“Finished this book in 2 days. Easy to read. About one of the first generations of africans which return from their studies in England and start working in the public/administrative sectors. Corruptions settles in slowly due to the challanges this type of nigerians have to face. They have to construct a new life style, which is a combination of the former nigerians and collonial brits. Eventually, just like in "Things fall appart", the story ends dramatically.
Fact: the night I finished this book, Chinua Achebe died. what a conicidence”
“Continuación de la saga iniciada con "Todo se desmorona", que concluye con la tragedia actual del pueblo africano, representado en este texto por la tercera generación de la familia Okonkowo, en la que se siente el gran cambio, a mediados del siglo XX, de la sociedad nigeriana cuando se considera que sus integrantes han asimilado completamente la cultura europea con la que pretenden emular todas las costumbres foráneas; la discriminación continúa, la religión cristiana se consolida con sus conquistas forzadas en detrimento de las creencias anteriores, los males de la burguesía aparecen y se perpetúan: corrupción, vida ligera, individualismo en detrimento del bien común, materialismo, todos los defectos se destacan y poco se notan los beneficios que esta modernidad podría traer. Queda en el lector un sabor agrio de lo que se perdió con estas "culturizaciones occidentales"; pero a su vez permite elaborar una importante reflexión y critica para empezar a salir de estas maldiciones.
Achebe es la voz de Africa que grita ante las explotaciones vividas y aporta para encontrar soluciones al desastre creado.
Continuing the saga that began with "Things Fall Apart", that concludes with the current tragedy of the African people, represented in this text by the third generation of the family Okonkowo in which it is perceived the great change operated during the mid-twentieth century to the Nigerian society, when it is assumed that their members have fully assimilated European culture with which they tried to emulate all foreign customs; segregation continues, Christian religion is consolidates its conquests in detriment of previous beliefs, the evils of bourgeoisie appear and are perpetuated: corruption, light life, individualism at the expense of the common good, materialism. It creates in the reader a sour taste of what was lost with these "Western culturization" but in turn builds an important and critical reflection to start fighting these curses.
Achebe is Africa's voice screaming at the abuses lived and tries to contribute to find solutions to the disaster created.
“Please visit www.maryokekereviews.blogspot.com to read my review.
“Reading No Longer at Ease was such a pleasure, as if I were walking barefoot, enjoying all things around me and taking in every little nuance. I truly loved the many parables scattered throughout. The book had such an easy natural flow that it put this reader quite at ease and so able to enjoy all it encompassed. Having read and delighted in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart several years ago, I was prepared for another literary joyride and I was certainly not disappointed.
The story opens with the main character, a young Nigerian, on trial for bribery and then takes us back to understand how this came to be. Achebe addresses conflicts of family, society, sexuality, morality, corruption, etc. and does so with a natural flowing subtlety.
Obi Okonkwo, the central character, returns to Nigeria after studying in England, funded by his townsmen. After being away, he sees his homeland with new, often critical eyes, yet fondly recites poems he wrote while a student paying homage to Lagos. Not quite consciously aware of his resentment toward the British in London and more recently in Nigeria, he also is battling the generation gap and the old ways and the new ways. He is sunk before he even begins to swim.
Obi’s love interest is Clara, a Nigerian nurse he met in London and was dazzled by. Unfortunately, she is an osu, or outcast, so customs forbid a marriage to Obi. Nonetheless, she accepts an engagement ring from Obi and they believe their love will prevail. Clara is a strong and hardworking woman and is devoted to Obi, yet not so certain their love is strong enough to see them through. An unforeseen event creates even more friction for the couple who are facing financial and familial difficulties. Love doesn’t always conquer all.
Isaac Okonkwo, Obi’s father at first appears hard-nosed, however, it becomes evident that his decision to become a devoted Christian, against the will of his father, shows his willingness to be true to himself, such as his son is trying to do. His religious devotion is sometimes extreme as he insists his wife and children adhere to his strict rituals. Ironically, his zealousness prevents him from helping his son and they both miss the point of his being the most appropriate person to do so.
Mr. Achebe is such a marvelous talent and one whose praises I sing. I’m sure he’d put me at ease were I to join him for a little chat over a small meal. I’d love to hear about his days growing up in Nigeria and his interest in world religion and politics. Of course, I’d attempt to get some pointers on his flawless writing. Here’s an author I will definitely return to.
My rating for No Longer at Ease is a 10 out of 10.
“Not as good as the first (I guess it's true that sequels seldom are) but still a compelling read that serves to add some additional perspective on Things Fall Apart. I read it in two or three days, and am definitely interested in finishing the trilogy. There are very interesting parallels between the first two books that could definitely be explored, and I'm sure will continue with the third book. While I wouldn't count it a favorite, I still recommend it to those who have read and enjoyed Things Fall Apart.”Ashley T wrote this review Thursday, January 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Set a generation after the events in "Things Fall Apart," the son that Okwonko cursed for converting to Christianity now has his own son trying to find his place in a changing Africa. After spending four years studying in England, Obi is too educated to fit in with his family's tribe, but as an African, he doesn't fit in with his European colleagues either. Just as "Things Fall Apart" powerfully describes the initial arrival of Europeans, "No Longer at Ease" shows how they reshaped African culture.”Sarah W wrote this review Tuesday, July 26, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A very well-written and thoroughly depressing commentary on corruption and colonialism in Nigeria. ”Lauren T wrote this review Thursday, July 14, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the things I am trying to do this year is to fill in some of the more obvious gaps in my reading and Achebe was certainly one of those. In fact my reading of African literature is pretty shallow. I was looking out for Things Fall Apart but having picked up the second book in his trilogy (Arrow of God is the third) I thought I would read this anyway as it was suggested that they were a very loose trilogy and worked well separately.
The (anti)hero of the tale Obi Okonkwo is a graduate returning to Nigeria from England. His degree is seen as his entry ticket for the good life and he talks of how his country can be changed and the endemic corruption excised. on his way home he falls in love with Clara who is an osu, a member of a caste it is traditionally forbidden to marry.
There is the sense of a battle for the ownership of language and the sense of exile and return. Much of the exile is linguistic and cultural. Proverbs and patois sit side by side with functional and florid English. A speaker is admired because 'He wrote the kind of English they admired if not understood: the kind that filled the mouth, like the proverbial dry meat.' His friend Christopher is described thus: "Whether Christopher spoke good or 'broken' English depended on what he was saying, where he was saying it, to whom and how he wanted to say it."
The values of his townspeople seem to be made for a different world than the one of the English administrators and the successful Nigerians who move in both worlds have to balance both cultures. Obi's degree was paid for by the community from his home place and they have high expectations of him. One that he will look the part and that they can bathe in the reflected honour and two that he will pay the money back so that further villagers can follow in his footsteps.
The struggle to satisfy both and to fight against the wishes of his family and friends by marrying Clara start to take their toll on Obi.
Suffice to say that there is not a happy ending.
Longer version: http://theknockingshop.blogspot.com/2011/05/no-longer-at-ease.html”
“The sequel to Things Fall Apart, this tells the story of Okonkwo's grandson, Obi Okonkwo, at the very end of the colonial period (aside from flashbacks, the action takes place in 1957). This book shows the results of the process that began with the arrival of the British in the first book. The theme is the (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to remain honest in a society where corruption is taken for granted, and the loss of the traditional morality has hardly been replaced by the veneer of Christianity over a residue of superstition.”James F wrote this review Friday, April 29, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Does not quite hit the heights of the seminal "Things Fall Apart" but extracts good dialogue from very real characters. Situations described bring to mind post colonial Nigeria and book primarily provides strong piece of social commentary. ”Seyi O wrote this review Sunday, March 6, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No