28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Zimbabwe,s descent into hell.,
This review is from: When A Crocodile Eats the Sun (Hardcover)
Like a lot of fairly ignorant Westerners I was aware that Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe was a country in serious turmoil . It was not until I read When A Crocodile Eats The Sun( the Zulu explanation for a solar eclipse) that I realised that Zimbabwe is a country on the verge of total collapse. Unemployment runs at 80%...yes that's 80%, there is inflation running at a staggering 2000% and there is not enough ink and paper to print the newspapers to inform the public of this , not that they would be allowed to print it anyway .Journalist Peter Godwin , now a resident of New York continues the story he started with "Mukawi. A White Boy In Africa"- a book I must confess I haven't read - but this is a deeply personal and riveting account of life in that desperate country and it serves just fine as a stand alone read.
The narrative is a little too fractured at times and though Godwin clearly feels great affinity with his country men his journalistic microscope offers little in the way of coruscating insight -other than to compare what is happening with the holocaust , which I too feel is inappropriate-- and is frustratingly short on possible solutions.
Where the book really succeeds is the anecdotal accounts of living ...no existing in the hell that is Zimbabwe under Mugabe. The tales of his stoical parents putting up with corruption , threats and constant gnawing uncertainty are brilliantly told and quite affecting .This is where the books true strength lies... the descriptions of the day to day turmoil and fear of living under a monster like Mugabe . Something its difficult for us to appreciate. Why he is left to wreak this havoc unencumbered by the worlds self appointed police force is sort of answered by the books title. When all that's left is the digested carcass of the country called Zimbabwe why would any western Government want to pick over the bones.?