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Summary

After his father's heart attack in 1984, Peter Godwin began a series of pilgrimages back to Zimbabwe, the land of his birth, from Manhattan, where he now lives. On these frequent visits to check on his elderly parents, he bore witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downward into the jaws of violent chaos, presided over by an increasingly enraged dictator. And yet long after their comfortable lifestyle had been shattered and millions were fleeing, his parents refuse to leave, steadfast in their allegiance to the failed state that has been their adopted home for 50 years. Then Godwin discovered a shocking family secret that helped explain their loyalty. Africa was his father's sanctuary from another identity, another world. 

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun is a stirring memoir of the disintegration of a family set against the collapse of a country. But it is also a vivid portrait of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.

©2006 Peter Godwin (P)2007 Recorded Books

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Incredibly moving

Invokes great memories of Zimbabwe despite the chaos caused by its decline under the dictatorship of Mugabe

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Emotional

As a teenager growing up in the UK in the late-80’s & early 90’s, the media coverage of Zimbabwe, apartheid and Mugabe was at the back of my mind when I chose this book. I was intrigued and wanted to gain a an insight from a person who’d experienced it first hand.

The story is well written and interesting. It is certainly an emotional rollercoaster - with the further complications of Peter Godwin’s father’s past.

Without giving too much away, the focus of this book - for me at least - was the relationship with his parents which must have been incredibly difficult from such a distance, in very turbulent times and as his ageing parents struggled to maintain their personal independence.

I hope his earlier biographies and journalistic articles covered the actual events, history, politics and complexities that shaped what happened leading up to this point...this book doesn’t do justice to that.

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magnificent

Having grown up in Africa myself, this book really took me back to some of the chaos, but beauty, that Africa manages to create. As they say, it gets in your blood.
You out to read Mukiwa first before reading this.
Very enjoyable

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An Epitaph of a Lost Country

Another wonderful book by Peter Godwin, beautifully written and so accurately reflecting the sad demise of my Old Country. It is a very good record of how the Evil Regime of Robert Magbe wrecked his Country for his own people and those who initially made it so productive. I spent all my childhood over there, returning later when I believed the Country could become a fully functioning multiracial example to Africa. It wasn't to be and I left in late 1980 with my 2 Sons born in Zimbabwe/Rhhodesia never sadly to return. A very sad and evil state of affairs.
Thank you Peter for telling the World.

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  • 06-09-21

Worth the listen.

Good story, well narrated. Evocative for me, an African away from Africa, for so long.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-21

Superb!

Peter Godwin is a fantastic writer/story-teller. I read this book in my early twenties and have found it even more moving now, in my thirties, with a little more appreciation for life's twists and turns. I enjoyed listening to the author's voice, as it lends authenticity to the story.