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The Death of Rex Nhongo: A Novel
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2016
Status:
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Description

This is the Story of Five Marriages and One Gun
A British couple wonders at the unknowable city beyond their guarded compound while building walls between themselves.
An American suspects his new home is having an insidious effect on his Zimbabwean wife and their young daughter.
An enthusiastic young intellectual follows his wife to the city and finds only danger and disillusion.
An intelligence officer loses a crucial piece of evidence. It will cost him his marriage, his mistress, and maybe his life.
An impoverished taxi driver and his wife find a gun in the cab.
From this point on, all their lives are tied to the trigger.
In C.B. George's Zimbabwe, the betrayals and conspiracies of the corrupt world are nothing compared to those of marriage.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/12/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316269438, 9780316300520
ASIN:
B017I270YQ

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

C. B. George. (2016). The Death of Rex Nhongo: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

C. B. George. 2016. The Death of Rex Nhongo: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

C. B. George, The Death of Rex Nhongo: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

C. B. George. The Death of Rex Nhongo: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:19:07
Date Updated:
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title
The Death of Rex Nhongo
fullDescription
This is the Story of Five Marriages and One Gun
A British couple wonders at the unknowable city beyond their guarded compound while building walls between themselves.
An American suspects his new home is having an insidious effect on his Zimbabwean wife and their young daughter.
An enthusiastic young intellectual follows his wife to the city and finds only danger and disillusion.
An intelligence officer loses a crucial piece of evidence. It will cost him his marriage, his mistress, and maybe his life.
An impoverished taxi driver and his wife find a gun in the cab.
From this point on, all their lives are tied to the trigger.
In C.B. George's Zimbabwe, the betrayals and conspiracies of the corrupt world are nothing compared to those of marriage.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Helen Oyeyemi
      • content: This is a brilliantly unsettling book; its shrewd, measured, darkly atmospheric prose describes the societal, familial, and psychological conditions that make it possible to find burnt corpses in fire-proof houses.
      • premium: False
      • source: William Boyd
      • content: A terrific novel—absolutely compelling and chilling. A wonderfully astute and forensic blend of fact and fiction, lies and truth.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: This is a superbly intricate novel but perhaps the best part is George's vivid portrayal of Zimbabwe as a kleptoracy, a failed state ruled by fear.
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: With its title, The Death of Rex Nhongo suggests a nod to classic crime fiction. Yet this is no ordinary mystery...cleverly plotted [and] suspenseful....A deft commentary on the nuances of race and culture in a politically corrupt post-colonial society.... In this painfully resonant story we see the absurd fragility of our own humanity.
      • premium: False
      • source: Lee Child, New York Times Book Review
      • content: I was fascinated by this novel.... The narrative's eye flits from one character to another, like a camera zooming in, pausing, then moving on. These portraits are superbly achieved... This author understands people and can effortlessly marshal a large cast through emotional intricacies... A terrific achievement...[by] a gifted storyteller.
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: Through the eyes of these well-rendered personalities, the reader encounters an intimate panorama of life in a dangerous city.... [C.B. George] doe a remarkable job placing a dozen or so interlocking personal stories within a larger context of greed, lust, sacrifice, hypocrisy and horror.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 2, 2016
        Set in Zimbabwe’s sweltering stewpot of poverty, violent crime, and rampant corruption, George’s debut novel is a tragic tale of five crumbling marriages and the gun that unites them. That fateful weapon may or may not have been used to kill Rex Nhongo, the nom de guerre of Gen. Solomon Mujuru, whose remains were found inside a burned farmhouse in the village of Beatrice in August 2011 (the nonfictional event explained in the author’s preface). George is a brilliant storyteller, carefully weaving together Zimbabwe’s political instability in 2011–2014 with unhappy husbands and wives locked in marriages of resentment and indifference. Mr. Mandiveyi, a bumbling official in the secret police, loses a gun used in an assassination, jeopardizing his marriage and his life. Patson, married to Fadzai, is a cab driver who finds the gun and hides it out of fear. Jerry is a British nurse who is discouraged and angry with his life and his marriage to a minor British diplomat. Shawn is an opportunistic American hoping to cash in on Zimbabwe’s illegal mineral trade while he struggles to maintain his unstable family. And Gilbert, an idealistic man who is married to Bessie, Jerry’s housekeeper and Fadzai’s sister, cannot cope with big city violence. The gun ultimately ties the five couples together in a sudden conclusion, but other events connect them through adultery, political and criminal intrigue, alcoholism, and a suspicious mugging and arrest. This is a superbly intricate novel, but perhaps the best part of it is George’s vivid portrayal of Zimbabwe as a kleptocracy, a failed state ruled by fear. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 1, 2016
        The suspicious death of a Zimbabwean general radiates in ways overt and subtle in the lives of five couples in Harare. George's debut novel is a remarkable juggling act for a relatively brief debut, involving 10 lead characters, from a variety of cultures, intricately woven into the fabric of a corrupt and often violent state. So if it stumbles, as it does, it's not for lack of ambition. Among the players are Jerry, a nurse and husband of April, a British diplomat stationed in the country; Shawn, an American joining his native-born wife on her return to her home country and trying to insinuate his way into the gold-mining rackets; Mandiveyi, a political insider involved in the death of Gen. Rex Hnongo (who plays no direct role in the story aside from the introduction); and Patson, a poor taxi driver who comes into possession of a gun involved in the intrigue. George has a keen ear for the cultural divisions between Africa and the West: "Our economy collapses, money's worth nothing, HIV... and we still get up in the morning," a man tells Jerry. "You guys with your insurance and credit and pensions and welfare state, I think you have plenty of time to worry." And George crafts some intriguingly ominous interludes involving Shawn's young daughter and her worldly-wise conversations with her invisible (and malicious) friend. Most of the story's intrigues, though, turn less on geopolitical complications than on garden-variety infidelity. Just about everybody seems to be managing both a young child and an affair, which helps intersect the characters but doesn't necessarily illuminate them. George is striving for territory that's been mastered by Graham Greene and Norman Rush; with fewer characters and a deeper dive into the economic and political tangles of his setting, his novel might've competed with that company. A story that promises global reach but settles for narrow domesticity.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2016
        To this day, the circumstances surrounding the death of Zimbabwe's ex-military general Rex Nhongo (commonly known as Solomon Mujuru) remain a mystery. In this uneven novel, pseudonymous author George makes no effort to unravel the riddle of what transpired in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, but instead spins a purely fictional tale based on Nhongo's demise. As the aftershocks of the leader's death rattle the country, George explores how a deadly weapon impacts several already precarious relationships. The smoking gunliterallyis discovered in a poverty-stricken driver's taxi cab. The fates of several residents are tied to the trigger: an optimistic young scholar and his wife, who find Harare's streets fraught with danger and despair; an American and his African wife and child, similarly traumatized by recent events; and an intelligence officer whose carelessness with a critical piece of evidence may cost him his life. In prose by turns tedious and terse, George, who spent several years working in southern Africa, juxtaposes the realities of a corrupt world with the lives of citizens who create versions of hell all their own. George treats some powerful themes here, and if his execution isn't quite on the mark, he shows considerable promise.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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This is the Story of Five Marriages and One Gun
A British couple wonders at the unknowable city beyond their guarded compound while building walls between themselves.
An American suspects his new home is having an insidious effect on his Zimbabwean wife and their young daughter.
An enthusiastic young intellectual follows his wife to the city and finds only danger and disillusion.
An intelligence officer loses a crucial piece of evidence. It will cost him his marriage, his mistress, and maybe his life.
An impoverished taxi driver and his wife find a gun in the cab.
From this point on, all their lives are tied to the trigger.
In C.B. George's Zimbabwe, the betrayals and conspiracies of the corrupt world are nothing compared to those of marriage.
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