It hurts to say this but I promised myself that my reviews would always be honest and straight from the heart so I am here to say that I had high expectations about this book by Chinua Achebe and I was disappointed. The first half of the book was boring and predictable and the second half was…predictable and boring! I contemplated skipping some pages but I labored through the 162 pages and dropped the book with mixed feelings.
What did I like about A Man of the People? I liked the title for one. I am a sucker for titles if you haven’t noticed that yet. From the title I could tell that the book would be about politics and the first few pages confirmed that. The predominant theme I could decipher from the pages as I flipped through is corruption. Other themes like greed, lust and love featured as well.
We see a man who was once a teacher become a minister, we see him elevated by the people and more or less worshiped because he has something to offer-money. We see a man whose status now affords him the beautiful things in life including a new wife! We also glimpse what poverty can push people to do like a man willing to give away his daughter to a rich politician.
I didn’t like the style of narration at all neither did I enjoy the pidgin English used, it disturbed the flow of the story for me.
For most parts it was funny, I liked the use of African proverbs and the main character’s determination to get the minister’s “new wife” (he had not married her yet) for sleeping with his “girlfriend”. The last few pages of the book confirmed my expectations that the main character would triumph and get the girl.
Every character had a flaw in my opinion which made the story real because one can relate to the flaws in the characters.
Was it a good satire? I would say yes. Would I read it again probably not.
Have you read this book? Would you read it? Why would you read it? Leave your comments below!