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The Price of Life
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The Price of Life

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In August 2008 Bundaberg photojournalist Nigel Brennan travels to Somalia, along with Canadian reporter Amanda Lindhout. What happens next could happen to anyone.

You have a brother with a taste for adventure, who you haven't heard from in a while. You get a phone call on a Sunday morning from a journalist telling you he's been kidnapped and held hostage for money – a lot o
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 27th 2011 by Penguin Group Australia (first published 2011)
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Lisa
I read Amanda Lindhout's A House in the Sky and wanted to see Nigel's point of view as well.
I did enjoy the book, but I felt that the point of view from his sister and sister-in-law was a bit tedious. I felt that we got every single tiny piece of the negotiations, and all of the abbreviations and the way it read was starting to hurt my brain. I felt like I was reading a diary of every detail of their life. I had a hard time following their story at times. Plus, I absolutely fell in love with Am
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Loumelc
I would give this book at most three out of five. It was well written but delved far too deeply into the intricate details of the extraction. All of the minute details, every phone call, comment, email etc etc when bargaining with the hostages was too much.

I think it focused far too much on that and not on the true feelings of the family members and Nigel & Amanda.

Frequently family members expressed their annoyance at Nigel and they were right. This man behaved extremely irresponsibly. As ev
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Marianne71
First of all I want to address the so-called critics of Nigel's decision to go to Somalia. The man went through hell and I'm sure he has punished himself enough for what he and his family had to go through. The man was almost in tears and was full of remorse for what his family had experienced, which showed in one of his first public interviews. Enough is enough, and we should show support for Nigel, Amanda and their families instead of petty criticism.

I enjoyed the book, even though some of the
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Courtney Bates-Hardy
Regarding the book itself: they needed a better editor and proofreader. A lot of the sisters' writing could have been edited down or taken out entirely. I caught multiple spelling mistakes and errors that any proofreader worth his/her salt should have caught.

Regarding the story: I was interested in hearing Nigel's side of the story after reading Amanda Lindhout's account in her book: A House in the Sky. While Nigel seemed empathetic and understanding of Lindhout's experience, I was appalled at h
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Philipc
Synopsis: Wanna-be photojournalist ignores warnings and travels to Somalia in search of the big break-through that will kick-star his career. There he's kidnapped (predictably) and told to cough up a huge ransom. He can't (predictably), and so calls n the Australian taxpayer (whom he refers to throughout as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) to cough on his behalf. DFAT tells him the facts of life, and so he writes this book to get even and to kick-start his career. Except the book is ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
To read: reading Amanda Lindhout's memoir. Nigel often doesn't come across well so I'm interested in hearing his side.
Craig Berkman
The strength of this book is in the collaboration between Nigel, Nicky and Kellie to get it written, and to tell the story of that 15 months from their different perspectives. The change of scenes and action and emotions makes it a page-turner. It also shows the disconnect between what Nigel and Amanda were experiencing and what the family DIDN'T KNOW about what they were experiencing.

People have criticised Nigel for going to Somalia in the first place and that may be valid. Even his sister and
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Danica Loewen
After reading 'A House in the Sky', I was excited to read about the kidnapping from Nigel's point of view. I knew that the other book probably had some bias towards certain people at certain parts, so I was ready to see things from another perspective. Unfortunately, this book dealt a lot more with the behind the scenes aspects than the actual happenings in Somalia. While at the start it was interesting seeing the families perspective, it did grow extremely tedious and I have to admit to skimmin ...more
Cynthia Sillitoe
I found this frustrating. I loved Amanda's book. I enjoy the sections from Nigel's point of view. But keeping track of Nigel's relatives is harder than keeping track of the Somalis. And the fact that there's so much slang and so many abbreviations doesn't help. The negotiators are called the "negs" for instance. Or there's a reference to getting another POL, which I finally figured out was proof of life. Too much minutia and at the same time, some things aren't explained well enough. So, it's an ...more
Michelle Bell
An interesting read after reading A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindout. I found this book to be more compelling but perhaps only because I had the details from the other book. Both books speak to the human spirit and the capacity of the mind and positive thinking.
Barbara
Amanda and Nigel, journalists, were both kidnapped in Somalia and held hostage for 15 months. After reading Amanda's book, A House in the Sky, I learned that Nigel wrote a book about his experience a couple years before Amanda's book came out. I decided to read Nigel's book since I wanted to hear his perspective. Nigel's book, "The Price of Life" was co-authored by Nigel and his sisters. Nigel's sisters were involved in negotiating with the terrorists who were holding him hostage. His book inclu ...more
Jen McLeod
The only explanation I can come up with for the horrendous state of this book is that Nicky treated the editors and publishers as poorly as she treats everyone else.

I read Amanda Lindhout's account first, and it was certainly a higher caliber of publication of this. She gave a lot more context for the situation they were in, and her descriptions of captivity were heart-wrenching. It left my whole book club interested to know how Nigel's experience differed, and Nigel's parts of this book are goo
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Ruth Barnes
After reading A House in the Sky, I had to read this book.
Although it is written in a journal style and by two different authors; events from their perspective including Nigel's; it's spell binding!
I found all the abbreviations difficult to follow and finally gave up on most of them. Also a few characters come and go ... not sure where from or where to ... but ... it's fine.
It is an amazing journey, truly inspiring!
Written by ordinary people doing the extraordinary!
Thinking about it and coupl
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Anne-Marie Hodge
It's normal for a book to have a typo here or there, but the sloppiness of this book is absolutely shameful. The narrative clings to coherency by a thread: there are many obscure idioms and inside-joke phrases thrown around, lots of names used with little explanation of who they're referring to, and in general the description of the hostage negotiations are very breathless and stream-of-consciousness. I'm sure that's how it felt for the people involved, but it makes for a very frustrating read w ...more
Haze Fan
Having known some general clues of the kidnapping story, I started the breath-holding read with a great longing for all the details on Nigel’s incredible experience as a journalist held hostage in Somalia and what his family went through before getting him released. And the book doesn’t let me down from the first minute I got my hand on it. Rather than beginning with Nigel’s part, the story is unfolded empathetically with the scenario in the family when Kellie received the phone call saying Nige ...more
Linda
After reading Amanda Lindhout's House in the Sky, I was curious as to how Nigel Brennan would depict the same events. Nigel's story is not as well-written as Amanda's but I found it an honest and moving depiction of his long and brutal captivity. He and Amanda clearly have some degree of alienation with one another at this point in time, which is kind of sad, given what they went through together, but, possibly understandable, given the family dynamics that played out in the long campaign to hav ...more
Cheryl
I read this book after reading Amanda's book A Place in the Sky. Amanda goes more into detail about what happens during the days her and Nigel were kidnapped in Somalia and explains in great detail what happened during their time in captivity. This book focuses mainly on the families negotiations with the kidnappers/Canadian/Australian government to try to get Amanda and Nigel free. Since it was written by Nigel's family it mostly deals with what his family endured, their frustrations with Amand ...more
Brenda
Brennan's book, a companion to Amanda Lindhout's book "A House in the Sky," tells the story of the struggle to free Brennan and Lindhout from Somalian kidnappers with less detail to the actual experience of being kidnapped. The Australian scrappy family works with governmental agencies and others to secure the release of Brennan and Lindhout. Brennan's book engaged my interest in the Somalian kidnapping, yet the book described more of "life outside" of the kidnapping situation. I recommend readi ...more
Marijne
I had never heard of this book nor the story until I met Nigel Brennan and Nicole Bonney at a festival in Childers. I bought the book, and spent every single minute of my free time after that reading it. It is written in the form of a diary, and Nicole, sister-in-law Kellie and Nigel take turns in telling the story chronologically. Only in the very beginning of the book did I notice that there was a difference in writing style, but this disappeared soon enough. The result is a story that is taki ...more
Daniela Boksjo
Great book,entertaining read

I read this book after Amanda's "House in the Sky". Both books are very entertaining, I recommend reading both as they complement each other, and they're really hard to put down! I was curious to read about their ordeal in Somalia, and "Price of life" is a great recount . Also I enjoyed the sister and sister in law input. It made the book even more interesting regarding the behind the scenes ransom negotiations. I recommend the book!
Emily
Really good book and an insight into how the Australian bureaucracy and lawlessness doesn't mix. This combination causes much frustration for Nigel's family, but luckily for them the lapse in time does not equal a sad ending.

In the book I sometimes wanted to know a bit more about Nigel's situation and more so Amanda's when they were separated (though I understand her side of things may not be possible as I don't think she played a part in creating the book). There was a lot about what the family
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Rhonda
This book was written from three different points of view and I skimmed or skipped two of them entirely. Having read A House in the Sky I was mostly interested in Nigel's account of what happened, not so much the details of negotiating with his kidnappers.

I didn't find this book to be nearly as well-written as A House in the Sky, but it did offer some interesting and different perspectives on what happened to Nigel and Amanda in Somalia.
Tasha
I read Amanda's book first and thought it would be interesting to read about Nigel's experience. And it was interesting. But not nearly as well written. The sections that were written by his family were enlightening but painfully long and far too detailed. It made me skim their sections to get back to Nigel's sections. Love that there were pictures included.
Brenda
I really enjoyed this and the way it was written with the family members represented. I am glad I read the book by Amanda Lindhout first though. I think each of them, Nigel and Amanda, have to deal with their own "guilts" due to their decision to enter Somalia regardless of many warnings. It is very apparent though that that would not have made it out had it not been for their friendship. Each brought their own strengths to the situation.
Christine
Could definitely have benefited from a better editor, but it was a great follow-up read to A House In The Sky. It helped clarify some of the confusion I had around how the hostage release transpired. Would definitely read the Lindhout book first, followed by this.
Sampras
The writing style made it feel more real than when I was reading Amanda's book. I got more of an idea of what it was like for them in the 462 days. I agree with some of the other reviews that some of the parts about negotiating for their release became tedious, especially towards the end. I would've liked to read more of Nigel's story.
Lynda Hemsworth
It was interesting to read Nigel and his family's version of the kidnapping in Somalia after reading Amanda Lindout's book. Both very interesting and worth a read!
Sdancel
I enjoyed Nigel view of the events that happened. His family however, are looking for some to blame. They take it personal and attack Amanda and the Canadian government through out the book. Nigel is a big boy and he made really stupid mistakes, Amanda is just as stupid.
Juliette
I read Amanda Lindhout's "A House in the Sky" and wanted to hear Nigel Brennan's side of the story. I enjoyed the fact that it focussed more on what the family was going through and their struggles with how their respective government's handled the situation. Although the reader knew that in the end Nigel and Amanda were released, the roller coaster ride the family endured was mind boggling. I did get lost with a lot of the acroynms that were used, but in the end it was not really pertinent to f ...more
Yvonne Boag
I'm not a big fan of biographies but this one had me hooked from page one. This is the story of Nigel Brennan who travels to Somalia with Amanda Lindhout and gets kidnapped. For fifteen months his family works on freeing them first in partnership with the Australian government and then they go it alone. It is an amazing story told from the point of view of Nigel, his sister Nicole and his sister in law Kellie. I couldn't put the book down. After meeting Nigel and Nicole I am even more amazed at ...more
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“Poverty and a lack of education are the tools used to manipulate their minds. They are in prison just like us, only their prison has more people.” 0 likes
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