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The Tethered Goat Paperback – December 8, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


 "A tense, emotional and exciting story of people and the harsh realities they face in the world of war, espionage and famine relief in the Horn of Africa."
--Dan Halsted. Producer of Beyond Borders.

"Winer skilfully captures with telling details the danger as well as the painful voice of this part of the world with its famine and war during the latter part of the 1980s." --Norm Goldman. Editor of

"I would recommend this book to anybody interested in the politics of the 80s, the real Africa or anybody who enjoys a fast-moving, thrilling and hard-hitting story." --Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views

"A high class thriller that can stand up along side others in the genre and beat some of the complacent masters of the craft who need nothing more than their name to have their books published" --Anthony Lund, Allbook Reviews

From the Author

The author spent 20 years as an aid worker in Africa, living in Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan. During the famine of the 1980s in the Horn of Africa he worked for Oxfam in Sudan and Ethiopia. Relief work went on cheek by jowl with the intrigues fuelled by the dying days of the cold war as alliances in the region were juggled between Moscow and Washington. 'The tethered goat' recreates those days of suffering and intrigue; of compassion and violence to bring together a sense of the individual tossed in an ocean of events that he cannot control.

Since leaving full time aid work in 2000 the author has lived in Spain from where he runs a small rural tourism business with his wife and pursues his writing. He still travels and works; most recently consulting in Ethiopia, Bolivia and Columbia and working as refugee advisor on the film 'Beyond Borders'. He currently combines his writing with a campaign to promote improved respect for human rights among conservation organisations.

"In my writing I am trying to do a couple of things. Firstly I want to tell the stories of very ordinary people who live in what to most of us would appear to be abnormal circumstances. The characters might not seem so ordinary to us but they do not perceive themselves as being so unusual. So much depends on context that we find it hard to imagine ourselves in their situations. Secondly I want to explore my own belief that we control far less of our destiny than we imagine. Much of what we have created for ourselves is no more than a lucky set of coincidences; being in the right place at the right time, taking the left fork instead of the right in the road ahead. My hero reflects that."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: YouWriteOn (December 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849231265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849231268
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,619,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I worked in Africa for 20 years on development, humanitarian relief and conservation projects. Met a whole lot of life from the grimmest to the inspirational, and from Bob Geldof and his Hollywood look a likes to a host of conscience stricken politicians (yes, some of them claimed to have consciences). I then worked as a consultant in South America and Africa and was also Martin Campbell's adviser on the Angelina Jolie film Beyond Borders, which was fun. But there's no hierarchy more rigid than a film set run by a big studio.

Ever since going back to Ethiopia in 2004 for a consultancy 20 years after the previous resettlement programme I have been privately promoting a human rights campaign to stop conservation projects evicting people from conservation areas. It's a big battle but I've had a lot of help from some wonderful people in the conservation movement. A private foundation of money from a billionaire was kicking local people off their land so that rich tourists could enjoy wildlife in pristine Africa; which meant an Africa without people. Apparently that's the way some people like their holidays.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Read The Tethered Goat if you like thrillers combined with fascinating, authentic African history. This is a thriller with a difference; involving government officials, liberation army rebels, foreign aid workers ,journalists, diplomats and spies, and uncovering the extraordinary way that all these groups really interacted during the 80s in pursuit of their own aims, with the inevitable innocent victims. The authenticity of the writing gives the book its special power. The author's personal experience and knowledge of the place and times described ring all too true and add special poignancy to the romance and drama of this unusual thriller.
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