A Good Book

I finished “When a Crocodile Eats the Sun” by Peter Godwin today and found the book very different from anything I have read for ages.  I can’t review things too well so I had a look for some reviews and I found the following two links online – neither are terribly satisfactory.  The New York Times lifts too many phrases out of context and cheapens them and the reviewer at the Guardian simply wants a slap.  His assertion that his (Godwin’s) father’s backstory is not that interesting is insulting and his admonition that the author should have moved back to Zimbabwe to deliver the kind of book the reviewer wanted to read shows that a) he was reading the wrong book and b) he wasn’t reading it properly.

Grrr.

So I will have to add a mini-review.  The book covers the personal and the political of the Godwin family, Zimbabwe, Africa and what it can mean to be a black or white Zimbabwean under the twisted Robert Mugabe.  The language is such that at times you feel you are reading a novel and yet it so firmly rooted in the horrors of 21st century Zimbabwe that its reality is sitting opposite you as you read.  This is not a light book, but it is a testament that deserves honourable witness.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/18/books/18book.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2007/mar/04/society.politics

Posted on August 29, 2009, in Words and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve just run up and down this blog, it’s looking good, so much more interesting than mine with it’s idle, repetitive use of photos … only one thing to say until I’ve had a better read of it: all Guardian Book reviewers need a slap (even the good ones, just to be on the safe side)…

    (I hope you’re okay with the use of ellipses here…)

  2. Thank you! I am merely a nicker-of-internet-images to put with random thoughts and you have words to preserve for real books with an actual narrative – an elusive beast in my case!

    http://makemeadiva.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/a-narrative/

    Any tips most welcome…

  3. I forgot to say I like the photos – the dogs are the eye candy and the road markings are existential!

  4. Any tips most welcome…

    …er, Henna?

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