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Captive

My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban

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Description

An American reporter's chilling account of being kidnapped and imprisoned by the Taliban, in the no-man's-land between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Jere Van Dyk was on the wrong side of the border. He and three Afghan guides had crossed into the tribal areas of Pakistan, where no Westerner had ventured for years, hoping to reach the home of a local chieftain by nightfall. But then a dozen armed men in black turbans appeared over the crest of a hill.

Captive is Van Dyk's searing account of his forty-five days in a Taliban prison, and it is gripping and terrifying in the tradition of the best prison literature. The main action takes place in a single room, cut off from the outside world, where Van Dyk feels he can trust nobody--not his jailers, not his guides (who he fears may have betrayed him), and certainly not the charismatic Taliban leader whose fleeting appearances carry the hope of redemption as well as the prospect of immediate, violent death.

Van Dyk went to the tribal areas to investigate the challenges facing America there. His story is of a deeper, more personal challenge, an unforgettable tale of human endurance.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 19, 2010 – An American journalist exploring the war zone on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border reports unwanted lessons in its perils in this harrowing memoir. Having traveled with the “freedom fighters” in the '80s, Van Dyk thought he had the connections and knowledge to navigate the tribal lands between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but he was captured by a fractious band of Taliban fighters in 2008. Van Dyk (In Afghanistan: An American Odyssey) and his Afghan guides spent 44 days in a dark cell. Well-fed but terrified, he felt a nightmare of helplessness and disorientation. Dependent on a jailer who mixed solicitude with jocular death threats and a ruthless Taliban commander who could free or kill him on a whim, the author performed Muslim prayers in an attempt to appease his captors; wary of murky conspiracies involving his cellmates, he “was afraid of everybody, including the children.” Van Dyk's claustrophobic narrative jettisons journalistic detachment and views his ordeal through the distorting emotions of fear, shame, and self-pity. But in telling his story this way, he brings us viscerally into the mental universe of the Taliban, where paranoia and fanaticism reign, and survival requires currying favor with powerful men. The result is a gripping tale of endurance and a vivid evocation of Afghanistan's grim realities. 1 map.
Captive
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jun 22, 2010
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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