Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyOn a trip from Athens to Rome, Army reservist Carlson was one of those taken by the Lebanese hijackers of TWA flight 847 in June 1985. Flown to Beirut, then to Algiers, then back to Beirut, all the passengers suffered at the hands of the terrorists, but Carlson was savagely beaten and came close to death; another passenger was murdered. During two weeks of captivity, Carlson became familiar with the emotional immaturity of most of the Lebanese he met; in the case of his guards, their unpredictable mood-swings heightened the suspense and the captives' feelings of helplessness. Adding to the author's strain was the danger that he might be recognized as a military man, even though he was only a reservist. His succinct summary: Lebanon is ``a place you don't want to be.'' (May)
Library Journal - Library JournalMid-June of 1985 saw more Americans held hostage: the passengers of the ill-fated TWA Flight 847. Carlson, a major in the Army Reserves, details his treatment at the hands of the Amal (Shiite) militia in Beirut, after he survived a vicious beating on the plane, narrowly missing the fate of slain Navy diver Robert Stethem. Interwoven into his rather straightforward narrative are details of a secret, nongovernmental plot to retrieve him using an unnamed wealthy, well-known, and powerful American recruited by Carlson's brother. Although the U.S. government gets some hard knocks for its lack of responsiveness to the hostages' families, Carlson offers no easy solutions: instead, readers receive the unvarnished truth of the chaos that is today's Lebanon. Recommended for most libraries. David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz.
- Congdon & Weed
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