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Days of Fear: A Firsthand Account of Captivity Under the New Taliban Paperback – February 23, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933372974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372976
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,335,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

One of several foreign journalists abducted (or murdered) by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the author, who works for Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper, endured captivity for two weeks in March 2007. Believing he had arranged an interview with a top Taliban commander, Mastrogiacomo, his translator, and his driver were instead tricked: they were kidnapped and tortured, and the author’s companions were killed. Mastrogiacomo, by writing about this terrible experience in the present tense, flows through the states of mind it provoked: indignation at the Taliban’s deception, dread for whatever the militants intended, and, at times, a prayerful recourse to God. In addition to his own moods and fears, Mastrogiacomo memorializes those of Ajmal, the translator, and of Sayed, the driver. As the Taliban trucks the fettered group from lair to lair, Mastrogiacomo chronicles incidents––such as the sinister appearances of a jihadi cameraman––by which he perceives the approach or retreat of death. With its permeating apprehension, depictions of the Taliban’s mentality, and an author book tour slated for April 2010, this is sure to attract a significant readership. --Gilbert Taylor

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Daniele Mastrogiacomo (b. 1954, Karachi, Pakistan) is a courageous Italian correspondent for the "La Repubblica" newspaper in Italy. He has been an active reporter in the Middle East and in 2007 was kidnapped by Mullah Dadullah's henchmen inasmuch as the brutal Taliban thought that Mastrogiacomo worked for the British military. Once the Taliban found out that he was a reporter for an European newspaper, to release him they stipulated that Italy withdraw their military force in Afghanistan. As the Italian government stood firm, the Taliban made a recording of Mastrogiacomo, his driver and another colleague, kneeling and blindfolded before armed Taliban terrorists. The video also had a recording of one of his colleagues being beheaded by sawing off his head with a sword by Muslim combatants. This resulted in Mastrogiacomo pleading to help him....

I will not provide the ending and ruin the captivating, yet disconcerting story, but I recommend this book as a moving and revealing work on the mindset and culture of the Taliban.

Readable, interesting, powerful, fascinating, and unforgettable. Great book for a long flight or vacation read.
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Format: Paperback
Daniele Mastrogiacomo gave a chilling account of the brutality that he experienced first hand as a Taliban captive in Afghanistan. During his captivity, he also got an up close look at how the Taliban operates and manages to maintain its strong hold in a politically chaotic Afghanistan. He wrote the story in honor of his Afghan friends who did not survive the ordeal. It's rare to find books nowadays that are written in the true spirit of sharing an experience without that heavy commercial taint. Thanks to the translator, Michael Reynolds, for making the story available to millions of people who understand English.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lan Reader on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book describes the harrowing experiences of an Italian journalist under the Taliban. While the book does include several grisly and heartbreaking moments, it also provides invaluable insight on the Taliban and its leaders. Highly recommended!
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