From Publishers Weekly
Anderson, an AP correspondent in Lebanon when he was kidnapped by Iranian-backed Shiites in March 1985, offers a wrenching account of his seven-year captivity. Demythologizing the heroic image of a hostage, Anderson recalls how he berated himself, while sitting blindfolded and chained to a wall, for his mistreatment of his first wife and for his arrogance in walking out into the street again after narrowly escaping a kidnapping attempt the day before he was actually snatched. Anderson is also frank--and not always flattering--in his discussion of such fellow hostages as Tom Sutherland, John McCarthy and Terry Waite. The narrative loses momentum as the tedious days pile up, but there are still numerous telling moments: Anderson reembraces Catholicism; he hears hostage William Buckley die in an adjacent room; he is enormously moved by a hostage diary he finds, which was written by a Lebanese Jewish doctor who pined for an estranged son. Interspersed throughout this book are background notes on efforts to free the hostages, Anderson's poems and accounts of the ordeal faced by second wife Madeleine Bassil, who was pregnant with Anderson's child at the time of the kidnapping (he was then engaged to her but still married to his first wife). Unfortunately, the narrative is stinting about Bassil's break with Anderson's sister Peggy Say, and an update on the various hostages would have been appreciated.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
YA-A vivid and engaging account of Anderson's confinement from 1985- 1991 at the hands of Shiite Muslims in Lebanon. He gives a clear outline of the political and religious situation there in the 1980s, the Iran-Contra affair, and the role of the UN in negotiating his release. Anderson is a shrewd observer and offers a candid and detailed description of how he and his fellow hostages survived brutal physical mistreatment and fought psychological deterioration. Any young person interested in current affairs, the Middle East, or journalism will find his book compelling reading. Its greater value may be as a chronicle of a man's ability to survive captivity and emerge from the experience with increased self-knowledge.
Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library System, Woodbridge, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.