Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
Well, unlike what I complained about with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, this was a book that offered total immersion in an unfamiliar culture without seeming to excessively explain things. There are a few "footnotes", but they're seamlessly integrated. (And I thought the glossary in the back wasn't even necessary.) Only a very few passages were difficult to comprehend. (It may help that I've read another of Achebe's novels, Arrow of God.)

One thing that contributes to the reader's insight, I think, is the shifting point of view -- there's a main character (Okonkwo) but the narration doesn't follow him exclusively, much less only report his thoughts. There are even a few points from the point of view of Europeans, but not (as is so often the case) in order to interpret events for the reader; quite the reverse, these are people who understand nothing about what the author has already clued the reader in to.

It is a simple tale on the surface, first building slowly and then rushing to its conclusion. I think it will take me a while to fully appreciate it.