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Captive: The Story of the Cleveland Abductions

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  636 ratings  ·  73 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 ...more
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.
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. ...more
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 23, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a true crime book describing the Cleveland abductions of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. They were kept captive by their abductor from 2002 (Michelle), 2003 (Amanda) and 2004 (Gina) until they managed to escape in May 2013. I was actually visiting my sister in Ontario at the time of their escape and their story was certainly front page news while I was there. It was not still in the news, if indeed it ever had been in the UK, when I returned to the UK some weeks later.

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
Zahraa Alzaabi
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
It is my worst nightmare to be kidnapped or abducted by someone. When I first heard about the book I was interested but also terrified to read it, however, when I read it I had a goosebumps and my fear of being abducted increased. The story is very interesting and you emphasize with the girls, but, the book is very boring.

The writer didn’t include many important details about the girls story and the order is messed up it makes your head spin not like “Young Blood”. The writer has focused on many
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. ...more
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. ...more
Natalie S
Oct 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I can't say I enjoyed the writing, it felt like I was reading a newspaper, not a book. Also, quite repetative. However, it was informative and gladly did not speak in detail of the acts that occurred. ...more
Daniel Stern
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
For anyone wants to know more about this horrible crime you should read this!!keep in mind this book was wrote before (the coward who did these insane things to the 3 innocent young girls) Ariel Castro took his own life while serving time for everything he did.
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. ...more
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!

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Reporter for UK Daily Mail and tabloids on crime, paranormal, history, and the unexplained.
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