Heidi Holland's biography of Robert Mugabe does something deeply unsettling - it makes one feel the dictator's pain.
At Linquenda House, Harare's gloomy immigration department, the official inspecting my visa extension form asks me what I do. "I'm a wineseller," I lie.
On the morning of the first game I heard a familiar voice in the breakfast room. "I'd like a cheese omelette and a rooibos tea." It is the BBC's Jonathan Agnew.
The professor of surgery hears a knock on his office door. A surgeon enters gingerly to apologise for missing an important student seminar they were running. â€œI was pushing the truck."
The speech reworked familiar themes of a degenerate and imperialist west trying to force its values on Africa. "Perhaps a new kind of devil found in Britain is spreadingâ€¦ The devilish system in which a man marries another man makes them disregard natureâ€¦This is a rotten culture."
It has been raining for two weeks in Harare, with only an occasional respite for the city's graceful avenues to drip dry. For a country that has gone without heavy rain for several years, this is a turnaround.
The image went round the world: the body of Terry Ford, a white farmer killed by Zimbabwe's notorious "war veterans", being guarded by his Jack Russell terrier. For many the sight symbolised the country's descent into tyranny under Robert Mugabe.
Throughout this memoir, Egeland presents himself as one of the more assertive elements in the UN, who likes to "speak truth to power".
Thabo Mbeki the enigma has become a clichÃ©. But so far there have been few attempts to fathom the man who in 1999 was given the impossible task of replacing Nelson Mandela.
In this monument to the unknown soldier, three bronze warriors stand strong, indefatigable and proud in the cause of African nationalism... but they are not African at all. The North Koreans, unrivalled masters of political idolatry in their own land, inadvertently gave Oriental features to the soldiers' statues.