My rating of Buried Alive by Roy Hallums: 7 / 10
Buried Alive is the story of Roy Hallums, an American civilian (albeit ex-military) contractor who was kidnapped while working in Iraq and spent almost two years in captivity. The very material that is covered means that you will be reading about a unique experience. How many people can claim to have been kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents, and lived to tell the tale?
Reading the book is a breeze; I wrapped this up within a few hours. The narrative is in first person and flows quite easily. Hallums stays away from any sort of political commentary and focuses solely on his experience – which makes it so much more engaging for the common reader. It does feel at times that this conversational style of narrating events get in the way by becoming too wordy, but on the whole I felt that it makes the book better. I think though that the book has not been written by Hallums himself, as it mentions a ‘Audrey Hudson’ – so there’s a possibility that the book might be ghostwritten. The resilience of Hallums is beyond question though, for someone to be able to endure so much for such a long period.
Hallums speaks of the work that we was doing in Iraq, how he came about to be kidnapped and then about his time in captivity. At times, the narrative switches to how his family coped with the crisis. With these sections, you understand the pain of a family that is left in limbo – but at the same time the rational part of you understand why, for instance, media outlets did not give as much coverage as families in that situation would want, or why the government would’ve tried to kept things secret.
The only part that I felt lacking was the conclusion, which I feel was a bit rushed compared to the amount of print dedicated the events before rescue. Maybe it’s because of the timing of the book or a personal call on part of the author, but reading about how he coped post-event would have been interesting.
A unique book and a quick read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.