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Captive: The Story of the Cleveland Abductions

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  582 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In Captive: One House, Three Women and Ten Years of Hell, Allan Hall reconstructs one of the most shocking cases of abuse in modern times.

Hall reveals the dark obsessions that drove the Cleveland abductor, Ariel Castro, to kidnap and enslave three young women. Using interviews with witnesses, psychologists, family, friends, and the police, he shows how these girls remained
Paperback, 280 pages
Published 2013 by Penguin Group (Australia)
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Diane in Australia
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction-crime
This was published in 2013. The court case was in 2013. Sooo, that should tell you that this book was just rushed to print ... to make money, most likely. If you haven't read anything at all about the Cleveland abductions, then this book will enlighten you ... a bit. But if you followed the news reports, you won't learn anything new here.

2 Stars = Blah. It didn't do anything for me.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Too repetitive and long winded. Poorly written book. It gave me a feeling that this book was written without a proper interview with the victims. But was written based on newspaper clippings and Google search.
Debra Komar
May 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is why "true crime" gets such a bad rap. Gratuitous, pointlessly sordid - actually, just pointless. There is nothing here that is not already widely available on line or in the media, save for a few interviews "with the author of the book" ( mean you?) with very minor players in the saga. There are no references, notes or any indications as to the sources of the information. The reader is expected to just take Hall's word for it. Hall had written two books prior about other p ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was another book about the Cleveland Kidnappings written by journalist Allan Hall, detailing the horrible atrocities that the three victims had to endure. We get an insight into the mind and personality of the monster who perpetrated these terrible crimes and tortured and abused these women for years as well as the women themselves. Just like when I read Michelle Knight's book about her abuse at the hands of this monster, I struggled to comprehend that one human being could do these things ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have read and followed everything about Cleveland kidnappings. Was excited to read this...was bummed...this was information gathered from news.
Dan Smith
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great book by a man who has become something of an authority on abducted women. I read his others - Girl in the Cellar and Monster - and think this is the best, even though Castro is, in the author's words, more "low rent" than the other criminals he has written about. Hall has a good eye for detail and a reporter's nose for the truth. It is a very good read that should appeal to all lovers of the genre -ie, the monsters who live among us. Excellent.
Alex Rogers
Feb 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Very poor treatment of this story, could have been written by a high-school kid with some basic research skills. No particular insight, story-telling skills, journalistic integrity - just a repetitive mish-mash of emotive writing. Pity, it is a terrible and fascinating story that I'd like to know more about, but the writing was too bad to endure and I quit early
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
A look at the Cleveland Abductions from an author who has obviously studied this case and other similar cases pretty extensively. Of course this is a case that made headlines, and even in Australia we knew the basic facts, but there were many things that happened during the escape and after that I did not know. All of the background information made for an interesting read, and the author simply presents the facts without going too much into the mind of Castro- while that would have been interes ...more
Amy Maddess
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written & organized. I took away a star because the authour plugs his other books a lot lol. I understand self promotion, but you need to use sources other than yourself. ...more
Barbara Kinsky
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auto-biographies
I remember so clearly seeing this case on TV as it made enormous headlines here in SA about how the girls eventually managed to escape. I also remember saying, a book will be released and I will be at the bookstore to buy it! Traumatic but fantastic read! Cannot wait for Michelle Knights book to be released, called Finding Me.
Darice Yerkovich
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Really wasn't a whole lot in here that I didn't read in the news. But it was good.
Edgarr Alien Pooh
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Captive is the story of the three young women who were kidnapped and held captive by Ariel Castro in Cleveland, Ohio. In August 2002 Michelle Knight disappeared followed by Amanda Berry in April 2003 and then Gina DeJesus in April 2004. They were eventually found and set free in 2012 after suffering hundreds of rapes and assaults at the hands of Castro. Amanda Berry gave birth to Castro’s daughter as a result of one such rape.
Castro is currently in prison serving a life sentence plus 1000 years
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
i expect true crime books to be straight forward but i was surprised to find some issues in this - such as the claim that castro was lacking 'masculine discipline' from a father figure in his childhood, unnecessarily and repetitively calling women 'bitches', some victim blaming and probably the most irritating: applying responsibility to the neighbours and police to have prevented castro's crimes. first of all i think 100% for committing a crime is on the criminal. of course, bystander syndrome ...more
Julia Hague
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alfi Mukharamova
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn’t like they way this book was written.
1. It Was Repetitive. I felt like the author kept on saying the same thing thing, over and over.
2. Didn’t like the style of writing. For me, it was not descriptive enough.
3. Didn’t learn anything new. It’s like the author used “hey google” to write this book.
I expected more.
Clive Macmillan
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Too many quotes from people generalizing about the types of people who commit these types of crimes, instead of facts specific to this crime. I'm not really sure that the author knows too much about what really happened.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book. It's a story about a cruel man who kidnaps young girls and putting them through a living hell. I usually never feel bad within when I'm reading a book, but this one made me feel very bad, sad and extremely angry, all at once.
Carrie-Anne Parsons
I stopped reading about 2/3's in to the book. Just a lot of rambling, a lot information readily available online or in Michelle's book.

Constantly comparing Castro to Fritzl over and over .. just a bit tedious as the book went on.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book, but seems to be stuff that could be read in papers and does not go into many details
Maddison Rae
Got to the point very quickly of just wanting the book to end. Very drawn out.
Bonnie Duffy
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story of survival
Joni Doe
Jan 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Overly dramatic and fixated on judgement value of Castro; we know he's a horrible, awful dude. We're here for the story, y'know.
Roelof Strydom
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Allan Hall is a masterful storyteller - and although things get a bit repetitive, I was hooked from the first chapter. This is what true crime should be!
Tom mosedale

An okay book but was looking for something more along the lines of testimonies from the girls, still a good book.
Pauline Pickles
May 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama
This was an ok read, it didn’t tell me anymore than I already knew from searching info online. It’s probably a better read if you didn’t know any info previously.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
No. No. No. What a horrid book. Don't waste your time. I'm not sure what this book is trying to accomplish.... It goes back and forth between this horror and that of two other unrelated horrors that occurred in Austria. It is loaded with misinformation and crim 101 babble.... The author speaks of himself in the third person.... NO. JUST NO. Figure out what your trying to accomplish and try again please!

Carmen Hart
Jul 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was on display at the library and I've heard about the story so I was excited to read the book. I only got 1/3 of the way through because I kept feeling like I was reading the same thing over and over, and the facts were all over the place... Suffice it to say, I already have Michelle Knights memoir on hold at the library and will be reading her book instead.
Natalie Knight
All in all this was a good book however i found it a little dry it seemed to focus more on the life of Ariel Castro than on the actual captives in the house which is what I thought the book was going to focus on however I did not read the blurb on the back of book so that may be my fault
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
Captive is a true crime novel about Ariel Castro who had kidnapped three women between 2002 and 2004 and held them prisoner in his Cleveland, Ohio house until May 2013 when one was able to escape and turn him in, freeing the others. It was a huge story here in the United States and the story is still quite shocking, and amazing that the girls survived.

Allan Hall takes on the story in a very editorial way that begins with the Puerto Rican community and Ariel Castro's family and friends. Mostly f
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I was quite keen to read this. I remember hearing about it when the story broke, mostly I just remember the Charles Ramsey You Tube video. I don't remember hearing anything more about it really. I kinda assumed the case was continuing (you know how long some of these things can take). But then I saw the book. I didn't think there could be a book before the case was closed.

And so, right in the last few pages, I discovered that Castro had actually killed himself.

I was also keen to read it since I
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Reporter for UK Daily Mail and tabloids on crime, paranormal, history, and the unexplained.
Freelancer: Daily Mail, Daily Star, Daily Express, Observer, Daily Mirror, Daily Record, The Scotsman, The Age, Melbourne, Sunday Times, The Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, Sunday People, Sunday Mirror, Sunda

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