Odili Samalu is a young school teacher, the narrator of this witty tale of love and politics in an unnamed West African country. Caught at first by the charisma of Chief Nanga, a government minister, he then discovers the amiable, semi-liberate Chief of Culture stealing his girl and, as novels of education do prove, life becomes both more difficult and more rewarding. Samalu joins a budding opposition group and seeks to run against Chief Nanga in the next election. What he learns about himself, his friends and enemies, his people, his nation, is told with a balanced humor and a large grasp of life's ironies. Where it took over a quarter of a century for Irving's dry comedy to yield to Melville's cosmic humor, in Africa these days things move faster. One of the first of the independent nations' novelists, Chinua Achebe proves to possess one of those natural talents for creating life that older, ex-colonials should admire.