue of absolute power over absolute dependence seems uncomfortably similar.

Ultimately, it's impossible to go back to that innocent time; it's the mark of Achebe's craft that he evokes it so well while also acknowledging the contradictions and difficulties of exploring it from the post-colonial perspective.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,778
Karma: 5324790
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
on the style, I have to agree with both of you issybird and bookpossum - I was puzzled too, but then got into the rhythm.

And there is a lot of violence and lack of sympathy in the pre-colonial era: indeed, nothing changes much from one to the other in terms of principles, the weaker will succumb or be cast away. What changes is who is weak, and Okonkwo cannot bend to conform to the new role in a way than the losers in his society do. And as the commissioner misjudges the natives and prefers to listen to a grossly collected "truth", so Okonkwo misjudges his own children.

Thanks sunsurfer, greatly enjoyed it!
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,220
Karma: 73037545
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo Touch (mine), Sony PRS-T1 (husband's)
I keep on thinking about this book, even though I'm cheering myself up with Mapp and Lucia.

While I didn't like Okonkwo at all because of his violence and bullying, which he thought were manly, he was a part of his society. I really admire Achebe for avoiding the trap of portraying the "noble savage" and the pre-colonial way of life as idyllic.

At the same time, I do see the parallels that issybird writes about, particularly in Okonkwo's inability to show any feelings but anger. Even though he did love his children, he didn't know how to be anything but harsh towards them for fear of seeming to be weak. There's something a bit 19th century English about that!
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,778
Karma: 5324790
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
While I didn't like Okonkwo at all because of his violence and bullying, which he thought were manly, he was a part of his society. I really admire Achebe for avoiding the trap of portraying the "noble savage" and the pre-colonial way of life as idyllic.
I agree it is difficult to sympathise with Okonkwo, who seems to live of the reflection of his image in others: he is hell bent on shaping people around him in such a way to enhance his standing in the clan (a whiff of the Buddenbrooks here?) and is completely self centred - exile is so bad for him because he knows not being there is what will lose him social status. On the other hand in his mother's village he found what might have made a difference to his entire life: too late know, but Uchedu's "dressing down" of Okonkwo (end of chapter 14) seems to have an effect on him.

On the treatment of others, sadly we don't have to go too far back or to "exotic" countries to find chilling examples: in democratic Italy, one of the G7 nations, 'honour killling', i.e. killing your spouse, daughter or sister in an attack of rage (which carried a great reduction in penalty as compared to "standard" murder), though it had been declared unconstitutional in 1968, was only struck off the statute book in 1981!!!
Of course, sons and brothers couldn't dishonour the family...
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,220
Karma: 73037545
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo Touch (mine), Sony PRS-T1 (husband's)
Yes, I fear it is still only just below the surface. We have only very recently had a law reversed that allowed people to claim "provocation" as justification for killing a partner. It was originally put on the books to help abused women who were driven to kill their abusers, but of course it was used by a number of men to justify their murder of their wives and they were literally getting away with murder because it downgraded the charge to manslaughter.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 10:00 AM   #10
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,933
Karma: 36641744
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Quote:
Originally Posted by paola View Post
I agree it is difficult to sympathise with Okonkwo, who seems to live of the reflection of his image in others: he is hell bent on shaping people around him in such a way to enhance his standing in the clan (a whiff of the Buddenbrooks here?) and is completely self centred - exile is so bad for him because he knows not being there is what will lose him social status. On the other hand in his mother's village he found what might have made a difference to his entire life: too late know, but Uchedu's "dressing down" of Okonkwo (end of chapter 14) seems to have an effect on him.
There's another irony there, too. While one's mother's village was supposed to be nurturing, yet the imperial power was headed by a queen, the biggest mother's village of them all, and we can see just how nurturing that was.

When we first meet Okonkwo, we're introduced to him as still living on the laurels of champion wrestler. He starts in power/brute force and ends in violence, no power left to him. He's not a good person, although he has admirable qualities; one has to admire him for having been able to transcend his origins. I thought his end was a good one, even though he was anathema as a suicide; he took the only action left to him after extracting revenge, rather than live in submission. Of course that begs the question of what happens to his wives and children and is not giving sufficient weight to his beliefs and what would happen to his spirit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I keep on thinking about this book, even though I'm cheering myself up with Mapp and Lucia.
There's a lot of cheer there! I feel rather sorry for poor Mapp, as unlikable as she is. She's so totally outmanoeuvred.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 831
Karma: 8241096
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I keep on thinking about this book, even though I'm cheering myself up with Mapp and Lucia.

!
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post

There's a lot of cheer there! I feel rather sorry for poor Mapp, as unlikable as she is. She's so totally outmanoeuvred.
I'm nearly done with Buddenbrooks . . . Finally . . . . And I am enjoying your many comments about Achebe's novel in the posts here--I'm not one that minds spoilers if they provide a springboard to evaluation and understanding.

BTW there are Benson Megapacks at very competitive prices on Amazon. The Second E.F. Benson Megapack has a selection of 22 stories including Mapp and Lucia.

Here's a link to it on the Amazon UK site:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-E-F-B...enson+megapack


and in Amaxon-com:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...Benson+megpack

Kobo also has it.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 08-16-2013 at 10:33 AM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,933
Karma: 36641744
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
I'm nearly done with Buddenbrooks . . . Finally . . . . And I am enjoying your many comments about Achebe's novel in the posts here--I'm not one that minds spoilers if they provide a springboard to evaluation and understanding.

BTW there are Benson Megapacks at very competitive prices on Amazon. The Second E.F. Benson Megapack has a selection of 22 stories including Mapp and Lucia.
I don't like spoilers if they relate to a "plotty" work, but I agree that they don't matter with a book like this one. Depending on the quality of the comments, making no representations in this case , they might even enhance a first reading.

As I understand Australian copyright law (not at all), Bookpossum's in the fortunate position where Benson is in the public domain. She might not even have to look far for nicely formatted works, cough cough. I don't want to draw attention to a resource that might disappear.

But for those of us where life + 75 applies across the board, those are great links, thank you.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #13
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,220
Karma: 73037545
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo Touch (mine), Sony PRS-T1 (husband's)
Public Domain

Still

Yes, I was able to get myself the very nice edition issybird coughed over as we have a two tiered system here and E F Benson falls into the earlier (and therefore now public domain) section.

(And yes thank you, I am enjoying it very much!)
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2013, 07:03 AM   #14
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,778
Karma: 5324790
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
There's another irony there, too. While one's mother's village was supposed to be nurturing, yet the imperial power was headed by a queen, the biggest mother's village of them all, and we can see just how nurturing that was.
absolutely, I had missed it completely!
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2013, 10:04 AM   #15
HomeInMyShoes
Ginormous Intergalactic
HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HomeInMyShoes ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HomeInMyShoes's Avatar
 
Posts: 14,399
Karma: 45450821
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: junkyard
Device: Kindle3
There was a paragraph that struck me:

"His life had been ruled by a great passion -- to become one of the lords of the clan. That had been his life-spring. And he had all but achieved it. Then everything had been broken. He had been cast out of his clan like a fish onto a dry, sandy beach, panting. Clearly his personal god or chi was not made for great things. A man could not rise beyond the destiny of his chi. The saying of the elders was not true -- that if a man said yea his chi also affirmed. Here was a man whose chi said nay despite his own affirmation."

Rather fatalistic.

I also am disturbed by how much bad was done when the church tried to replace generations of moral obligations with their own version of morality. While one may not agree with the obligations of one group it is those customs and beliefs that make for a strong community. When we replace those traditions we are left on shaky ground that is not built on hisotorical trust within the groups. I am saddened by the outcomes.
HomeInMyShoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Vox in the fall? ficbot Kobo Tablets 8 07-18-2012 11:33 AM
Won't it fall ? intunachintu Amazon Kindle 17 03-27-2011 03:09 PM
It's already Fall Falcao Amazon Kindle 8 09-28-2010 02:23 PM
Unutterably Silly The fall of the UK SameOldStory Lounge 55 09-15-2010 09:14 AM
Lest Darkness Fall Dave Berk Reading Recommendations 25 09-29-2008 12:28 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:49 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.