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4.6 out of 5 stars
Kidnapped
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2011
"That must be a funny book, you can't stop laughing. What is it?"

"It's a true story about journalists kidnapped in Somalia."

"Pardon? That doesn't sound very funny....."

And I'm sure it wasn't for Colin Freeman and José Cendon. Being kidnapped anywhere can really mess your day up, let alone the lawless Puntland and its caves, which are a kidnap haven; not really much chance of rescue there. It's fairly safe to say it's a rather dreadful predicament to be in. However, this book is full of humour. Humour which, I can only imagine, is essential to get through such an ordeal.

Brilliantly written, Kidnapped is Mr Colin's account of his stay in the Bosaso Hilton. Also known as a godforsaken cave. It is also a very good insight into Somalia and the problems therein, the problems faced by journalists (and, well, any outsider not there to visit al-Shabaab training camps...) and the general Somali piracy issue. For anyone interested in Somalia and piracy or even being kidnapped, this is a fantastic read. It also makes you think. For someone with an interest in visiting dangerous and unusual countries, you do wonder how you would handle such a situation.

I read the book in just over a week. It would have been sooner but I was rather busy at the time. The sign of a good read, when it's laugh-out-loud funny and a breeze to get through. As bad as it may sound, I was enjoying the author's account of his experiences so much I was disappointed when he was finally released!

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely I would. I wonder if the captors will release their story: KIDNAPPING: A STORY OF HOLDING WESTERN JOURNALISTS FOR RANSOM IN THE WILDS OF SOMALIA.....

If you're here reading this, you must hold an interest in this kind of book, in which case, order it. Order it now. You'll not be disappointed. Until it ends, of course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2011
What an excellent book. Not only the experience of being a genuine Somalia kidnap victim in a cave for a month, but also the background to why Somalia is like is.

Funny, informative, scary, and makes me glad I'm not in a cave in Somalia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2011
Colin Freeman's excellent account of his time as a hostage in Somalia is a gripping tale, cleverly interspersed with fragments of history and insight into a country about which comparatively little has been written and whose situation is poorly understood in the west. Accessible and reasonably short. Certainly recommended.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'd not really heard as much about Colin's kidnap & was curious to discover what had happened to him. He tells the story really well, providing just the right amount of detali and weaving a tale that keeps you in suspense to find out how his next day went. He relates many fearful incidents and in particular, how he feared he & his comrade might end up in a friendly fire incident or worse a botched rescue attempt.

It was quite interesting to hear that these pirates often tend to have their own code of conduct and don't take kindly to othes trying to muscle in or endanger the lives of their captives.

I also enjoyed reading the additional stories at the end of other similar incidents and how they had played out in various situations.

A hugely riveting read. Particularly glad they were happily rescued without any major injuries!!.
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on 1 May 2015
If you like books about Africa and great stories, this book strikes the perfect balance between fact and narrative.

Expertly handled by the author, Freeman tells an honest story about a personal experience while blending in deeply-researched history about Somalia. The book is amusing and has plenty of pace, with Freeman humbly recounting what was a truly terrifying adduction. You'll fall in love (or at least sympathy) with his captors as he did, and be left will a rounded view of a country facing horrific challenges. If you're a writer, you'll admire Freeman's turn of phrase and the book's construction. You might even pick up some survival tips if you're facing likely kidnapping in the future.

Highly recommended and very enjoyable - I've already bought Freeman's other book on Iraq.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
A very enjoyable informative book. The authors style of writing is light and honest. I liked this one so much I bought his Baghdad book and that one is good too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2014
Great insight into Somali and its pirates. Just showing nowhere is safe.Paul and Rachael deserve to get their life back on track
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on 9 November 2013
A very good read. In my opinion good writing should educate or entertain, this book does both in spades. If you have an interest in reading about modern piracy, kidnapping or failed states this book is for you. Mr Freeman plays down the fear and terror of his own kidnap ordeal with the liberal use of one liners and nicknames, to give a very balanced picture of Somalia and Somalians over the past twenty years.
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on 27 September 2014
Colin Freeman is a highly talented writer. A journalist by trade, his two books are humorous and well written. This book tells the tale of his real life kidnapping, as well as giving an insight into Somalian piracy. What is great about his books is that they keep the reader interested and they don't come across as a lecture. A brilliant book
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on 4 June 2015
I found it strangely difficult to keep up with the story line because of the frequent switches between the past and present. I found myself skipping pages sometimes half chapters to get back to the original text. Not for me, although this doesn't detract from the bravery and abject conditions they had to face.
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