What would you do if you were kidnapped in a foreign country knowing practically none of their language nor their intentions behind your kidnapping?
Would you - could you survive? Considering torture, unsanitary living conditions, and uncertainty of rescue or release...How long? A few days? Possibly even a few weeks?
How about almost a full year?
Roy Hallums did. As the title of his book alludes, he was even literally Buried Alive, yet his faith in God and his resolve to live and see his family again miraculously carried him through to the time of his unexpected and dramatic rescue.
This book is not one that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat with suspense, nor is it filled to the brim with him expressing his love for and faith in God. However, Mr. Hallums recounts with straight-forward, realistic honesty the tortures and emotions he and his stateside family endured throughout his 311 day captivity. Not just 10 months, to him each of the 311 days was unique and difficult in itself. And throughout his retelling of these days, from both his and his loving family's perspective, the thread of God's love and provision over them is woven. Though the story is in no way beautiful, until his blessed rescue at least, the tapestry of God's plan for his life is to be treasured.
In addition to gaining a better understanding of what goes on in all aspects of kidnapping in foreign lands, I was most touched by the dramatic rescue of Roy Hallums. It brought me to tears to read how our military men risked their lives to go in and save his and anyone else they may find.
"The first rescuer pulled off an American flag patch that was velcroed on the sleeve of his uniform and pressed it into the palm of my hand, which he clasped with a handshake.
'You've been rescued,' he said to me.
I hugged him and thanked him. To this day, I carry that little flag in my pocket wherever I go." (pp. 206-207)
During these times of international struggle in our world, this book would be an interesting, informative, and enlightening read for you. This man's struggle in captivity is not to be taken lightly as there are so many others daily who are enduring very similar circumstances, many without the hope of rescue. Let this book be a guide for how better to pray for those people and their families. It has been that for me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Imagine you are going about your business in a secure office building, about to have lunch, and all of a sudden you find yourself surrounded by men who mask and kidnap you! How would you feel this happened in a country where kidnapping was a booming business, where survival and rescue rate for victims were abysmally low?Buried alive is the story of Roy Hallums, who was a representing his company in post war Iraq. He had successfully worked in the Middle East for a number of years. One day he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is kidnapped. For the next 311 days he is subjected to beatings, psychological torture and a confinement that would make most men insane. But Roy prevailed. To date he is the only American Contractor who has been rescued. His story is fascinating and told with great detail. Even though Roy talks about his, and his familys despair, the story keeps a factual tone, thus keeping your interest alive. Roy talks about the observations and thoughts that went through his head while in captivity, yet he does not talk with the anger and prejudice he is entitled to.After his recovery, Hallum was on 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl. She seemed amazed that he could tell his story without any sign of post-trauma, and was sure he was ready "to crash" at any time, but he never did. That shows the true strength of the man, and it was fascinating to read what kept him going, and hopeful, during his captivity.I must read, I would say. If nothing else, after reading this youll feel better prepared to face adversity and come on top.
I have not read a non-fiction book about a kidnapping before, and I was worried that without all the drama and excitement added by the imagination of a fictional author, this book would just be a dull, factual account of life in captivity. However, this book is not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. Within the first few chapters I was drawn into the tale, rooting for the author, Roy Hallums, to get out alive. I was especially glad that Hallums did not try to glamourise his kidnapping, however I think that he did not give himself enough credit for surviving his experience in such good mental condition - he frequently mentions the fact that he is in no way the hero of the story, just the subject of a kidnapping. I think that the series of events described in the book is a little confusing - I think Hallums could have structured the plot a little more clearly, however so long as the reader applies their full attention to the book it is a good read. I would recommend anyone to read this book as it raises awareness of the problems of war, as well as showing the reality of a captive's fears and hopes. This book is published by Thomas Nelson, and I received a copy free from them in exchange for posting this review. I am under no obligation to make this review positive / negative.
Buried AliveKidnapped. Bound and blindfolded. Pistol whipped and beaten. Thus begins the 311 day ordeal of Roy Hallums, an American contractor kidnapped and held for ransom in Iraq.Hallums takes us (sometimes graphically) through the everyday life of being held captive by a gang of thugs in war torn Iraq. From the mundane, such as the daily diet, to the harrowing he describes the beatings which were given at times for punishment, at other times for the amusement of the guards and often for no apparent reason. Hallums includes some lighthearted moments such as the comical behavior of the captors as they made his proof of life video, with one of them acting as the director.He also shares the perspective of his family as they dealt with the lack of information, bureaucratic stalemates and terror of just not knowing whether their loved one was still alive. Understandably, the experience was horribly difficult on them as well.Hallums was finally rescued however, and we get the details (as much as allowed) of how that actually came about and how the plan was executed. For me, this book was a page turner and I enjoyed it immensely. I post these reviews as a member of Thomas Nelsons Book Review Blogger Program (www.booksneeze.com)