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Anthills of the Savannah Paperback – February 4, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"[Anthills Of The Savannah] has wonderful satiric moments and resounds with big African laughter." -- The New York Review Of Books.
"Achebe moves effortlessly... creating a flurry of perspectives from which his story's dramatic and disturbing events are scrutinized. Anthills Of The Savannah... will prove hard to forget. It's a vision of social change that strikes us with the force of prophecy" -- USA Today.
Top Customer Reviews
This was the first Achebe novel I had read since his classic Things Fall Apart. At first, I thought that Anthills suffered in comparison with that masterpiece, arguably the best known and most influential African novel. After finishing the book, though, I realized that Achebe had very deftly returned to and updated the themes raised in that book.
His protagonists are Ikem, a courageous and opinionated newspaper editor; Chris, his friend and predecessor as editor, now the somewhat-reluctant Commissioner of Information in a military-led government; and Beatrice, a brilliant, beautiful mid-level civil servant, also Chris's lover. Each studied abroad and is comfortable tossing off literary references and cultural cues from the West. At the same time, each is proud of and clearly shaped by his/her African heritage.
Kangan is ruled by a smart but narrow-minded military officer who rose to power following a coup. "His Excellency" is also coincidentally and not at all implausibly an acquaintance of all three main characters, bringing a very personal dynamic to the struggles they face as Ikem sharpens his already bitter criticism of the government, to the professional discomfort of Chris and the personal alarm of Beatrice.
I found the first half of the book a little hard to get through at times.Read more ›
The story revolves around how these three and their relationships are affected by the creeping authoritarianism that has been taking place in Kanga. We learn that both Chris and Ikem are boyhood friends of the president, whom his obsequious ministers address as "His Excellency." His Excellency took power in a military coup that was intended to quash instability and then restore democracy, but as in most real-life African military governments, it stayed on after this original mandate had expired and turned into a full-fledged dictatorship. His Excellency is the archetypical African ruler. Trained in a European military school, he quickly rose up through the ranks because of his loyalty to his superiors, and when he seemingly accidentally gets installed as the new ruler, expects similar obedience from his aides. Like all authoritarian rulers His Excellency feeds off playing his subjects against each other. Eager to curry his favor, His Excellency's ministers spread rumors about each other and attempt to sow discord.
In such a cynical, amoral, power-driven world, Chris and Ikem are clearly sympathetic characters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book about the troubles in Africa. Achebe's fictional story gives understanding to post colonial Africa!Published 9 months ago by Ruth Gonzalez
I have had this book in my possession for a long time, but only recently picked it up and read it. I am glad that I did. Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Lupo
"they done thief-am. as we dey for road de drink a thief-man go inside carry the radio commot" without getting into a deep analysis of the book, just a word of fair warning to the... Read morePublished 21 months ago by dune cruiser
Brilliant writer with in-depth insights into tribal, colonial, and post-colonial Africa in his various books.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
The insight given by the author on any number of topics is well worth the read. A little slow at first, but the novel really got good. Probably worth a second read.Published on March 30, 2014 by S. Gilkey