Anthills of the Savannah, Paperback Book

Anthills of the Savannah Paperback

Part of the Heinemann African Writers Series series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This portrait of contemporary Africa is a fusion of myth, legend and modern styles.


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Achebe has crafted a story of post-colonial African politics, as seen through the lives of three men, friends from childhood. Ikem becomes the editor of the country’s most important newspaper; Chris becomes the government’s “Commissar of Information,” and Sam ascends to the presidency through a military coup—the familiar sort, where the military government intends to establish stability and restore/establish democracy. This is my first reading of African literature, and I was rewarded with a thrilling story, a cultural education, spots of fine humor, and a morality tale that seeks more to describe a situation than resolve it. Ikem, the most idealistic of the three, is endangered because of his open opposition to the military government. Chris, who hopes to bring about change by working within the government, is the fulcrum of the see-saw, attempting to tone down Ikem and to influence Sam, now “His Excellency,” to travel the road of necessary reform. Sam, however, has become comfortable in his position of power. It is a scenario we have observed over and over, as one despot replaces another in the long road to democratic rule. Chinua Achebe is rightfully regarded as a novelist of the first order, beautifully blending a masterful writing style with the sights and sounds of modern Africa.

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