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When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa (Anglais) Broché – 10 avril 2008

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Revue de presse

The author of the very fine Mukiwa now writes about his family...This powerful tale... --Publishing News --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

"In the tradition of Rian Malan and Philip Gourevitch, a deeply moving book about the unknowability of an Africa at once thrilling and grotesque. In elegant, elegiac prose, Godwin describes his father's illness and death in Zimbabwe against the backdrop of Mugabe's descent into tyranny. His parent's waning and the country's deterioration are entwined so that personal and political tragedy become inseparable, each more profound for the presence of the other" -- Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

"A fascinating, heartbreaking, deeply illuminating memoir that has the shape and feel of a superb novel." -Kurt Anderson, author of Heydey

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Format: Broché
This was chosen for my book club. It can be quite heavy, & although I knew some things about Zimbabwe & Mugabe's Nightmare rule this really gave you a close-up picture of a terrible time, that is still happening, but is generally ignored in the media. It upset me a lot, but always kept me reading.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5 201 commentaires
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A tough but first class read 5 octobre 2016
Par Tony Edwards - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I’m not sure how to rate this book. It appeared to me at once a biographical about the depressing early years of an independent Zimbabwe; on the other hand, it devolved into a most personal autobiography. I am torn.
I lived in Rhodesia from 1962 through 1969 with a year in Zambia sandwiched in between. I was not raised in Rhodesia but did spend nearly six of my formative years in Tanganyika. Before moving to Rhodesia as a young man I did a six months’ stint in Blantyre, Malawi, staying at Ryalls Hotel (not Riley’s as misprinted,) and have mixed feelings.
From a literary perspective, Godwin’s writing style is creative, exotic and stimulating although the ‘stimulating’ part, which tends negative, was a bit much for me having lived in the country in happier times. Coming events however, were indeed casting their shadows before them in the 60s. So, I harbor little doubt that the impression he leaves is accurate. I made a flying visit to Harare, (Salisbury) in 1985 and saw the downhill trend with my own eyes. A former Shona servant of mine whom I contacted bemoaned the terrible situation and avowed how much better life had been under white rule. And Mugabe was just getting started.
If you knew Rhodesia, reading this book will leave you impressed and distressed. If you didn’t, you may regard the story with a more objective eye although it’s hard to believe anyone could be objective about this international disgrace.
Well worth the read if you can handle it.
The Slope of Kongwa Hill: A Boy's Tale of Africa
77 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Complex and Brilliant 30 mai 2007
Par Eileen Pollock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
There is nothing superficial about this carefully detailed yet succinct memoir. It is a first hand expose of the Mugabe regime which has made Zimbabwe "the world's fastest shrinking economy" by looting the white farmers' land. It is a searing indictment of the corrupt regime and its minions. All is seen through the experiences of the author's parents, an elderly English couple who quietly suffer increasing hardships in the middle of a crazed situation. This is a country where innocent people can be gunned down for no reason at all. The author's older sister was killed just that way in an ambush at the age of 27, a few weeks before her wedding. Yet the parents insist on remaining in Zimbabwe. This may seem inexplicable, but I know many elderly people who would remain in their dangerous neighborhoods in American cities while around them was crime and devastation, rather than uproot themselves. It's not really that different, only far worse, because the government in Zimbabwe encourages and instigates the mayhem that afflicts the country. It would not be "spoiling" to reveal, as have the reviews, that the author discovers his father is not originally English, but a Polish Jew who has concealed his origins from his children. It is to the credit of the author that he does not flinch from recording his own repulsion at being a "hybrid", half Jewish. For years the white population was privileged in Rhodesia, waited upon by the poor blacks, as one of the photos captures. This does not justify what is being done to these elderly whites now, they do not deserve to spend their later years in a collapsed economy where pensions and life insurance are worthless, and their few possessions are always in danger of being hijacked by envious interlopers. In fact, their lives are in constant danger. Peter Godwin, the author, has written an invaluable memoir and expose. Zimbabwe is in anarchy, and living there must be a Hegelian nightmare.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Unspeakable atrocities brought to light within a beautifully written memoir 16 juillet 2007
Par Mary S. Kolbe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I started reading about Mugabe and his genocidal aggression against white farmers years ago and wondered when this monster would get his just desserts. Surely it would be soon, I thought. As time went on I was amazed that nothing was being done about this disturbing situation. I just finished Peter Godwin's wonderful book "When a Crocodile Eats the Sun". It's one of those books that you only stop reading when you can't keep your eyes open any longer and the next day you are anxious to get back to it. To recap all the wonderful things in this beautifully written, yet heartbreaking memoir would take too much space of this little dialog box. Let me just say that if you want a second opinion of this book, yes! Order it. It truly encompasses so much - the good (his parents and certain black Africans) the bad (Mugabe, his henchmen and the teenage thugs terrorizing the white farmers), and the ugly (poverty and chaos caused by Mugabe's incredibly insane edicts). As Godwin points out, it's not anarchy because with anarchy, you have no leader. Zimbabwe has a leader - unfortunately he's demented and out of control. I so want Godwin to go on all the talk shows and build up awareness so someone will do something! If you log onto Zimbabwe blogs, it appears that everyone there hates him and are praying he will die but even if they get their wish, steps need to be taken so that someone even worse doesn't succeed him.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Why Behind the Tragedy of Zimbabwe 26 avril 2007
Par L. Keto - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
For anyone following events in Africa, what has happened in Zimbabwe has been tragically clear. In the span of less than ten years, President Robert Mugabe has turned this breadbasket of farm exports into an African basket case.

In Peter Godwin's "When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa," the reader finds out why. Seeking to amend the constitution in 2000 so that he can remain in power, Mugabe suffers a surprising electoral defeat in a referendum. Enraged, Mugabe declares war on his own people. As Mugabe and his loyalists in his ZANU-PF party ransack the country, the man distracts international attention by targeting the white farmers by seizing their property under a spurious land reform program.

Godwin charts the collapse of the country's economy and morality as he finds it more and more difficult to provide care for his ailing father amidst the crisis. Although his father initially recovers, his health begins to deteriorate rapidly in 2000 just as Mugabe makes his move. For the reader, the health of Godwin's father becomes as extended metaphor for the suffering of the country.

However, the metaphor deepens when Godwin learns his father is not really English and instead is a refugee from another, even more tragic historical persecution. With this new information, Godwin questions whether he or any other white can possibly live in Zimbabwe in particular or Africa in general as long as the continent's leaders find it politically expedient to indulge in race-baiting and persecution.

The book is a poignant look at a country being crushed by a man Archbishop Desmond Tutu called "the very caricature of an African tyrant." A must read for any one trying to understand Africa and its limitations today.

As he was in his previous memoir, "Mukiwa" which is about growing up in Rhodesia, Godwin is a master craftsman when it comes to writing.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fantastic read 11 octobre 2007
Par A. Sheldrick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Being a "White African" who has since moved to the States I completely appreciate Peter Godwin's perspective on current day Africa. This book is written with tremendous feeling however the author maintains a sense of objectivity that also makes for an extremely informative read. The story of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe is heartbreaking and Godwin parallels the sharp degradation of the country's economy and infrastructure with his fathers' health and his parents struggle to adapt to their rapidly changing environment. The book flows beautifully, the descriptions of the people and country of Zimbabwe are on point and vivid. The book touches on a wide range of issues such as cultural identity, racial integration and economic policy as well as the larger issues of power, money and democracy. I highly recommend the book to anyone however people who have experienced Africa will truly appreciate the writing and the emotion that it evokes.
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