The Last Resort
|The Last Resort
Publication date 2010
RRP R 150
I read it in a single sitting. I loved it. Rian Malan.
Zimbabwean journalist and travel writer Douglas Rogers wakes up in his fashionable New York neighborhood to discover that, at the age of thirty-five, his life has become a routine of latte orders, real estate conversations and late nights in cocktail bars. Meanwhile, back in Zimbabwe, his parents are caught in the crossfire of a violent land war, and going to ever-greater extremes just to stay alive. Returning to the family farm and backpacker lodge to help, the author discovers that marijuana is growing instead of maize; prostitutes, diamond dealers and refugee white farmers prop up the lodge bar; and war veterans and youth militia loyal to Mugabe hover outside the gates. Having left Africa in search of adventure and excitement a decade earlier, the author discovers that the great story he had traveled the world looking for was happening in his parents’ backyard. And in going home he discovers that there is a lot more to his country, himself and his parents, than he had ever imagined.
Thrilling, heart-breaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is an inspiring coming-of-age tale about home, love, hope, responsibility and redemption. An edgy rollercoaster adventure, it is also a deeply moving story about how to survive a corrupt Third World dictatorship with a little innovation, humour, bribery and brothel management.
Rogers is an astute and intelligent writer, wickedly funny at times. He manages to capture the details of life in contemporary Zimbabwe so neatly that his observations become almost a form of wit, but at the chillingly unfunny centre of the book lies the tragedy of President Robert Mugabe’s brutal and repressive rule. The Witness
This vibrant, tragic and surprisingly funny book is the best account yet of ordinary life — for blacks and whites — under Mugabe’s dictatorship. The New York Times
A gorgeous, open-hearted book. Rogers manages to do the vital work of taking race out of Zimbabwe’s story and putting the heart and humanity back into it. A must read for anyone who really wants to understand the extraordinary decency of ordinary Zimbabweans. Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
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