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Burned Alive

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,138 Ratings  ·  496 Reviews
When Souad was seventeen she fell in love. In her village, as in so many others, sex before marriage was considered a grave dishonour to one's family and was punishable by death. This was her crime. Her brother-in-law was given the task of arranging her punishment. One morning while Souad was washing the family's clothes, he crept up on her, poured petrol over her and set ...more
Paperback, 359 pages
Published 2005 by Bantam (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 06, 2007 Meaghan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Attention everyone: THIS IS NOT A REAL MEMOIR. This is a fictional story which was dressed up as a memoir, and the alleged author may not even exist. I was suspicious of it when I read it because the book described things which were, quite frankly, impossible. NO ONE could survive burns over 90% of their body without immediate and good medical treatment. For that matter, I doubt anyone could survive being burned that badly even if they got the best medical attention right away. I looked the book ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I honestly don't know how to rate this book. I don't know if it's a true story, nothing can prove it. If it wasn't I would give it a star and less if I could for using a situation like this to make money.

Souad is a girl born in a traditional small village in Palestine. Girls were worth less than a cow in the eyes of society. Women have no rights, they are only slaves of men. They can beat you, hurt you, kill you and no one will say a word. It is okay because they are men and the women must have

Kylene Jones
Dec 31, 2011 Kylene Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I am so glad I have read this book. I also do not believe it has anything to do with religion as much as cultures. What so many of us in the modern world seem to forget is that the rest of the world does not "progress" at the same rate. Women have had to fight to get our rights everywhere, it is much slower in isolated places like this. The women do not know better so they just accept it. Also, as another journaller mentioned, women are beaten and murdered here in the states. There are still men ...more
Jo S.B.
Nov 19, 2011 Jo S.B. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a book full of crap!!! I can't believe that people bought it under the impression that it was a real story based on real facts! It's obviously fiction, and not pretty good!

It was a major punishment for me to read the whole book, and was just hoping that it will finish as soon as possible. I would have thrown out the book way before half way through the book, but wanted to see what's the end with our Souad and her dreadful way of being as pessimistic as she possibly can.

Being from the Middle
Jean Sasson
Apr 19, 2012 Jean Sasson rated it did not like it
When I first read this book years ago, I was drawn totally into the story. I feel differently after reading a lot of other reviews and sadly came to the conclusion that perhaps this is not true. IF Souad exists, I wish she could come out and hold a press conference. Sometimes that is not possible, but I wish that she could do this.

However, I remind myself that whether Souad does or does not exist, such things do happen frequently to women in the world, and we can't let any disappointment in a b
Loveliest Evaris
Does this ever happen to you?

You're in a lull in time, bored, just thinking. And then your brain for no other reason than to be weird shoots a random memory or thought in your head. These little snippets are usually things like book or movie synopses.

It always happens to me. As an afterthought I was thinking about a book I read a few years ago about a young girl in the Middle East who was doused in kerosene and set on fire to protect her family's "honor".

So the day I am writing this, I was loo
Feb 09, 2011 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a harrowing book to read! To think that in this day and age people can act so barbaric and commit unspeakable crimes against loved ones is truly horrendous. I am so stunned at Souad’s story that I don’t feel I could do her justice by writing my own review. What this woman has been through is atrocious, frightful, appalling and extremely sad. I wouldn’t want in any way to shame Souad or make her feel that I said something in my review to hurt her feelings so I will leave you with the syn ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Cata rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emprestados
eu até que tinha gostado mais ou menos do livro até descobrir que são memórias falsas. Sou mesmo burrinha, tendo queimado 70% ou 90% do corpo é óbvio que ela não sobreviveria (dahhh :x).

Acho desprezível escreverem uma história bem pesada, cheia de acontecimentos horríveis como se fosse uma história verídica.
Jun 05, 2014 okyrhoe rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2009 Jeannie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even knowing there is a lot of controversy over whether this is a true story or not, due to this author bringing the "all too true" plight of oppressed Muslim women to our attention I give it 5 stars. That being said,I find it highly unlikely that anyone being burned over 90% of the body and receiving inadequate medical attention would of survived. maybe that part was exaggerated somewhat for the book (and could I blame her for that..what a horrible outrage) the rest of her story I do find belie ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Cindy rated it did not like it
Ok I am a little confused and gave this book a 5 star rating thinking it was true but have come to find out that most likly this is not a true account so I am giving it one star. If it is true then its a five star.
Souad hears of a possible arranged marriage to a neighbour and after spying on him, finds him attractive enough to start contact with. As she falls in love with him she reluctantly agrees to have sex with him and falls pregnant, to the disgust and shame of her family. They arrange to have her killed by covering her in petrol and setting her on fire and only the intervention of other women saves her life. But a future of agony and fear await her as her family still want her to die, and her only h ...more
Jan 20, 2008 Pera rated it liked it
Recommends it for: aktivis,
Shelves: novel, gender
Aku baru tahu dari novel ini bahwa ada budaya di timur tengah sana yang membakar anak perempuannya sendiri. benarkah nyata? masih tanda tanya bagiku.

Membaca novel ini memang bikin miris. Kok bisa ada budaya yang sekeji itu.
Namun menjelang akhir buku ini aku sedikit kecewa.
Novel ini kurang mengupas di wilayah konflik batin souad untuk hidup. Perjuangannya dalam mengadaptasi budaya yang sangat berbeda. Perjuangannya menjadi mampu baca dan tulis serta berbahasa perancis, dan....terutama kisah per
Ruxandra Ionita
Dec 05, 2015 Ruxandra Ionita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superba carte. Nu ma asteptam sa fie atat de buna si sa transmita atat de bine emotiile, durerea, disperarea, toate sentimentele si incercarile la care a fost supusa aceasta femeie.
This book was so horrible to the soul! So heart-wrenching, so tear-worthy, with a realistic view on a the life of dear Souad, who only wanted to be loved more than anything in the world.
I finished this book with tears sprawling, adoring the way SOUAD wrote so cleverly, so deeply, retelling the life which no one could have ever known without this book.

I am relieved to say that, as a twelve year old, I took so much away from this book; politics, the corruption of some families, and the lives that
Jul 26, 2011 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, before-2008
Okay, I don't want to seem rude, but I don't like these kind of books very much: it's always about a woman who falls in love with some guy, they have sex/run away together, she dishonor's her family acording to the laws of her country, he doesn't really care and disappears, the parents get nuts and try to kill her. All these kind of books seem to say the same thing over and over again. And don't get me wrong: these women really suffer and I actually think this is barbarian and something should b ...more
Dec 12, 2011 A. rated it did not like it
I was very interested in this book, until I read the reviews and realized it is fake! Why would I waste my time reading a fake memoir? Ugh.
I also found this: "According to the book, Souad forgot about the incident for two decades until it was recovered through repressed memory therapy. Thérèse Taylor, an Australian historian, has pointed out numerous medical, historical and cultural inconsistencies in the book that put its authenticity in doubt.

Souad claims to have survived the attempt without
Jan 25, 2011 Josephine rated it liked it
I stumbled across an article by Thérèse Taylor, an Australian historian, who debated the authenticity of Souad’s memoir by pointing out numerous medical, historical and cultural inconsistencies in the book.

She writes, “An important point to note is that Burned Alive is a work of “recovered memory.” None of the reviewers who praised this book found it worthwhile to mention, but it is a very pertinent detail. Souad did not always know of the events she recounts.”

The more you read Taylor’s article
Hana Candelaria
Feb 04, 2011 Hana Candelaria rated it it was amazing
A staggering number of women and girls are killed each year, by members of their own families, in a practice collectively referred to as honor killing. Common characteristics are the wide range of 'rules' by which females must abide (to avoid being killed), family agreement to commit the act, and attempts to make the killing look accidental. Souad (at 17) was condemned by her family when she became pregnant by the 'boy next door,' which occurred because she fervently hoped and believed that he w ...more
Oct 28, 2015 Shaikha.k rated it really liked it
"The shocking, true story of one woman's escape from an 'honor ' killing"

A truly heart breaking, heroic story of a Palestinian women who suffered a lot by her family due to customs.
She now lives somewhere in Europe with Antonio, her Italian husband, her son and her two beautiful daughters.

I strongly recommend it
Philip Howard
May 19, 2015 Philip Howard rated it it was amazing
Stunning;Powerful! How the human spirit can overcome. A wonderfully upsetting book that everyone should read.
Sep 16, 2013 Alia_ijm rated it it was amazing
It amazed me how Souad, the Palestinian victim of the so-called 'honor' crime, proudly disseminated her story, wanting it to pass from one country to another. The story of a girl who was punished by her own family for simply seeking 'Love'. Luckily, she received the aid needed from a Swiss organization to survive. Even though I found the book interesting to read, some details were unnecessary. The writer was a bit discursive in some parts. Yet, it did not really affect my curiosity throughout my ...more
Mar 02, 2016 Stefany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De la inceput a fost greu sa o citesc, pentru ca erau detalii din memorie ce se repetau grav, aceeasi idee in 50 de pagini, dar asteptam momentul culminant! Iata ca a aparut momentul culminant, plin de suferinta si cumva plin de dubii ca chiar ar fi fost real, aceasta fiind o carte-document! Atita sa indure un corp, o femeie, e cumva ireal, dar cine stie, ma las sa cred ca totusi nu e adevarat, desi e cu final fericit!
Suad este o tinara dintr-un satuc din Cisiodania, unde femeile sunt tratate m
♥ Marlene♥
Oct 19, 2008 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it really liked it
Finished this book yesterday.
I liked it but mostly the beginning.
I had a lot of questions and was interested in how she would cope in Europe, but suddenly she was married and such. It felt like big parts were skipped.

This book also made me angry cause right now we have problems with people from Arabic countries who immigrated to our countries but despise us.
Sabrina Rutter
May 18, 2009 Sabrina Rutter rated it it was amazing
Burned Alive is the story of a survivor of honor killings.
A truelly heartbreaking story.I used to own a copy of this book, but let someone use it and I loved it so much that I want to buy it again.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Be thankful if you do not live in the country where Souad grew up!! It's shameful how women are still treated in some parts of the world.
Aug 07, 2015 Caitlin rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2013 Meera rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book mainly focuses on honour killing and how Souad was burned alive just because she met a guy and got pregnant. At the West Bank, where Souad was born and raised, girls are not supposed to go out alone and are not allowed to look or talk to a strange man without being beaten or judged. A girl is also supposed to get married at a young age or she might be looked at badly by the people at the village. Souad was 18 whe she met her first love and got herself pregnant. Due to that, she was bur ...more
Nov 01, 2012 Badger rated it really liked it
A book that invites comparison with ‘Infidel’ though the characters could hardly be different. Ayaan Hirshi Ali is a sassy, sexy, well educated intelligent woman who wrote a deservedly best-selling account of her life in Islam, how she survived and finally won in a world where those qualities are prized. In her old culture she would certainly be a very long time dead by now.
Souad is heartbreakingly different because she even now remains a child. She began life in the West Bank in the late sixtie
Dec 11, 2012 Amna_M_240526 rated it it was ok
In the beginning, It felt like I was reading a story that was set in the pre-islamic era where they used to bury girls when they were just born. Because in Souad's village, if a mother felt like she didn't want more daughters, she would simply choke them to death when they were born, bury them alive or feed them to the dogs. Fathers were even worse, they treated sheep better than their daughters. A girl/wife would be beaten for as little reasons as not putting enough sugar in tea, or salt in foo ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Add cover: Upálená zaživa, Souad 3 11 Jan 12, 2015 08:41AM  
Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: Mariah hammer book review #3 1 6 Oct 30, 2012 04:19PM  
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Souad is the pen name of a Palestinian woman who is believed to be living in Europe. Burned Alive is her memoir.
More about Souad...

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“Something in me is broken but people don't realize it because I always smile to hide it.” 10 likes
“Although I am able to walk about freely, I am a prisoner in my skin.” 8 likes
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