Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Enjoyable and informative true-life hostage drama
on 1 March 2014
I only read this as the film interested me and I wanted to read the source material first. I audio read this, and the 7 disc CD is well narrated and an easy listen.
The true story of a captain and his crew who are pursued and boarded by Somali pirates and manage to outwit them. Knowing the outcome isn't normally a problem, knowing that Captain Phillips survives, that the pirates don't win. But I actually found I identified with the pirates for 90% of their appearances in the book. I don't mean I wanted them to take money, boats and cargo from the ship, but I found myself constantly wondering "why are they doing this?", "what's life like for them in Somalia?", and their eventual fate for me was a regretful one.
The book jumps around a lot, our narrator spending half the running length (I listened to the audio) talking about his days before he joined the merchant navy, meeting his wife and his time in initial training. Then the missing chunk for me is how he rose to the rank of captain, which I was looking forward to hearing.
The pirate attack and hostage situation is quite exciting, with Phillips' wife's point of view lengthening it and racheting up tension.
It's a good one to read if you're interested in ships and the merchant navy, life for a captain/ship worker and real life dramas.
If you like this, I'd recommend the Young Adult book on similar lines: Hostage Three by Nick Lake.