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The Price of Life

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  85 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 mon
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 27th 2011 by Penguin Group Australia (first published 2011)
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Jen McLeod YES!! Amanda's account is much more detailed, gives a lot more context, and is written from her perspective rather than that of whining relatives…moreYES!! Amanda's account is much more detailed, gives a lot more context, and is written from her perspective rather than that of whining relatives complaining about not having enough control in hostage negotiations.(less)
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Average rating 3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  416 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jen McLeod
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Courtney Bates-Hardy
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 a
Oct 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
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 extrem
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Anne-Marie Hodge
Nov 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Danica Loewen
May 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Craig Berkman
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
After reading A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout, I wanted to read Nigel's version but was extremely disappointed. I found his sister and sister in laws parts boring and irrelevant and started skimming through them. I also felt like the book could have been about 200 pages shorter :(
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not well written, but very interesting when paired with The House in the Sky. Always interesting to get two different views on the same events. After all they went through together, I find it sad that Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan are no longer in contact.
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.
Cynthia Sillitoe
Nov 02, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Don't waste your time if you want to get the other side of Amanda's story. This book spends so much time with his sister and sister-in-laws point of view that there is little to compare. Nigel writes short sections, but less than a third of the book. Otherwise we're reading the diaries of the family at home. Obviously they're stressed out, but it's just not interesting. The timelines are disorganized, the women ramble. The book needs some serious editing- whoever edited this book doesn't deserve ...more
Janine D'angelo-burg
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Amanda's book is much better! It was hard to listen to Nigel's relatives over and over - same stuff (much being difficult to understand if you don't know the lingo).
Carmel Turner
Apr 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookclub-2012

Really!! What do u expect if you go to a Gorilla state!!!!!!!
Haze Fan
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book after reading Amanda Lindhout's A House in the Sky. I wanted to read Nigel's point of view. I agree with a lot of the other reviews regarding the family member's parts of the book. I don't really understand the reason for most of the sister-in-law's parts at all because they were mostly about her catering business and a majority of the sister's parts could have been condensed to less than half of what she contributed. I would have liked this book more if Nigel's parts were more ...more
Barbara M
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Heather Watson
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
I would be interesting to know what I would have thought about this book if I had read it before Amanda's account in A House in the Sky and if I would have enjoyed it more, but without a time machine, all I know is this book was an utter disappointment and its poor writing was more glaring in comparison to A House in the Sky. To the book's credit, knowing *some* of the backstory about how the rescue came to be was interesting and helpful, but only after the contextual knowledge provided by Amanda Lindhout. ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a great book to read after A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. Though not at well written as A House in the Sky, The Price of Life tells the 'other' story, that of Nigel Brennan's life in captivity, from not only his perspective but that of several members of his family. The reader is provided with a true glimpse of the challenges faced by families in trying to free their kidnapped loved ones when most countries will not negotiate with terrorists.
Jenn Hailley
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
We'll compared to Amanda Lindhouts's book (for which she smartly hired a professional author to help with), this book is hard to follow, and not attention grabbing. This horrific ordeal was shown from both Nigel, one of the hostages, and his sister ans sister-in-law's perspective. The idea was great, to show the tediousness and complication of negotiating to get Nigel and Amanda back...but unfortunately the read was also
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Poor writing. This story was hard to follow and instead of simply telling a story about a harrowing event, the sister-in-law and sister who co-authored the book just sound like whiney, critical women. Pretty much hated this book.
Katherine Hunter
Jul 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
Nigel Brennan and Amanda Lindhout went to Somalia and were kidnapped for ransom by terrorists. The only people who were surprised that this happened were Nigel, Amanda and their families. This book recounts Nigel’s experiences while held hostage and his family’s as they try to free him.

This is a book that would’ve benefitted greatly from an editor or a better editor than it had. There are grammar and spelling errors throughout. Who is the target audience? Only Australians? Because if
Julia Kaylock
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having read A House In the Sky recently, I was interested in reading the same story through the eyes of the other hostage in the Somalian kidnapping of two journalists. Amanda Lindhout’s book was short by comparison, and essentially focused on her horrible experience, while Nigel Brennan’s is a weighty tome, that tells his own story, which matches Amanda’s story but fills in the bits she was not privy to. Nigel’s story, co-written by his sister and sister-in-law who were pivotal in his and Amand ...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.” 1 likes
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