A Rope and A Prayer

A Rope and A Prayer

A Kidnapping From Two Sides

Book - 2010
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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 characterizes 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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2010
ISBN: 9780670022236
0670022233
Characteristics: xvii, 362 p. : map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Mulvihill, Kristen

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modestgoddess
Nov 01, 2013

Very, very interesting, especially in that it gives a glimpse of the Islam version of the religious right. Very clever how they escaped in the end (that's not a spoiler - it's mentioned very early on, maybe even on the jacket flap, that David escapes :o). My one big problem with this book - and it's a doozy - is how ANNOYING it is to read. It's all written in the first person - no problem - but also in the present tense, which I find incredibly off-putting. I nearly put it down several times and I skimmed chunks of it. Still - the story is engaging enough that in the end, I put up with the style.

k
kjanowski
Mar 10, 2011

excellent story told by both David Rohde and his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, about his 7-months in captivity after being kidnapped by a Taliban chief. weaves in historical and current facts about the tribal territories at the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Enlightening and shocking.

debwalker Jan 08, 2011

A couple's seven month ordeal when New York Times journalist David Rohde is kidnapped by the Taliban.

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