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วันศุกร์, ตุลาคม 08, 2553

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle [Kindle Edition]

Custmer Reviews:

I managed to get a pre-press copy of this book and was a bit stunned by its heftiness (it's well over 500 pages). But from the moment I cracked the first page, I simply couldn't put it down - I was often so engrossed in it during my commute I'd stay on the bus longer just to finish the particular chapter I was reading! Needless to say, the book is extremely well-written and has a very different tone than Ms. Betancourt's first book. Reading Even Silence Has An End, I felt every blister on her long marches through the jungle, shuddered with cold when she describes having to put on (again and again) damp and fetid clothes, and cringed at every abuse hurled her way by her captors.

I've read numerous other "hostage memoirs" and one thing I appreciate about Ms. Betancourt's book is that she acknowledges how captivity led to behavior she resented in herself. In this way, any negative comment about her fellow hostages is countered by holding up a mirror to herself and realizing that it is the circumstances of their imprisonment, not their characters, which caused strife and bitterness among the group (I applaud her for taking the high road and not resorting to name-calling). My only (minor) criticism is that aside from a brief chapter in the early pages, little is mentioned about her post-hostage life. I would love to read more about her reflections and adjustments, which must have been enormous and challenging, but maybe that's another book in the works.  

+++++

Ingrid Betancourt's story is astounding. In 2002, she was taken captive by the Colombian guerrilla group the FARC and held in the dense Amazon jungle as a political hostage for six long years. Every page of this book brings you deeper into the jungle, so much so that every time I looked up from reading I had to remind myself I was not trapped in the Amazon, I was not held captive... Her eloquence brings the deprivation, the hostility, the fear, the squabbling, and the suffocation of the jungle to life. She is at times precise, at times poetic, but never maudlin or over-dramatic. The story speaks for itself, and she allows the events to unfold with natural grace. She is often self-critical when describing the arguments and tensions that arose between the hostages, who spent months and years in forced proximity. Eventually Ms. Betancourt was isolated from the other hostages, and one can only imagine the psychological torture of being chained, being denied permission to speak or even wave to the other prisoners, some of whom had become close friends. This is not a political account, nor is it a settling of scores, it is simply a story of survival under the worst possible circumstances. I cannot imagine feeling anything but awe for this woman. 

Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle [Kindle Edition]

 

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