Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mukiwa by Peter Godwin

Good. I found it really interesting and it gave me a bit of background to the the mess that is Zimbabwe today. Definitely recommended.

Peter Godwin grew up in rural Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and in this book he describes his childhood growing up in a rural farming area. He takes us through his conscription into the Rhodesian police force during his civil war and his experiences as a journalist during the early days of Mugabe's rule.

Godwin writes in a very straightforward manner - he just describes what he experienced at the time, without trying to apologise for or justify the attitudes and accepted rules of the day. I liked the fact that he didn't try to make it amusing, i.e. by making "characters" of the people or by making the book a series of contrived funny stories. Or worse, try to analyse the situation (with the benefit of hindsight) and bang on about the complexities of race, history, politics and human behavior.

He simply tells the story, and leaves us to make up our own minds.

Of course, we all know what Zimbabwe is like today and so reading it, I felt sad for the people described in the book and their problems still to come.

I was sorry when I finished Mukiwa; I could have spent much more time in that fascinating place. That's a sign that I've really enjoyed a book.

Read more reviews here.

No comments: