Monday, April 21, 2008

anthills of the savannah

i’ve been meaning to write a thing or two—put some thoughts down—about the Achebe books i just finished. Anthills of the Savannah and No Loner at Ease. both are set in more modern day Nigeria. Anthills being the most recent; a modern day state and the political issues that are a backdrop to the story of 3 or 4 well developed characters who play a major role in these politics.

still Achebe makes them very human. and in many ways they represent different aspects of modern Nigerian society. the book is deep. rich with detail about the players involved in this political drama. Achebe cuts back and forth in the story’s timeline. he changes points of view completely in some chapters. allowing each main character to develop his/her own self as much as the others.

the choppy effect keeps the book interesting and engaging. he’s got a way with words. rich, in this case. not simple like in Things Fall Apart. maybe b/c life is no longer simple now??? all the similarities with what i’m experiencing here made the book that much richer. pidgin spoken throughout. bush-taxi rides that take you on mental journeys and, generally, a culture very similar to the one here.

i was only a little unimpressed by the ending. wrapped up a little too Hollywood. not really an intriguing, thought-provoking denouement. people die or are martyred and those left represent some sort of symbolic community that is to lead the country (all figuratively, of course) on.

not sure why i wasn’t all that happy with that. maybe too idealistic from someone i know knows more about how things really are here. but what’s wrong with idealism? and since when have i not been down with it myself?

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