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Buried Alive: The True Story of Kidnapping, Captivity, and a Dramatic Rescue (NelsonFree) Hardcover – January 12, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roy Hallums, a retired U.S Navy Commander worked as a civilian contractor in Iraq where his company provided food for the American army in Baghdad. He was taken captive in 2004 and was freed by coalition forces in 2005.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595551700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595551702
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. L Lamendola VINE VOICE on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a well-written first-hand account of one man's experience as a kidnapping victim in Iraq. Starting from the actual kidnapping, we accompany Roy through various locations until his release after 311 grueling days of captivity. Beatings, starvation, injury, illness, filthy conditions, sleep deprivation, and extreme confinement--Roy endured all of this and more.

Editorially and journalistically, this book is a standout. The prose was sparkling and error-free. The composition was superb. Iraq-related books are nearly always politically proselytizing, and this one isn't. The author gave a factual account of the events. The book doesn't have any agenda apparent to me other than to tell what happened.

We do get a glimpse of Roy's religious background, but the book doesn't have a religious agenda. Roy does express his gratitude for his rescuers (and rightfully so), but he doesn't shill for the military. As a reader, I wanted to know what happened and I wanted to read that without having to endure political or religious preaching. This book did not betray my trust on that score.

Roy provides enough detail at each step so we can understand how and perhaps why this or that event happened. For example, how does someone inside a reasonably secure building protected by armed guards get kidnapped from that building? How can someone be hidden away for nearly a year, in a place crawling with military troops who are looking for the kidnapped?

This book raises many interesting questions, just in the telling of the story. As noted, it also answers many questions. One question people have asked Roy repeatedly is how he managed to hang on for so long. We see the answer as events unfold.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story is an amazing tale of survival, both mental and physical. The circumstances under which Roy was held are absolutely horrifying. What a strong and inspiring individual he is!

Often these first person accounts by non-writers end up being stilted. However, this one reads like a novel - I couldn't put it down, something that rarely occurs with non-fiction.

It's a must-read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
AWESOME, AWESOME BOOK! I saw this man interviewed on the JEFF Probst show and I had to read his story. I am not one to read...never was but in 3 days I'm 70% done with the book. What an incredible story...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book about Roy Hallum's hostage situation is a real eye opener! The fact that he was "imprisoned" for 311 days by an Iraq terrorist cell is sometimes hard to believe - that humans could treat another human being the way he was, by being beaten and tortured. Even worse, he was forced to stay underground in a chamber under the basement in one of the terrorist's homes all that time, in the heat, dark and filth. There were a lot of times that they didn't even feed him and only allowed him to take bathroom breaks usually once a day while blindfolded and hands tied behind his back. He was with other prisoners off and on too, but they were not allowed to talk or interact. Roy's writing was very good and you felt as though you were with him. The whole purpose to taking hostages is to get large sums of money for ransom from the individual's company or country. I can see why the U. S. refuses to pay these, as it just encourages the terrorists to do more. Some of the other hostages were beheaded and tortured beyond belief and didn't even end up with the terrorists getting the ransoms they thought they would. I found it very interesting that to pass his time, besides his strong faith, Roy would take imaginary road trips through the U. S. and mentally "see" how the travels went. I thought that was a really great idea and really did help him through many bleak and long days. The government didn't keep his family as informed as I think they should have and I was surprised that there was not much help given to his family during their own ordeal. Roy Hallums has written a very interesting book of the true events he endured during his captivity. It is an easy read and not too long. I learned a lot about the terrorists and their horrible tactics to prisoners. They should not get a dime for having hostages !
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was very interested in reading this book, though I found it disappointing. Despite being conversationally written, the narrative is very emotionally detached, as one would expect the voice of a survivor mostly out of the grip of PTSD to be. Still, the story read flat, to me. I was compelled by Hallums' circumstances and the opportunity to read a firsthand account of the Middle Eastern war culture (ours and theirs). I don't feel like I got that glimpse, and I wondered if it was because someone ghosted the writing of the book with him? I don't know, but the narrative voice and feeling just wasn't there.

Hallums' details on mundane aspects of Iraqi culture are interesting, if not a bit laden with judgment. Maybe that's the outcome of being tortured--developing prejudices. The author's statement that Iraqis aren't big on having to actually work, which Hallums sites as the reason their government can't accomplish anything gives profound insight into not only his state of mind regarding Iraqis after his release, but possibly during his stay there. As an aside, I couldn't reconcile that judgement with his presence there to be part of relief work. With such remarks it became hard to distinguish Hallum's rare viewpoint from general western ignorance and stereotypes toward the Middle East and Muslims.

Morally, I don't care what his reasons were. From the standpoint of solid writing, he presented himself as this great helper, but wedged a few snarky comments about the culture he was helping, throughout the book. It broke the continuity of the overall story.

I like that the narrative tries to maintain the chronology of events, with Hallums'experience mixed in with that of his family. It read a bit oddly, as if he was interviewing them.
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