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A much better book than might have been expected Brian Keenan s nightmare incarceration of over 4 years at the hands of some Hezbollah fundamentalist thugs in Beirut has given rise to a remarkable work of literature Keenan shows little interest in the politics of his captors, but considerable insight into their minds They are young, religious and sexually repressed They arebrutalised and diminished by the situation than the men they guard, and periodically beat This book is at times a A much better book than might have been expected Brian Keenan s nightmare incarceration of over 4 years at the hands of some Hezbollah fundamentalist thugs in Beirut has given rise to a remarkable work of literature Keenan shows little interest in the politics of his captors, but considerable insight into their minds They are young, religious and sexually repressed They arebrutalised and diminished by the situation than the men they guard, and periodically beat This book is at times almost unbearable to read, it brilliantly relates the static conditions of his captivity and the awful odyssey of his mind, how even the entry of an orange into their monotone world is a remarkable object of colour and beauty It manages a near perfect balance of narrative and reflection It also portrays the strange friendship which develops between the Irish socialist Keenan and the English public schoolboy, John McCarthy and how they use their humour and friendship to survive such incarceration This is a very disturbing and clever memoir I read it when I was very young too young, perhaps and Keenan s writing has stayed with me Amazing, heavy, shocking account of Keenan s life as a hostage in Beirut Unforgettable true story. I first read this book shortly after it was published it is an unforgettable account of brutality and the loss of freedom but also an uplifting account of hope, resilience and friendship Brian was kidnapped and incarcerated in Beirut and overthan 4 years moved to various hiding places The account of how he and fellow prisoner, John McCarthy were transported from place to place was both fascinating and horrible I found myself holding my breath through the ordeal with them Brian and Joh I first read this book shortly after it was published it is an unforgettable account of brutality and the loss of freedom but also an uplifting account of hope, resilience and friendship Brian was kidnapped and incarcerated in Beirut and overthan 4 years moved to various hiding places The account of how he and fellow prisoner, John McCarthy were transported from place to place was both fascinating and horrible I found myself holding my breath through the ordeal with them Brian and John became staunch friends during the time they were together, at times mystifying other hostages who crossed their paths over the years, with their irreverant treatment of each other In contrast are the passages about illness and beatings were the men cared for each other and kept one another going Brian Keegan writes with a beautiful and poetic honesty.This book is an inspiration I so admired Brian for his determination and humanity throughout and I still do Brian Keenan went to Beirut in 1985 for a change from his native Belfast He was kidnapped and held for the next four and half years It was here that he met fellow hostage John McCarthy This is an amazing read Brain is a man full of integrity and compassion and a quality writer I could quote so many passages from this book but one stands out I wanted to affirm that I was myself and would not allow my integrity to be taken from me by a surrender to what another believed or would make me be Brian Keenan went to Beirut in 1985 for a change from his native Belfast He was kidnapped and held for the next four and half years It was here that he met fellow hostage John McCarthy This is an amazing read Brain is a man full of integrity and compassion and a quality writer I could quote so many passages from this book but one stands out I wanted to affirm that I was myself and would not allow my integrity to be taken from me by a surrender to what another believed or would make me be Throughout the isolation, degrading treatement and abuse, Brian never lost his compassion for others We cannot know ourselves or declare ourselves human unless we share in the humanity of another Simply one of the best books I ve ever read It s stayed with me and it s impact hasn t lessened over time Just read it. I have read many prison memoirs.Comparing with other, this book is not as good as the previous.While I admire the author fortitude and resilient spirit under forced isolation and maltreatment for such a long period , his jailers were rather tame comparing with other jailers of other prison memoirs I have readSo was his living condition.So was maltreatment episodes he was subjected toI am only making a comparison.Any degree of physical pain and discomfort forced upon inocent people, any verbal a I have read many prison memoirs.Comparing with other, this book is not as good as the previous.While I admire the author fortitude and resilient spirit under forced isolation and maltreatment for such a long period , his jailers were rather tame comparing with other jailers of other prison memoirs I have readSo was his living condition.So was maltreatment episodes he was subjected toI am only making a comparison.Any degree of physical pain and discomfort forced upon inocent people, any verbal abuse and unjustified imprisonment are abhorrent I am not taking side with the abductors.They have hurted their cause greatly by not free Keenan sooner after they ascertained their prisoner s nationality.What in hell an Irishman has to do with the fighting between the Moslem against their adversary Mainly American government I didn t really impressed with his many poemsTo his credid, I think he possesses a well, cheerful disposition, a down to earth , humorous personality.He appears to still keep a child like innocence which helps him enormously in maintaining his sanity in the face of gross injustic heapping upon him Deeply powerful and evocative, a book that takes you into the soul of despair unlike and to the extent that no other book I have read quite compares or at present comes to mind while at the same time stands as a testimony to the indefatigable human spirit of the author, which hauls his mind countless times out of the mire, regenerating from within always a renewed sense of hope, rallying with courage enough to at times strike fear into his captors.This book says nothing about religion or q Deeply powerful and evocative, a book that takes you into the soul of despair unlike and to the extent that no other book I have read quite compares or at present comes to mind while at the same time stands as a testimony to the indefatigable human spirit of the author, which hauls his mind countless times out of the mire, regenerating from within always a renewed sense of hope, rallying with courage enough to at times strike fear into his captors.This book says nothing about religion or questions directly the existence of God Yet, to me, this gripping and fascinating account, Keenan s retelling of his years spent as captive, leaves you with an almost overwhelming sense of the intrinsic worth of being human, heedless of whether an afterlife or not awaits us at the end of earthly existence At heart, lies a compunction to beleive in the simple good of just living The book, exemplfies on the one hand, one of the two quotes chosen by that great novelist,Graham Greene his masterpiece, The Power and the Glory,lent to me by my friend Eric , meant I suppose as a suitable preface to his novel The End of the Affair The quote itself is by Leon Bloy, and goes There are places in the human heart that do not yet exist suffering has to enter in for them to come to be This book like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold says something that only those who have undergone those or similiar life changing, extreme experiences, and then emerging from out of the abyss, go on to give voice, thereby producing something without parallel.Of the three books I have read, the other s by Terry Waite and John McCarthy who suffered similiar ordeals, this is by far the superior recounting of what was for all a most harrowing and brutal several years time, an incomparable piece of stand alone writing that also as it happens, is beautifully written *Pdf ☔ An Evil Cradling ⇱ Brian Keenan went to Beirut infor a change of scene from his native Belfast He became headline news when he was kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi ite militiamen and held in the suburbs of Beirut for the next four and a half years For much of that time he was shut off from all news and contact with anyone other than his jailers and, later, his fellow hostages, amongst them John McCarthy I ve owned this book for 20 years ornow and finally felt ready to open it and read Just remarkable a work to remind us how expansive is the human mind, proving that cultural and religious education is directly connected to the development of the heart, in the sense that, early on in life, we have the opportunity to either help open that heart through compassion and universal inclusion, or slam it shut by demanding blind obedience to dogma, along with all the heart mind s potential fo I ve owned this book for 20 years ornow and finally felt ready to open it and read Just remarkable a work to remind us how expansive is the human mind, proving that cultural and religious education is directly connected to the development of the heart, in the sense that, early on in life, we have the opportunity to either help open that heart through compassion and universal inclusion, or slam it shut by demanding blind obedience to dogma, along with all the heart mind s potential for good and beauty A real life tragicomedy And just exquisitely composed, in every sense of that word a soaring, utterly compelling symphony created from Keenan s cries of pain and philosophical musings, mixed with the laughter of his resilience, the tender banter exchanged with his fellow captive, John McCarthy, and the music that is silence It s as if when you read, a light shines out, and you, in your turn, by reading, shine a light back into the soul of the writer, hence into the world reading as an act of solidarity and hope Essential reading, truly, and not in any sense outdated This wasn t a very easy read I ll start by saying that I started reading this book after I saw a Facebook comment claiming this is good literature I was intrigued as Middle East history and people overcoming struggles are things I enjoy reading about I struggled reading this book because it was very interesting at times but then it became very dull So I found myself pushing through the dull parts, hoping that it would become interesting again I feel like the observations about humans and cr This wasn t a very easy read I ll start by saying that I started reading this book after I saw a Facebook comment claiming this is good literature I was intrigued as Middle East history and people overcoming struggles are things I enjoy reading about I struggled reading this book because it was very interesting at times but then it became very dull So I found myself pushing through the dull parts, hoping that it would become interesting again I feel like the observations about humans and cruelty were enlightening There was something intelligent about this book, you can see they re journalists This book lacked backstory I found myself googling Irish history cause yeah, can t be expected to know that and I m still not sure I understand why they were taken and why they were released This could have been addressedclearly All in all, I m happy I read this book, even if it was difficult what I m taking with me Humans can overcome with defiance and kindness I can t share the sympathy Brian seems to feel for his captors John sounds like an amazing person