The Fear

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

I was recently lucky enough to meet Peter Godwin, author of ‘The Fear’. LitNet also asked me to do an interview with him, so I thought I should read the book. There’s nothing quite as annoying as an interviewer who hasn’t bothered to read the book.

Here’s the official blurb:

In mid-2008, after nearly three decades of increasingly tyrannical rule, Robert Mugabe, the eighty-four-year-old ruler of Zimbabwe, met his politburo. He had just lost an election. But instead of conceding power, he was persuaded to launch a brutal campaign of terror to cower his citizens. Journalist and author Peter Godwin was one of the few observers to slip into the country and bear witness to the terrifying period that Zimbabweans call, simply, The Fear.

Following on from his compelling and moving memoirs ‘Mukiwa’ and ‘When a Crocodile Eats the Sun’, this is a personal journey through the country Peter Godwin grew up in and knows so well – a landscape and a people, grotesquely altered, laid waste by a raging despot.

At considerable risk, he travels widely to see the torture bases, the burned villages, the death squads, the opposition leaders in hiding, the last white farmers, the churchmen and the diplomats putting their own lives on the line to stop the carnage.

Told with Godwin’s brilliant eye for detail and natural storytelling gifts, this tale of corruption and violence is punctuated by moments of humour and goodwill, and populated by extraordinary characters whose lives have been shaped by The Fear.

My thoughts:

To be honest I’m not one who normally reads non-fiction, but I’m glad I changed my normal reading patterns and agreed to do the interview.

The Fear is brilliantly written, but this is not a light and fluffy read. If you’re looking for a book that pulls its punches, this is not it. Peter Godwin tells you the true stories of the people living in fear everyday of their lives, of torture victims, and of murder victims. These are stories that will leave you wondering how these atrocities are allowed to carry on. It left me shocked, heartbroken, and incredibly sad. This is a book you probably don’t want to read, but you should. It’ll open your eyes to a quiet genocide that needs to be stopped.

You can read my interview with Peter Godwin on LitNet here.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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