Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin

ISBN: 0316018716
Published: April 10th, 2008 (first published April 17th, 2007)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Read from November 15th, 2012 to January 3rd, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Hailed by reviewers as "powerful," "haunting" and "a tour de force of personal journalism," When A Crocodile Eats the Sun is the unforgettable story of one man's struggle to discover his past and come to terms with his present. Award winning author and journalist Peter Godwin writes with pathos and intimacy about Zimbabwe's spiral into chaos and, along with it, his family's steady collapse. This dramatic memoir is a searing portrait of unspeakable tragedy and exile, but it is also vivid proof of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.

I was originally reading this book for my history class because we were going to have to write a paper on it.  I was about a hundred pages into the book when my professor said we no longer had to read it.  At that point I was far enough into it that I decided I was just going to finish is anyway.  I decided to read it slowly though, and that's why it took me about a month and a half to finish.

I greatly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs.  It's is really fascinating.  Godwin was a white born and raised in Africa, and it really is fascinating to read about Zimbabwe from that point of view.  I don't think many of us in America (and various other countries) really understand what day to day life is like in Africa.  This book really helps you to start understanding.  I wasn't very informed of Zimbabwe's history, and I knew nothing of it's current political situation.  It's the kind of thing where I was shocked that all of this had been going on and I'd never known.  It really shows how little African news is reported in other nations.

I think everyone should read this book just to learn more about what life is really like in Africa.  People tend to just think of poverty when they think of Africa, but it's so much more complicated than that.  This book does a brilliant job of showing what it's like in Zimbabwe, and I think it's something that way more people need to know about.

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