“Excellent novel. Apparently simple, but very deep and complex.”Lina wrote this review Wednesday, March 2, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“love achebe”Andrew O wrote this review Tuesday, February 22, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A classic. Written in 1960, but not dated at all.”Peter Paul V wrote this review Saturday, August 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I enjoyed this book and the fact it followed the family fortunes from the end of 'Things fall apart'. ”Abby K wrote this review Tuesday, July 13, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A Classic!”TIMILEHIN wrote this review Wednesday, June 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The most important aspect of Achebe's writing is his dedication to the socio- political fabrics of the societies in which he lives and has lived—that of a colonial and post-colonial African society. Throughout the 1940s, fifties and sixties, there was a growing sense of self-determination among the African people who had been colonized by the English and French. It was evident that a new era would arise in which the colonized would want to claim their independence. And, those who were writers would want to "write back" to the colonizer. In other words, because the English in Nigeria, for example had instilled the English language and the tradition of English literature, Nigerian writers were beginning to write in the very same language of colonial rule, making the writing both more complex, and, in many ways, more powerful in its intent. However, this was no longer a literature about England—it was now a local African literature written in the complex tongue of the ruling English.
Significantly, No Longer At Ease was published in 1960, the year of Nigeria's independence from England. This is significant because it is a novel that pertains to a trend of literature called post-colonial literature that still survives. There are many issues that arise out of post-colonialism, issues that authors and writers around the world have had to deal with. Africa, India, and the West Indies all have come out of the colonial era with a new literature that must address the problems that colonialism left behind. Some of the problems in post-colonial regions concern language, education, the conflict between traditional ways and Western or European ways, the presence of the English, and corruption. Those who later moved into the land of the colonizer (for instance, Obi, while studying in England) experience an entire set of new problems such as nostalgia for home, memory, and the desire for the homeland.
Language is important here. Right before Clara comes to Obi's cabin, Clara has been talking to an Officer from Ibaden who is talking to Clara about the difference between language and dialect. This directs us to watch out for language. And then, just following this, there is the episode in which Clara speaks to Obi in Ibo. It is as if both Clara and Obi's language of the heart is the language of home. It is interesting to note that Obi's name is Ibo spelled backward. Perhaps this is to say that Obi's world is turned upside down. While in England he is a Nigerian living in England, and while in Nigeria he is a young man belonging to a generation that is caught between cultures.
Another important section of this Novel (I forget what chapter) is when Macmillan and Obi are talking over drinks. Macmillan is English and going to Nigeria so he must be involved somehow in the colonial government, unless of course he is merely a tourist. Nevertheless, he is not like the arrogant, imprudent "Mr. Green." He is curious, and he asks Obi many questions regarding what he has studied and what his name means. But he does not seem to look down on Obi. Obi does seem, however to be, understandably, defensive at one point. For instance when Macmillan asks him what he studied in London, Obi wants to know why he is asking this question. It is also in this section that Obi's age comes to the fore: at this point in the novel Obi is twenty-five and Clara is about twenty-three, according to Obi's guess.
The presence of the European in Nigeria is also quite apparent in this novel. The restaurant Obi and Joseph go to is owned by an English woman. It is important to note that Achebe's description of the old, loud, bossy, and fumbling, Englishwoman is anything but flattering. The restaurant is not only owned by a European but is also populated mostly by them. This will recur over and over again in the novel. Achebe does this to illustrate the extent of the colonialist's hand, scope, influence, and mere presence in Africa.
Although Obi is thankful for his education, he is not always truly grateful to the UPU, who are perpetually intruding on his life and whose "scholarship" was nothing more than a loan, according to Obi. Obi is at odds with the Union just as he is often at odds with tradition—the Union and tradition being one and the same for the purposes of the novel, despite the misleading name of the Union, which contains the word "progressive."”
“up there with Things Fall Apart”Jeanne S wrote this review Tuesday, November 10, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Uncomfortably confrontation with ethics of a black man in a white man's world. Nigeria draws many parallels to other colonised countries such as India in the native population's awe for the white man and his domitant world view.”poornimamd wrote this review Saturday, June 6, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“No Longer At Ease is the sort-of sequel to Things Fall Apart. Obi Okonkwo is the grandson of the main character in Things Fall Apart and the events of that story are referenced vaguely in the last chapter of this book, but it is certainly not a prerequisite to reading this book.
No Longer At Ease follows Obi Okonkwo, a young man who is singled out to get a foreign education. When he returns to Nigeria, he is repulsed by the corruption that he sees in the government and tries very hard to resist the temptations of money and sex that are thrown at him for his influence. Obi is constantly trying to balance the pressures he feels from his village who sponsored him for his education, and the pressures of living in the big city and living up to his government post. Slowly things begin to unravel as things go wrong piece by piece.
I actually think that in a lot of ways, this book is even better than Things Fall Apart. It deals honestly with the colonial legacy that the Western world has left in Africa and could be relevant to any country, not just Nigeria. The book is told in simple prose, but that makes it easy to read and even more powerful. I highly recommend it.”