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4.5 out of 5 stars55
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 October 2010
Peter Godwin's latest book is another of his wonderfully written works detailing Zimbabwe's devastating decline at the hand of Bob Mugabe. Mr Godwin travels to Zimbabwe after the 2008 elections hoping to finally witness the end of Mugabe, but unfortunately ends up witnessing the latest round of violence orchestrated by the regime. The chaos unleashed - simply because the people dared to vote against Bob - is unbelievable in its savagery and brutality leaving no doubt as to why this period is known as `the fear'. The intimidation, random beatings, torture, rape and murder are carefully documented. Eye-witness testimony carefully describes who carried out these crimes and even details attacks carried out by sitting Members of Parliament.

The book is not an analysis of why the chaos is happening but is about the impact on the people and the country as a whole. It portrays how the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe try and maintain normality even as their world disintegrates around them. This makes the book even more powerful as it illustrates just how far Mugabe has been prepared to go to wreck his own country simply to maintain his personal wealth. That the world has stood by (with a few notable exceptions described in the book) and done so little to prevent this evil is shameful.
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on 23 January 2011
As a Zimbabwean, I feel keenly the heartbreaking tragedy that has unfolded there since independence.

After a violent civil war, it has transpired that both sides fought and died for nothing. The people of Zimbabwe are perhaps more downtrodden than at any time.

In this book, the third of his Zimbabwe memoirs, Godwin chronicles the period from 2007-9. Here, we see the appalling violence of the 2008 election and the short-lived hope of the 'united' government, as this beautiful country and its people seem to slip into a black hole.

As before, Godwin blends his own Zimbabwean story with topical current affairs to provide what is perhaps the best idea out there for Zimbabweans in exile of what is happening to their country.

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on 3 December 2010
I ordered this as soon as I saw Godwin's name on the cover - as I've read and enjoyed hugely his two previous memoirs: 'Mukiwa' and 'When A Crocodile Eats The Sun'. Reading them first, though not essential, will give you the context and background on Zimbabwe that will certainly enrich your enjoyment of 'The Fear'.

And you'll have discovered more about a wonderful writer along the way ...
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on 9 June 2011
An accurate factual account of Zimbabwe under Mugabe as it is today.
There are several horrifying accounts of torture by Mugabe's agents as
told to the author by the victims themselves.
He also describes the beauty of Zimbabwe together with poignant
accounts of places he knew or lived in a decade or so ago and
the run down condition he finds them in today.
The house that the author stayed in in Chimanimani belongs to my wife
and the book he refers to as having belonged to Dr Mostert did
of course belong to my father in law.
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on 2 August 2011
so many of us have loved and left a bit of ourselves in this beautiful country and cling to the hope that we may one day return, even if it is as the authors mother to be buried at home
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on 10 December 2010
This book is not for the faint hearted. Godwin has shown how a despot like Mugabe operates
in Zimbabwe and the West is turning a blind eye!!!
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on 27 December 2014
My three stars reflects my personal “enjoyment” of the book rather than a reflection of its importance in reporting what has/is happening in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe regime. Although his book is as powerful and as well written as his previous books, it is not the same style/flavour to Peter Godwin’s earlier accounts. It is rather a book ‘reporting’ on the events in Zimbabwe (post 2008 elections), more akin to John Pilger.

I thoroughly enjoyed Peter's Godwin's earlier "Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa"" a personal account of his upbringing in what was Rhodesia. I still think Mukiwa is the best of what is becoming an increasing genre of personal accounts of growing up in what was then Rhodesia during the insurgency campaign of the 1960-70s that led to an independent Zimbabwe. I did not find his second book “When A Crocodile Eats the Sun” as enjoyable, in that the tragic circumstances of Zimbabwe as reflected through the account of his parent's day-to-day living, was not countered by the humour that was shown in the first book. The third book is unremitting tale of woe describing Mugabe’s tyranny in holding on to power which includes beatings, torture, killings, etc.

What I find hard to believe is how neighbouring states allow Mugabe to continue and why the people of Zimbabwe haven’t launched a third Chimurenga! Also I wonder what the news coverage would have been if the white-minority government of Rhodesia acted in a similar fashion?
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on 13 January 2011
I hardly know how to write about this book on the terrible situation in Zimbabwe. It is harrowing, tragic, truthful. One thing that did come across as I was reading was the importance of this work and how great a thing it is that it has been printed. It has given a voice to a people who have been silenced.

For decades to come the testimonies of people who have suffered at the hands of the 'The Fear' are here in print, recorded, for the world to see. A Monument.
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on 7 August 2011
Having been thrown out of Zimbabwe by Mugabe - I feel this book should be on every reading list for people who maybe are trying to understand the muddle that Africa has become under the all power full Dictators and the impotent International Community
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on 13 January 2014
With a number of Zimbabwean relatives and having spent considerable time there throughout the 90s I witnessed the run up to some of the events described. This political genocide, and have no doubt, this is exactly what Mugabe has perpetrated, has not been significantly reported in the UK as there has been, and still is, a total ban on UK jounalists visiting Zim. Peter Godwin took significant risks in researching this book and his account is devastatingly sad and often horrific. We Westerners 'excuse' African despotic dictators through a kind of embarrassment over the British Empire. Rhodesia, however, was not a British Colony, did not have aparteid and in many respects gave wealth prosperity, security and safety to the native population. When Rhodesia became Zimbabwe Robert and Sally Mugabe were relatively moderate in government and the farming and tourism that was the basis of the national wealth continued to run pretty well. I don't know if it is coincidental with the departure of Sally, but since taking on his new wife Mugabe appears to have gone completely mad. Since then he has stolen much of the wealth of his nation, whilst systematically destroying the fabric that created that wealth. Back in 94 his personal fortune probably equalled Zimbabwe's national debt (work that one out).
The horrors that he has perpetrated since should have inspired international intervention, but have not done so! Why? Many say that it is simply because Zim has no oil. So, we sit back and accept the genocide, one of the greatest national attrocities since the Nazis were in power?
I have travelled in this once beautiful country. Visted the glorious places that are made waste. Talked to the happy, gentle, kind Zimbabweans who are now oppresses by torture and violence.
I feel that this is one of the greatest tragedies of the modern world. Read this book and be ashamed......
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