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The Siege: Three Days of Terror Inside the Taj Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241003660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241003664
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Compulsive and brilliantly researched. Reads like a fast-paced thriller (William Dalrymple)

Totally unputdownable, utterly absorbing - a minute-by-minute account of a hotel under onslaught. Here we have hostages, police and terrorists; their every fateful action and decision; the moments of sheer chaos and the crucial seconds of clarity

(Paul French, author of the Dagger and Edgar Award-winning Midnight in Peking)

Meticulously researched, beautifully written: an unstoppable read. This is not your ordinary thriller (Ahmed Rashid, author of Descent into Chaos)

A heart-pounding read and an investigative tour de force, The Siege is an essential primer on terror in the 21st Century. It shows where mass-murderers come from, how they think and what it is like to be caught in the cross-hairs of their madness (Blaine Harden, author of Escape from Camp 14)

Propulsive, intense, exceedingly well-reported . . . a tragedy and a thriller with concussive human and political resonance. I read it in what felt like three blinks (New York Times)

Heartrending, chilling, compelling, astonishing . . . as action-packed as any thriller and so hard to put down that it must surely end up as a movie (Sunday Times)

An investigative masterpiece... so vivid it ought to be a movie (Tina Brown)

About the Author

Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy are the authors of four books, most recently the acclaimed The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 - Where the Terror Began. For 16 years they worked as foreign correspondents and investigative reporters for the Sunday Times and the Guardian. In 2009 the One World Trust named them British Journalists of the Year, having won Foreign Correspondents of the Year in 2004. They co-produce documentaries which have been nominated at the Amnesty International Media Awards and the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and longlisted at the BAFTAs. Currently they are filming several new projects in South Asia.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of staying at the Taj nearly 5 years after the terror attacks so was immediately drawn to this book. The first thing to say is that the research appears to have been incredibly extensive spanning the backgrounds of the terrorists and victims alike, the historic, political and cultural contexts of the terrorist groups, Pakistan and India, along with the intimate workings of the Taj itself, and of course extensive interviews with many of those involved. This creates a convincing and compelling narrative. Yet, despite that, this is not an exhaustive history, it focuses on events at the Taj, with only brief explanations of what happened at the other locations attacked. Similarly, it tells the personal stories of relatively few of the hundreds drawn into the maelstrom. For me that made it so much the better, a report on every detail of the attacks was not what I wanted (and apparently has never been produced, not even by the Indian authorities), but the sampling of events to provide a complete picture of the whole and the timelines in which they unwound is brilliantly done and, along with the RIP section at the end, provides a fitting record and tribute to the victims. The means by which young men were drawn to the call of jihad is covered objectively. The way in which innocent people, ranging from lowly hotel staff to the super-rich, found themselves plunged in moments from their routine working life or enjoyment of pleasurable activities in the Taj, including a wedding reception, into absolute terror, sometimes drawn out over days, is chilling and horrific. The stories of heroism on the part of hotel customers, especially the staff, and some police are incredible and uplifting.Read more ›
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Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott Phillips have pulled together thousands of hours of research, experience in the subcontinent and the testimony of well placed contacts to deliver possibly the defining account of the 2008 siege of Mumbai's Taj Hotel. It is brilliantly constructed, in the round, describing the same event from myriad points if view. Their description of the bravery of the hotel's Indian staff is as inspiring as the incompetence and venality of local politicians is dismaying.
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this is an incredible book that has captured the fear, violence and mayhem of the tragedy at the Taj and across Mumbai. The writers have clearly made pedantic research not only of the events of those terrible days but also of the months leading up to them. This book is also very well written and will doubtless be referred to to for years to come as the definitive description of what happened in Mumbai. This cries out to be made into a film.
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This book is a brilliant account of the atrocities which happened in Bombay and it made me shudder as I could have been in any of those places when it happened, in fact we had been in Leopold's three weeks before it happened as I used to live in Goa with my Tibetan wife who had family all over India so we used to travel through Bombay maybe six times a year and we used to stop in the Hotel which is only about four or five doors from Leopold's and always went in there for a drink but we used to eat at "Alps" which is down the road next to Leopold's which leads to the Taj and the Gateway. We had been in Bombay only about 3 or 4 weeks before this tragedy happened and I just think " it could so easily have been us". But it's a very accurate rendition of events in India on that fateful day when so many innocent lives were lost.
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By Liz Barnsley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Siege by Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark - a searing account of the 2005 terrorist attacks at Mumbai's famous Taj Hotel.
On 26th November 2008 the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai is besieged by Pakistani Islamists, armed with explosives and machine guns.
For three days, guests and staff of the hotel are trapped as the terrorists run amok.
On 29th November commandos launch Operation Black Tornado. The world holds its breath.

The first thing that struck me was how well researched this book was. Starting with the "Dramatis personae" giving an overview of the people involved and a brief background, including guests, staff and the terrorists themselves, I was immediately right at the heart of the matter - I wanted to find out what happened to all of them. Leading on with a bit of background of the events leading up to the terror attacks, and some information on the hotel, you were left feeling slightly off kilter while you waited for what you knew was coming..

The second thing that struck me was how much this book read as if it was a Thriller - a fast paced one at that - I often had to stop for a moment and remind myself, especially in the more violent moments, that these people were REAL. Everything I was reading actually happened - it was a sobering thought and one that compelled me to read ever onwards. I read this in two days, such was my inability to leave it before I knew the outcome. I had zero knowledge of these events before opening this account - such is the beauty of the writing I now feel almost as if I were there - or at the very least had friends who were.
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