#247 Arrow of God

I’ve been reading so furiously lately I’m actually three posts behind – I thought I better try and get up to date a bit before I start on my next book (which I plan to do straight after this). The first entry is about Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God: a book set in colonial Nigeria which follows the chief priest of the 6 villages and what I’d best describe as his descent as he has to contend with rivals from other villages and the looming presence of the colonial British who have taken it upon themselves to “oversee” the villages.
I’ve read Things Fall Apart by the same author – quite a few years ago now – and although I remember liking it and it having similar themes (but a sadder ending if I remember correctly) I must admit I can’t recall it completely – which is why it would have been good to be writing this blog then ! And also why it’s so important I write this before I put another book between my immediate memory and this one. At first it took me a while to get into – I think mostly because of the names (I have a similar problem with Russian books) but when it ended I wanted it to continue – I wanted to find out what happened to a lot of the other characters.
I think it’s hard for me to talk about this book without going into spoilers. It is very well written (I was going to say “incredibly” but that almost made it sound like I was incredulous about how well written it was – which isn’t true at all, especially given I’ve read Things Fall Apart and know how eloquent Chinua Achebe is; I think I felt more involved with this novel given my intrigue for a lot of the characters. One thing I couldn’t figure out as I read was how I felt about Ezeulu, the chief priest – whether I thought he was fair or strict or acted correctly at all times – probably because he was written like a real person, rather than an archetypal character. I would recommend this book highly – one thing that seems to have been frequently pointed out about the 1001 books is that it is very British/American centred which is a shame because I feel like although it is opening my eyes to a lot of books I might not otherwise have read, I am missing out on an opportunity to read from a lot of different cultures.
NB: I drafted this post quite a while ago while my blog was still not working


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