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.
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.