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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
24
A Man of the People
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on August 29, 2010
I am a fan of Chinua Achebe ever since I read "Things Fall Apart" quite a few years ago during a trip to Africa. This book does not quite hold up to the power of that one but it is quite interesting and provides some insight into the legacy of colonial rule in Africa and the selfishness and immaturity of some of the politicians. What was called a democracy was nothing more than the trappings of a ruling elite (This book was probably a direct satire on Nigerian rule, post-colonialism.)

The story centers around a protagonist who is educated and part of the growing middle class and his original antagonism toward, eventual befriending of and later total rejection of a powerful minister in the government. The insight into the means that such people exerted in their own personal interest is well documented as through character description of the two main characters. I enjoyed the story and the point of view of the author although I had hoped for a more optimistic outcome of the narrative. Achebe is a wonderful story teller. This book was no exception.
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on January 4, 2017
Both a look at the nature of contemporary kleptocracies as well as the razor-edge of the will of the people and fickleness. An easy read where fiction could parallel headlines; a populist version of a Frederick Forsyth novel. Fully enjoyed while provoking reflection on today's arc of politics.
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on August 13, 2017
A good portrait into post-independent Nigeria. It's a story of power, revenge, and honor. It's a story the resonates throughout the entire developing world.
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on November 3, 2016
Another excellent novel from the great African writer Chinua Achebe. A story full of political symbols and deep felling on the corruption and chaos of African politics. Definitely worth a reading.
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on July 17, 2015
Pure revelation on how we Africans glorify corrupt leaders through blind respect for them in the name of culture at the expense of our taxes and perpetuation of poverty amongst our people.
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on June 21, 2016
This is one of my favorite books. It truly captures the essence of the rise to power and the challenges associated with it (not only unique to Africa). I would highly recommend it.
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on October 25, 2015
A story and style that are uniquely Chinua Albert Achebesque. The world of literature already knows and concurs with me.
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on October 6, 2004
Achebe is a master in portraying Nigerian society in transition, amid corruption, violence and the excitement of development. In this novel, Achebe portrays a schoolteachers that is first welcomed into a politician's home, then gets angered by him when the politician "steals" his girlfriend. The novel unfolds as the schoolteacher (Odili) enters politics as a way to avenge his poor fate with his girlfriend.

As with any Achebe novel, we are introduced in a developing society, still in the excitement of self rule after the British, but struggling to get set on a path towards development. Achebe is very ironic at time, and I think this novel especially shows his wry sense of humor. For example, the Minister of Culture is a rather cultureless man, put in that position through connections and bribery.

Overall, I recommend this book if you enjoyed Achebe's previous work (Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease are my favorites). At only 150 pages, it is the shortest by him that I have read, which makes it even more worth it. Would not recommend as your first Achebe.
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on July 11, 2016
Brilliant, sarcastic, honest and a true reflection of politics across Africa
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on September 15, 2017
Not a very good book at all
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