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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read...even if you're not a cricket fan!
I bought this book off the back of seeing Henry Olonga interviewed on TV last month. To be honest, although I am a sports fan, I am not particularly a fan of cricket, but I was struck by hearing this articulate sportsman speak of his stand against government oppression in his homeland of Zimbabwe during the cricket World Cup.
The book does focus on much more than the...
Published on 20 Aug 2010 by Markyrush

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3.0 out of 5 stars Just not that interesting
I bought this book because I had heard Henry speak at a church dinner. He was an entertaining speaker and engaging personality and I wanted to know more about his faith and his courageous stand against Robert Mugabe. There are certainly parts of this book that are quite exciting and there is some description of the terrible state of his country but while an easy read the...
Published 9 months ago by D. J. Favager


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read...even if you're not a cricket fan!, 20 Aug 2010
This review is from: Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story (Hardcover)
I bought this book off the back of seeing Henry Olonga interviewed on TV last month. To be honest, although I am a sports fan, I am not particularly a fan of cricket, but I was struck by hearing this articulate sportsman speak of his stand against government oppression in his homeland of Zimbabwe during the cricket World Cup.
The book does focus on much more than the event for which Henry has become known - everything is covered - love, friendship, faith, conflict, and of course cricket before finally focusing on Henry's decision to play in a black armband in protest about what was going on in his country.
I did wonder whether not being a cricket fan would mean that my interest throughout the book would wane, but it didn't at all. I felt as though I was getting to know who this man was (and he does highlight what he believes to be his own shortcomings throughout as well as his strengths, which is refreshing).
I would recommend buying this book - whether you are a sports fan or not. You will find yourself encouraged that there are people who take seriously what was said that "all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing".
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Sweat and Treason, 16 Aug 2010
This review is from: Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story (Hardcover)
For those of us - most of us - who endanger life and property every time we throw a ball or swing a golf club, Henry Olonga is that supremely frustrating of creatures, the all-round sportsman. Who's that up front in the 100m sprint? Henry, taking the honours with style. Match winning tries by the handful for the First XV? That must be Henry. Thirteen Overs, Five Maidens, Eight for Seventeen? And just to rub it in, 103 Not Out in reply? Olonga again, this time as captain of his senior school XI against an English touring team. Not only that, he sings, acts, and paints as well. Anyone know an affordable assassin?

He is not the only one, of course. The sports pages are filled with stories of first class cricketers who play scratch golf, athletes who have to make an agonising choice between top flight rugby and top league football, runners who swim, swimmers who sprint. What marks Henry out, and has no doubt saved him from that assassin, is that it hasn't gone to his head. Anyone who has met him will confirm that he is modest, grounded, honest, and generous. Oh, and funny into the bargain. Quite an achievement, considering what he has been through.

This book tells the story of Olonga's journey through the world of Zimbabwean sport, where everything is political, and where the politicians are world class b......s. From all-round sporting excellence at school, he chose cricket as the sport in which he hoped to make his living. A difficult decision, since even fifteen years after independence, cricket would not have been the natural choice for a young black man. The entire national team was white, as were many of the administrators. There still existed in that senior generation, if not apartheid, a certain "apartness". But things were changing, however slowly, and Henry, picked as a fast bowler, became the first black cricketer to represent his country at the highest level.

This being Zimbabwe, he soon became a target for the politicians, inside and outside the sport, who wanted to use him to press home their point. Pour a political campaign "to eradicate racism in Zimbabwean cricket" on top of accusations of team underperformance due to racial imbalance. Stir in the by now rampant corruption within the Zimbabwean cricket establishment and the financial exploitation of the top players, and you have a recipe for volatility little suited to an idealistic young man who just wanted to play sport. The Zimbabwean cricket team, the minnows who had earned a reputation as giant killers, were suddenly in turmoil.

Then came the real turning point in Olonga's life - his wearing, together with Andy Flower, of a black armband in their opening match against Namibia in the 2003 World Cup, to mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. In swift succession, there followed death threats, flight, exile without the means to earn a living. It would have floored a lesser man. But Henry, sustained by his faith, and together with his Australian wife, found his way again. This is perhaps the least known part of Olonga's story, and the more interesting.

Every now and again, a book comes along which is literally un-put-downable. This is one of those. Read it.Blood, Sweat & Treason
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting story, 2 Dec 2011
This is a gripping story which will thrill the hearts of all sports enthusiasts and those wishing Zimbabwe a happier future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry Olonga, 11 Jan 2011
This review is from: Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story (Hardcover)
The book is the most fantastic, gripping tale of a man who braved the elements and got to the top of international cricket. This however is not the special part, it is the courage that he showed for standing up for what is right where no man would.
A compelling tale of a man who risked everything to gain nothing other than the fact that he new that stood up for what is right, and did not let evil stand without trial in his beloved Zimbabwe.
Brilliant book, I would recommend it to anyone, not just cricket lovers.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry Olonga, 16 Aug 2010
This review is from: Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story (Hardcover)
I heard Henry speak at a function a few months ago, basically giving a shortened version of his life-story.

He is truly inspiring, and a remarkable man.

BUY THIS BOOK - you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of courage and principle, 4 Jan 2011
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story (Hardcover)
Henry Olonga, by his own admission, was not an outstandingly brilliant international cricketer. However, he is rightly known for being one of the bravest in recent times, thanks to his protest, together with Andy Flower, against the tyrannical regime of Robert Mugabe. This book takes their 2003 protest as its starting point, against which Olonga's upbringing and development as a sportsman is placed. Knowing the actions he and Flower took, the stories of his earlier life and his achievement in being the first black cricketer to represent Zimbabwe are given a much more poignant context. There is much here that is deeply troubling; his kidnapping, the threats he has received since his protest, the racism he has endured, and the insight into modern Zimbabwe, but that is set against a story of talent and development in cricket and music that is quite remarkable. The writing is good, though at times a little prosaic, but the importance of his story more than makes up for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mixture of life, politics and sport, 4 Nov 2011
This review is from: Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story (Hardcover)
This autobiography is basically all of Olonga's life, not just his cricket career, or just about his brave stand against Mugabe's regime at the 2003 World Cup. It's interesting to hear about life growing up in Zimbabwe and the racism in society and sport that he experienced and observed in whites and blacks.

I would say you need to like cricket to get through this book since there is a lot of narrative about tournaments and matches which I can see would be a bore to those who don't care for the sport. I even skipped a few paragraphs where Olonga lists his bowling averages and various match results. A 4-star book from a 5-star man!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Black Armband, 2 April 2014
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Good read, the man's a hero to stand up to a dictator like Mugabe who has ruined a lovely country.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read BUT.........., 25 Sep 2013
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The book was a really good intresting read, But unfortunately i read the book after my husband and it just fell apart a lot of the front pages fell out and then the front cover just came completely off, I was disappointed with this as i thought a book should be able to cope with more than one read i would have liked to keep the book but i had to just throw it in the bin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 15 July 2013
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A superb book. Why was it only *long*listed for a prize? One can only hope that there will soon be a Zimbabwe that can welcome home one of its finest sons.
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Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story
Blood, Sweat and Treason: My Story by Henry Olonga (Hardcover - 19 July 2010)
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