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on 8 September 2011
This is an absolutely engrossing account of what it must be like to be taken hostage and held captive for more than a year in the most horrifying conditions. The Chandlers were sailing in the middle of the Indian Ocean on the adventure of a lifetime when they were picked up by Somalia pirates hundreds of miles from land. They describe in frightening detail the moment when they were taken hostage and made to head towards the African coast. Desperate to portray themselves as just an ordinary British couple, their terror increases as the kidnappers realise the potential value of their 'catch.'

But this is more than just a story of being held hostage and surviving the harshest conditions. It's also the tender story of a devoted couple trying to deal with their ordeal and the hopes and fears of more than a year in captivity. They describe in terrifying detail how they were beaten and then separated fearing that they would both be killed. And, this is also a very modern kidanp too - their captors using the power of the media to try and exact a ransom from their families back home.

A great read that is completely unputdownable!
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on 13 September 2011
Wow - what a TV film this would make! But what an horrendous experience for any couple to have to endure. Lynn Rival, Paul & Rachel's small sailing yacht is also their home, having sold their ground based property to buy her and enable them to spend their declining years (they're only in their 50's!) safely sailing wherever they wanted to, and funds would allow. Having left the Seychelles, and still being only 60 miles from the mainland (still in 'safe' waters), they were hijacked by Somalian pirates - and therein hangs the tale of their determination to survive and their faith that they would, sooner or later, be rescued. Not to be for over twelve months! This book is the story of what they had to endure, and the pirates/gangsters that they unwillingly had to share their lives with in Somalia. The word savages comes to mind with, as in probaly any culture, the odd 'good' one. I use this word sparingly!
Recorded in narration form with diary extracts, this is probably the most compelling and unsettling book I have ever read. No one should ever have to experience what this couple went through, never knowing whether the next day would mean either freedom - or their last.
Paul & Rachel, I take my hat off to you!
But only today (13/09/11,) Mr Tebbutt, a tourist in Kenya (near the border of Somalia) was shot and killed and his wife kidnapped and taken across the border. And so, for that poor, unfortunate lady, by reading this book, we probaly have some idea of what she will now be going through.
One can only hope for the same satisfactory conclusion.
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on 17 September 2011
I have to admit I was apprehensive at reading this book as I was uneasy about gaining enjoyment at the expense of Paul and Rachel Chandler's terrifying ordeal. Having said that from the very first page I was hooked and although I knew that there was a happy ending I still needed to read on to find out the true course of events. Their courage was incredible and I found myself wondering how I would have coped in a similar situation
An inspirational book
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on 17 September 2011
A vividly written, utterly compelling story of courage and endurance. Packed with unique insights into the psychology of hostages and their captors, while celebrating the transcending power of love. It is an uplifting book from people pushed to the edge of insanity by circumstances thrust upon them. A compulsory read for everyone interested in the human condition.
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on 9 October 2011
Paul and Rachel Chandler suffered at the hands of Somalian pirates for for 13 long and harrowing months. Paul and Rachel have opened up their thoughts and feelings about themselves and their captors. 'Hostage' is, therefore, written with total honesty and commitment. Well worth a read.Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Gangsters
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on 10 September 2016
This couple were split up and sometimes allowed back together--the translator never got it over to the tribesmen/thugs that their captives had no money in their accounts or anywhere else.The signals to Falmouth UK should have meant the RN got them out MUCH quicker than the British based Somali with the aid of a Security Consultant finally did,like the Tebbits again ransom demands were accepted.Again what was the punishment for the Somalis?

The couples health suffered permanent damage--their boat was their only property it was badly smashed up,their lives were shattered.
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on 14 October 2011
This is a book which lays bare the emotions of hostages who live with guns for 24 hours a day while showing the courage of the captives. Communication is minimal and existence is basic. Well written and of significance to all who followed their ordeal as well as to those who simply want a good read.
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on 26 April 2014
I can't say this was a riveting read, however it was interesting to see how they were kept and how they coped day to day, I didn't actually warm to them as a couple, although they were in a terrible situation I think their attitude made things worse,, they were obviously "well off" how many of us can just sail round the world on a yacht.They clearly wanted to keep hold of their monies and did a good job. I found the brother of Rachel very strange ,you could tell almost immediately this family was not close. I thought phone calls between them were strained and false. Interesting Read still don't warm to the Chandlers. Brave or just plain arrogant?
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on 28 March 2014
An account of survival as kidnap victims of Somalian bandits, which kept me engrossed throughout.
I was constantly intrigued to discover how Paul and Rachel could find the mental strength to keep going under such duress. I felt such relief for them when they were eventually rescued.
This book gave me some understanding of the workings of Somalian criminals, and the depths they will descend to in order to get money, in a poverty stricken, largely lawless society. Not always pleasant reading but engrossing, educational and emotional.
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on 26 May 2012
I'm about 1/2 way through this book and finding it so interesting.
I've no complaints at all about the content but think the format could be improved.
The story is told, in turns, by Paul and Rachel and the text differentiates between the two of them by giving one slightly darker type than the other (could be slightly different font too but hard to tell). This is so subtle, however, that I often forget who is actually talking and only realise when 'Paul' or 'Rachel' is referred to by the speaker.
I don't see why a simple 'P' or 'R' at the start of each new section wasn't opted for, perhaps in addition to the alternating type, I'm sure it could have been done in a space-saving way, if that's what they were trying to do, and would have have been much better!
Still going to give this book 5 stars though as, for me, it's a top read regardless. A look into the plight and minds of Paul and Rachel, as well as all the detail about sailing, the pirates and Somali culture and various other things.
I highly recommend this book.
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