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Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle
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Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,399 ratings  ·  446 reviews
Ingrid Betancourt tells the story of her captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith.

Born in Bogotá, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violence
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Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Penguin Press (first published May 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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La Petite Américaine
Dec 13, 2013 La Petite Américaine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The very careful and skeptical
Shelves: auto-bios-etc, rants
So, let's talk about this book.

First, a little background about the story: it is the memoir of Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian senator who was running for president of that country when she was kidnapped by FARC guerrillas and held captive for 6 years. She lived through sheer hell, from infighting among her fellow hostages to swarms of biting jungle insects, marches during life-threatening illnesses through the never-ending Amazon, and sitting for months at a time with her neck chained to a tree.
...more
Trish
As an example of its type, the hostage memoir, this book will go down as one of the best. It is a towering achievement to have conceived and written a book like this after one's release, for as fellow captive Clara Rojas wrote in her memoir Captive: 2,147 Days of Terror in the Colombian Jungle, "going back isn't easy", even in one's mind, to remember and relive the period of captivity. However, the level of detail about one's daily life in the Amazon jungle is patently fascinating, even to those ...more
Veronica
After everything that's been said about Ingrid Betancourt, I was curious to read this. It is a long book (it certainly could have been shorter by 100 pages or so) but I found it compelling, the kind of book I think about even when I’m not reading it. There’s so much I could say about this book and my reaction to it, so this will be a long and rambling review. If you can’t be bothered with my review, my bottom-line recommendation is read the book, and make up your own mind.

Betancourt evokes the c
...more
Micaela
While this is a very interesting story, and one that everyone should know about, the writing is so long-winded that I could hardly finish the thing.

It is unfortunate that the story is so convoluted that I could barely keep a time line in my head. You would think it would be as simple as "I got caputred and then this stuff happened to me and then I was rescued" with maybe some flashbacks tossed in. No. She jumps from one year to another and back again unneccessarily.

It seemed, especially after I
...more
Josephine
You spend a little over six years in captivity in the Colombian jungle together — tortured, sick, and hopeless — and you’d think that, once you’re free, all you’d really care about is the fact that the nightmare has finally come to an end.

But, in a day and age where surviving an especially shitty chapter in your life almost requires that you write a memoir to forever document this painful period in your life, it’s really no surprise to find a book like Ingrid Betancourt’s “Even Silence Has An E
...more
Shannon
This was a very difficult book to read. The details of the author's years in captivity were so horrifying, sometimes I had to pretend I was reading fiction because the notion that it was a memoir was tough to accept. I thought about putting the book down many times and not finishing it, but I plowed through to the end becauase I figured I would learn valuable lessons from the reading experience. These are the insights I gained:

1)I was already against drugs before, but now that I've realized some
...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
This is a very good read. Reading it, one can gain insight into what long term confinment and living for years with the threat of danger, punishment or death hanging over your head can do to you. You don't have to be a POW to develop PTSD and other acute anxiety and trauma related problems. This is also a story of courage. Many people have momentary courage that burns out as fast as it comes. So few understand that there really are places and times in peoples lives that just getting out of bed i ...more
Josephine Merkle
Sep 24, 2010 Josephine Merkle marked it as to-read
This is the Amazon review of this book. I heard an interview with the author on NPR on 9/24/10 and can't wait to read the book.

Ingrid Betancourt tells the story of her captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith.

Born in Bogotá, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violenc
...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
What's the story?:

From Goodreads: "Born in Bogotá, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. In 2002, while campaigning as a candidate in the Colombian presidential elections, she was abducted by the FARC. Nothing could have prepared her for what came next. She would spend the n
...more
Jessica
A thoroughly engaging, beautifully written account of what presidential candidate Betancourt underwent as a hostage for six years in the Amazonian jungle, often chained by the neck by the guerrilla terrorist organization, the FARC. Betancourt takes us into her mind as she undergoes indignity and deprivation, attempts several escapes (unsuccessfully) and yet somehow manages to keep her heart and head in tact, and increasingly, her newborn faith. Her carefully, even elegantly, written memoir is fa ...more
Sunshine
I have never been more hesitant to review a book as I am Even Silence Has and End. While Ms. Betancourt's trial is one of ghastly details, I found myself confused as to her actions at times with regard to her captors. It is obvious Ms. Betancourt must have been born and raised in rather affluent life style for her to be so unnerved by some of things she encountered in the Amazon jungle. So, I will reserve judgment on this particular piece. I believe I am lacking a cultural/socio-economic/politic ...more
Tarah
The book is really well written, and this is a powerful story, but I came away sort of not liking Betancourt nonetheless. It becomes subtly clear that she feels a sense of entitlement, but when her co-captors begin to react with real anger, she is completely baffled by their responses.

Who knows how any one of us would act in a similar situation - I don't want to judge her. But I ended the book feeling that she was being dishonest - at least with herself, if not intentionally with the reader.
Rasha Anwar
This no doubt is one of the best books i have ever laid my hands on...so good and inspiring i'd read it again and again.
Trish
As an example of its type, the hostage memoir, this book will go down as one of the best. It is a towering achievement to have conceived and written a book like this after one's release, for as fellow captive Clara Rojas wrote in her memoir Captive, "going back isn't easy", even in one's mind, to remember and relive the period of captivity. However, the level of detail about one's daily life in the Amazon jungle is patently fascinating, even to those of us who have no intention of spending any t ...more
Kathleen
What a heartbreaking story...when you hear about people abducted and held captive, it seems to be a natural human inclination to think to yourself "well, there must be something about that person that makes them deserve to be help prisoner." I feel I've been guilty of this myself, despite my intense following of Amnesty International, and my attempts to educate myself. I think we do this because it is so overwhelming to think about the suffering that happens to innocent people; this book, the st ...more
Noor
After reading this memoir, I have a lot of respect for Ingrid Betancourt. It provided insight into what led to her capture by the FARC, and also her character. I know that three fellow American hostages wrote their own book (Out of Captivity) which painted a negative portrait of Ingrid, but I'm unsure as to who to believe. Yes, I don't doubt that Ingrid at times acted arrogant (she admitted so herself). On the other hand, I'm SURE that these same Americans acted in a brutish manner also. Ingrid' ...more
Sharon
This book had such an effect on me that when I awoke through the night,I found that I had Ingrid on my mind, thinking about her struggles to survive her ordeal in the Colombian jungle as though she was still there and not actually free. Ingrid Betancourt,born in Colombia in 1961, raised in France and England, was campaigning for the Colombian presidency in February,2002, when she was abducted by the FARC. They are a brutal terrorist guerrilla organization and they held her hostage along with man ...more
Louise
Story Description:

Penguin Press(HC) | September 21, 2010 | Hardcover | ISBN: 978-1-59420-265-0

Ingrid Betancourt tells the story of her captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings of resilience, resistance, and faith. Born in Bogota, raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt at the age of thirty-two gave up a life of comfort and safety to return to Colombia to become a political leader in a country that was being slowly destroyed by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of
...more
Crystal
In February 2002, Betancourt, a senator running for president of Colombia, was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. A dual Colombian-French national, she is honored in France as a courageous activist who took great risks in the pursuit of peace but provokes controversy in Colombia.
Even Silence Has an End is Betancourt's incredible story of her survival. She fought humiliation, abuse, starvation, and lack of medical care during her captivity. Several times Betancourt
...more
Maggie
I just finished this book of over 500 pages in a 2 day sitting. From the moment I opened this book, I was absolutely riveted. Betancourt is a beautiful writer, with a beautiful spirit and strong mind. This was by far the best book I've read in a LONG time, and I found myself crying tears of joy, sadness and triumph along with her every step of the way. I don't even know what else to say that would do this book justice, but I know I will be recommending it for years to come. My only complaint abo ...more
Maurice Conchis
Historien om en frank/columbiansk politken, der dummer sig og bliver taget til fange af FARC.

Det meste af bogen går med at beskrive grønne grene og flytninger til nye lejre. Men også hendes gentagne mislykkede forsøg på at flygte, hvor jeg flere gange blev forundret over, hvor uigennemtænkt hendes handlinger var, hvilket aldrig rigtig gav en mulighed for sympati.

Oftest virker hun selvretfærdig- og hævdende, og det var svært ikke at blive træt af hendes plapren løs om, hvor god hun var - alt til
...more
Alisa
This was an amazing book. I was very inspired and challenged by her experience in captivity. I so badly wanted her to be released but I did not want the book to end. I would love to meet this woman some day.
Here's one of the many great quotes from the book:
“Having lost all my freedom and, with it, everything that mattered to me – my children, my mom, my life and my dreams – with my neck chained to a tree – not able to move around, to talk, to eat and to drink, to carry out my most basic bodily n
...more
Marlene French
Wow, what a terrifying look into the more than half a dozen years this woman was held hostage by the FARC in the Columbian Jungle. While I admit that as I began reading this book I was a little leary of the content being worthy enough to keep my interest, I certainly understand that sometimes getting the history so a story will make since sometimes drags a bit, no disrespect to her meant. I guess if a story doesn't grasp me quickly I unfortunately get too bored! So may I just say that I am so gl ...more
Mebhe
Ce livre se lit comme un roman d'aventures. On oublie rapidement qu'il s'agit d'une histoire vraie, celle de l'ex-otage franco-colombienne aux mains des FARC, monnaie d'échange politique. J'ai été happée par le récit dès les premières lignes. On passe de l'autre côté du miroir avec des scènes parfois surréalistes (les FARC et les otages jouant ensemble à des jeux de société, mais aussi faisant la fête!), quelques personnages FARC attachants (eh oui!) mais aussi la dure réalité de la guerre avec ...more
Susannah
A truly amazing book of one woman's strength and courage. From the moment I cracked the first page, I simply couldn't put it down - I was often so engrossed in it during my commute I'd stay on the bus longer just to finish the particular chapter I was reading!

The book is a mesmerizing report of someone who has lost the grip on her own course of life for a long time, but stands the test of time brilliantly. The style of writing is fascinating and, occassionally, even unnerving, with insight in hu
...more
Mom
Saw Ingrid on Oprah. Her sadness and pain is still evident. This is a gut-wrenching account of her capture by FARC guerilla's in the jungle of Colombia during her campaign to become Colombia's president. I read it in small doses, as her accounts of escape attempts, re-capture, personal loss and humiliation are exhausting.

This was an outstanding book, well-written, and heart-wrenching. However, I did feel a little bit of the ire that her fellow captives felt about some "special" treatment and ho
...more
Gail
I remember hearing about Ingrid and her kidnapping and time in captivity, and the dramatic rescue pulled off by the government. I knew there would be a book and it was worth the wait. There is a documentary about her as well - a very brave and determined woman.
Sallie C
This book was picked by a member of my book club. I have to admit my opinion is slightly jaded based on outside research I did while I was waiting for the book to arrive from Amazon. Ingrid Betancourt is a politician, and I could not help reading the book with the suspicion that it was as much a public relations piece as it was an account of her ordeal. It was truly an ordeal, and one worth reading about. However, it is interesting to know that Clara and the three American soldiers that were Bet ...more
Marísa
Jul 09, 2014 Marísa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy Inner Journey soul cruising
If you are expecting an externally detailed, rich recollection of Ingrid Betancourt's six and a half years of captivity in the Colombian Jungle - don't. Her story is detailed, but is centred on stages of her emotional state. There are absolutely beautiful recollections and explanations (almost metaphorical poetry) about her perseverance, personal growth, internal turmoil, thoughts and frustrations. The book is an "internal" recollection. She does not, however, elaborate on her 'dark' moments, bu ...more
Jess
This was interesting. It made me think about things I had never thought about before. I made the mistake/choice to look up this incident in the beginning of my reading and saw some comments made by some of the americans about her. It made me read it with a critical point of view. But I found myself agreeing with her or at least understanding her a little more. Sometimes I judged her, maybe in an unfair way, thinking that she was putting a spin on it to make her look better and perhaps making som ...more
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Class of 2013: Even silence has an end book review 2 5 Jun 12, 2013 09:53PM  
Even the silence has an end 5 45 Mar 27, 2012 03:04PM  
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Former Colombian politician, mostly known for being kidnapped by the FARC.

Was voted in the Colombian congress in 1998 and was kidnapped by the FARC in 2002 during her presidential campaign until she was freed in 2008.
More about Ingrid Betancourt...
Until Death Do Us Part: My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia Letters to My Mother La Ligne bleue Selv tausheten tar slutt Forse mi uccideranno domani

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“I was discovering that the most precious gift someone can give us is time, because what gives time its value is death.” 12 likes
“I am alone. I am here. No one is watching me. In these hours of silence that I cherish, I talk to myself and reflect. That past, entrenched in time, motionless and infinite, has vanished onto thin air. None of it remains. Why, therefore, am I hurting so much? Why did I bring back with me this nameless pain? I followed the path I set for myself, and I have forgiven. I do not want to be chained to hatred or resentment. I want to have the right to live in peace.” 7 likes
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