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When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa

3 Ratings: 1.7
A book released April 17, 2007 by Peter Godwin

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Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Peter Godwin
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: April 17, 2007
1 review about When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir...

A beautifully written memoir brings light to darkness

  • May 26, 2010
Rating:
+4
This memoir, about the son of white British parents who grows up in Africa, is superbly written. While Mr. Godwin has written other memoirs of his earlier years, this one focuses on his adulthood. As a journalist now living in America, he takes as many writing assignments as possible that will allow him to travel back to Africa to see his now-aging parents. Zimbabwe is in terrible turmoil, and this is the thrust of the memoir--how this turmoil impacts his parents, who still live there, and everyone else in the country who is not on the side in power.

There is so much ugliness in what he's writing about--civil war, ruthless leaders, corrupt government, rapes, beatings, and injustices that we in America can't even imagine but, somehow, what I came away with was not ugly at all--it was the tenacity of these people to survive it all, and to do so with dignity.

It is a testament to Mr. Godwin's marvelous writing that, in a story of such unspeakable brutality and injustice, my takeaway was positive. It is also a testament to the author's parents, and his relationship with them, which was empowering enough to help balance the tragedy.

Yes, there are times that his prose gets a bit too flowery, his analogies a bit too clichéd, and the story moves slowly (especially in the first half), but these are only minor criticisms and not ones that distracted me substantially from enjoying this marvelous memoir. Highly recommended.

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