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Publisher's Summary

The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.

Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists, in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded. Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden.

In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality that characterized the militant Islam espoused by David's captors.

In the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde's relationship and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great cultural divide - and challenge - of our time.

©2010 David Rohde (P)2010 Penguin

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What listeners say about A Rope and a Prayer

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • 12-31-10

A History Lesson

Not what I expected. The 11 hour book could have made a good 3 hour story.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lack of insight

With seven months in captivity, the lack of insight into cultural and geopolitical complexities was staggering.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Had high hopes but was let down

The reading performances were poor. Especially Mulvihill's. I can't put my finger on what they were both doing wrong but I kept wanting to give up. Whether it was their writing style or their delivery style I was struggling to empathize with their situations. The music interludes saved the production a few times.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating. Suspenseful! Thought provoking.

Where does A Rope and a Prayer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Listening to David and then Kristen read makes this an easy top choice for my best book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Rope and a Prayer?

The most memorable moment was the escape.

What does David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Their voices personalize the experience and position the listener to be a friend.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

David's observations about organized religion succinctly expressed my own thoughts and gave relevance to prayer.

Any additional comments?

The skillful reading of their story by the authors added significant value to this book as an audible.com choice.