Three young Americans captured by Iranian forces and held in captivity for two years tell their story.
In summer 2009 Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourdwere hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan when they unknowingly crossed into Iran and were captured by a border patrol. Accused of espionage, the three Americans ultimately found themselves in Tehran's infamous Evin Prison, where they discovered that pooling their strength of will and relying on each other were the only ways they could survive.
In this poignant memoir, "the hikers" finally tell their side of the story. They recount the deception that lured them into Iran in the first place and describe the psychological torment of interrogation and solitary confinement. We follow them as they make surprising alliances with their fellow prisoners and even some of their captors, while their own bonds with one another are tested and deepened. Told through a bold and innovative interweaving of the authors' three voices, here is a rare glimpse inside Iran and a timeless portrayal of hardship and hope.
This book is written by the three American Hikers arrested by Iran in 2009 for crossing into Iran while hiking. Bauer and Shourd were living in Damascus attending university. Fattal was a journalist friend who came to visit. They decided to take a weekend trip to a popular vacation area for visitors to the Middle East, in Iraq’s Kurdish area which is untouched by the war. They make a point in the book of saying they did not knowingly cross the border of Iran, a soldier waved them to him and they walked over to see what he wanted and that was when they cross over. They were taken to Tehran’s Evin prison and were accused of illegal entry and espionage. The book gives an excellent account of their life in the Prison and of the interrogations they underwent. They were held in solitary confinement but treated better than the other prisoners. Eventually the Bauer and Fattal were placed together in a cell but Shourd remained in isolation for 13 months before she was released. Bauer ant Fattal remained in isolation in the prison for another year before they were released. They say the isolation was the most difficult part of the stay; it took away means of measuring their existence in relationship to time, events, or people and the self lost caused depression, paranoia, and anger. The anger about being a toy of international and internal politics comes across in the book very clearly. They also felt the United States did nothing to obtain their release. Instead they give the credit for their release to the Sultan of Oman who’s envoy did the negotiations as well as paid the million dollar fine and flew to Iran to bring them to Oman. They also give credit to the head of Iraq’s Kurdistan and Switzerland for their help in obtaining their release. The book is divided into segments with each writer telling their story. Over all the story is interesting about what they did to survive in the prison, and what their families did to obtain their release. If they did not have families fighting for them they would still be in prison. What kept going through my mind while reading the story was this could have happened to me or any tourist on vacation. The book was narrated by Michael Goldstein, Julia Whelan and Tristan Morris.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. This book is the chronicle of three Americans who were lured across the Iranian border and sent to prison - 1 year for Sara, two years for Josh and Shane. Their complex relationship with each other, the pain, frustration and deprivations of prison, and their resillience in matters both emotional and physical was displayed in full in this chronicle.
What did you like best about this story?
The perspective that prison forced them to adopt. It was complex and gripping.
What about the narrators’s performance did you like?
The narrators for Shane and Josh were much better than the narrator for Sarah.. For some reason, her male voices were grating and annoying, and her "accents" were nonexistent. The male narrators were much more emotive and with better accents.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Yes. This book scared me, made me angry, and astounded me with the wonder of little thigns that constitute freedom.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
The people reading it. The Farsi accents were so bad I'm sure the actual people they are supposed to be reading for had better Farsi accents
I liked it in the end. I knew they were not my kind of people so who they were frustrated me greatly. The story was fascinating and I enjoyed the second half of the book immensely. Very interesting perspective.
Truly Amazing! Easily one of the best top 3 or 4 books I've listened to through Audible.com. The Structure of the book, the Narrators, and the story itself combines into such a gripping, honest, open and heart-full story of truth.
Don't judge too quickly on who's the good guys and who's the bad guys.
There are moments of God Everywhere at any time.
Thank you for such a wonderful listen.