Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review: Buried Alive

I dreaded reading “Buried Alive” by Roy Hallums. Nonfiction of this type (especially involving politics and war) usually doesn’t float my boat or keep my interest. But once I started reading Hallums’ captivating story of his hostage situation, I instead dreaded having to put the book down. Even with all its technical language referring to guns and helicopters, and even with its not necessarily graphic, but detailed descriptions of Hallums’ surroundings and treatment, my interest never faded.

A contractor in Iraq, Hallums spent ten months in captivity after he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and was kidnapped by a group of Muslim extremists raiding his office for information. The extremists held him for ransom, all the while beating him, barely feeding or bathing him, and forcing him to sleep blindfolded and handcuffed on hard surfaces. At one point, Hallums and others were kept in an underground cell, the entrance to which was covered with cement every few days after captors gave them food. Hallums was literally “buried alive.”

Hallums tells the story from his perspective, but takes breaks from the intense moments he spent in captivity to tell the story from the home-front, quoting American officials who worked to rescue him and focusing on his own family’s efforts to keep his name in the media - to keep his case urgent.

“Buried Alive” reminds me of how lucky I am to live in America. I don’t know what I would do under the circumstances Hallums was subjected to. I certainly don’t think I’d come out as healthy as he did, or alive as he did. Hallums’ testimony of how he kept faith, hope, and prayer alive during his captivity will inspire readers as it inspired me. I fully recommend this book.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.

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