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Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,779 ratings  ·  230 reviews
On the morning of January 31, 2009, Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist working in Iran, was forced from her home by four men and secretly detained in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. The intelligence agents who captured her accused her of espionage—a charge she denied. For several days, Saberi was held in solitary confinement, ruthlessly interrogated, and cut off f ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by HarperCollins
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Idarah
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, memoir-bio, own
"'Roxana,’ Bahman said gravely but quietly, ‘I know what this regime is like. If you fight it, you can’t win. These people are dangerous and have no pity for people like you. If you don’t do what they say, they will keep you in prison for years, and who knows what will happen to you then. If they want, they could hurt or even kill you.’"

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I remember picking this book off the non-fiction new release shelf of my public library in 2010 and thinking about how brave I was. I’d just started reading non-
...more
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

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Roxana Saberi is an Iranian-American journalist of Iranian and Japanese ancestry, who moved to Iran for several years while gathering materials and conducting interviews for a thorough book about the country. Shortly before she was due to leave, however, she was arrested by four men accusing her of espionage and taken to prison, where she remained for 100 days, under "white torture," where they used intimidation, threats, and coercion to
...more
Negin
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are truly curious about prison life in Iran
I would give this 2.5 stars, but am rounding up to 3 Stars - since I'm feeling generous.

As someone born in Iran and especially as a Baha’i, I was looking forward to reading this book. I knew the basics of the story. Roxana Saberi, an American journalist, the daughter of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, moved to Iran in 2003. She worked as a journalist until her press credentials were revoked. She continued to remain in Iran, while working on a book about Iranian society, which has yet t
...more
Vicki
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this one down, like many of the other reviewers. I remember seeing the video footage of Saberi as she was being held, and it was really interesting to see the other side of the story. I think probably the two most striking things about her story have to do with the other prisoners, and the irrationality and paranoia of the Iranian government. When we learn about the recent history of Iran through Saberi, the thing that stands out is how forcefully the government comes down on diff ...more
Tova
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
That was a tough book, I adored it on so many levels but it deals with a lot of difficult topics. It is incredibly painful to see how many people are denied freedom and basic human rights. I'm glad I read this and I look forward to reading more Middle Eastern Non-Fiction. This book almost made me cry three times. Roxana has so much courage and I am so happy that she was able to tell her story.

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Serge Neck
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I remember when Roxana Saberi was in the news. She was an Iranian-American reporter who had been detained by Iranian authorities, and the U.S. State Department was pulling diplomatic strings to negotiate her release. For many people watching the news, this was just another story of a reporter who had somehow run afoul of the Iranian government's inscrutable laws, and who would, after a few scary moments, be reunited with her family. I knew better. But I did not know nearly enough.

I had heard tha
...more
Jaylia3
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After six years of living in Iran, the country of her father, while doing interviews and research for a book she planned to write Roxana Saberi was roused from sleep and hauled out of her apartment for hours and then days of unrelenting hostile questioning in January 2009. Charged with espionage, she spent more than 100 days in the notorious Evin prison, sometimes in solitary confinement and never with more than a blanket on the floor for a bed.

Her interrogators pressured her to make false conf
...more
Cassandra
Sep 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
There was something about this book that was hard to read. The story was interesting - an American writer in Iran getting arrested and accused of being a spy for the US government. Between Two Worlds covers Miss Saberi's time in captivity as she is interrogated.

Even though the story was interesting, I found I had to force myself to finish the book. The narrator seems distanced from the events themselves which makes me feel distant from her story. The events are told in past tense and are constan
...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
As Albert Camus once said: to be free means not to lie. Be truthful to yourself, to your beliefs and convictions. However, sometimes a long journey to freedom begins with a lie - to protect oneself, to protect one's family. Just as Roxana Saberi did. And she fought through injustice to liberation.
An amazing book about one woman's determination, her fight with terror and the story of truth.
...more
Camber
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was fascinating on several accounts. First, the techniques used by Saberi's captors to intimidate and coerce her are frightening and telling. Near the end, she begins to see through their techniques and realizes that they are really all about power. I also found it interesting that the regime is so obsessed with maintaining their absolute power, and justifying their hatred toward America, that they will incarcerate people they know are innocent and force false confessions out of them.

S
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Marek
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's easy to criticize your own country and the way it's run when that's all you know. This story of Roxana Saberi's experiences in Iran sure made me grateful I live where I do and enjoy the freedoms I do.

Miss Saberi is an American citizen and she was born here in the United States to an Iranian father and Japanese mother. As an adult, she finds herself in Iran as a journalist. She lives there for six years and comes to love the people and the culture. But because of the hardliners who run the r
...more
lisa_emily
Dec 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, imprisoned
I read this book earlier this year. I found it riveting and I'm glad I read it. I've been very curious of different views of Iran- a country that has an important affect on world politics (not always for the better). What I enjoyed about this book is Roxana's humanity. She does not write a tome of her heroism, but instead she is not afraid to show her vulnerabilies and her fears. She also shows the absurdities of her captors- but more interestingly, she focuses on her fellow prisoners. This is t ...more
Anisa
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Roxana's ability to recreate emotions and situations was very strong. There were many moments that brought me to tears (of joy and sadness) because I could relate with how she was feeling in the moment.
I was so happy she spoke of the two Bahá'í women who she was in prison with. Her description of how positive they were and how accustomed they have become was very encouraging. These women are STILL imprisoned (for 7 years) even though Roxana is out. I thank Roxana for telling their story and rai
...more
Annalise
Fascinating look at an Iranian-American journalist's time spent in prison in Iran during 2009. She tells her story well; when I had to put the book down I couldn't wait to get back to it to see what would happen to her next, even though I knew she was eventually freed. I also liked her depictions of her various cellmates. It was very interesting to see this side of the Iranian regime. It can't help but make you appreciate America and the freedoms we enjoy (and take for granted)! ...more
Ed
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much that I ended up reading it twice within a short period of time. Roxana Saberi's inheritance of her father's writing skills coupled with her extensive education in journalism and linguistics, make her a natural writer at heart. Although over 300 pages, 'Between Two Worlds' is a very quick read simply due to being one of those rare books that's very hard to put down, especially if one is somewhat familiar with the details of the writer's arrest and captivity. Also, the ...more
Mr. Olvera
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Many have read 1984, more still know the premise, and most have at least heard of it. That said, what we might do if we were in the position of Winston Smith - the protagonist of 1984 - is not a situation that anyone in a right state of mind would submit themselves to. Now this is not to say that Roxana Saberi, who had entered Iran in her mid-20s as a journalist, did. She was, however, a sufferer of much of the same mental agony as anyone who is devoured by governments that do not value individu ...more
Isis
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an easy read, in simple, straightforward language and with a mostly linear structure which I appreciate after having read too many memoirs with ponderous flashbacks. Saberi seems very honest and real, if a bit naive and even selfish at first.

Early in the book she "confesses" to made-up charges that her interrogators pressure her into, which made me dislike her more than a little. I mean, come on, Roxana, you've been in prison for what, a week? Don't you have any backbone? But then she di
...more
James Kittredge
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is a breezy ready (I finished it in a day), but that doesn't mean it is without quality or substance. On the contrary, Ms. Saberi's book is an excellent example of personal, long form journalism. She details her experiences at the hands of her captors with humility, honesty, and, as far as I can tell, a lack of varnish. Additionally, she provides valuable insight into the socio-political climate of modern day Iran. This is the kind of information to which more Americans should be expos ...more
Haru
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you want to succeed in life, this book is for you. As long as you are human beings, you run into some difficulties in life whether they are life-threatening or a bit challenging for you. Roxana knows how to be courageous enough to survive any life-threatening incidents. Even if you are dealing with your business, big projects, school assignments, relationship, you need to have courage. Without it, your knowledge won’t help at all. The book is about what's happening in the world, especially in ...more
Wendy
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was just alright... It's an informative book, but I thought it was a little bland. Not that I wished she had been, but she wasn't physically abused in the jail, and she really wasn't in there for very long. I don't mean to sound insensitive, and maybe it's cause the last book I read was Unbroken (unbelievable true story!!), but this story was a little boring. Also, she never says what happened with her and her boyfriend/fiance after her release. Follow up could have been better, and pictures ...more
Linda
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
What a story! She went from being Miss North Dakota and a top ten finalist in the Miss America project to being a journalist in Iran and then finally a prisoner in Iran. This book is the story of her captivity and it captures the reader from the first. I enjoyed meeting her in person and hearing her speak about her life in Iran as well as reading the book! I recommend it to those who might be interested. (2010)
Ara Stepanian
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I really enjoyed this book, I was following Roxana's situation day by day, and always thought to what is behind the scenes of this story, and when I read this book, I could feel every moment of her life in prison, I can understand what she said completely, I am from Iran, and know how they treat their prisoners. I recommend this book to our fellows who like to know about other cultures and countries. ...more
Sara
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoirs, 2012
I recommend this book to my goodreads friends, eagerly doing so since this book is not only a testament to the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, but also a homage to the plight of the Iranian people today, whose rich culture, proud history and political situation are also touched-upon in this great work by Roxana Saberi without losing focus of the story.
Carolinia
Jun 26, 2011 rated it liked it
A book I have picked up and put down often. It is an enlightening and heartening read - well written. The subject, however, is not light and tends to rile me up as I read. Not a book for before bed or for a lazy day. Highly recommended for discussion and cultural, political information.
Susie Chocolate
Jun 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I had wanted to read this book since I was very familiar with the author and her reporting. Ms. Saberi was a regular contributor on NPR Radio and I remember last year, when it was reported that she had been taken into Tehran's infamous "Evin Prison". Having grown up in Tehran, I am very familiar with the macabre, high walls of that prison and since I was a child, we always knew that dark practices lay within, either during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi and his secret service (SAVAK) or after th ...more
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Maybe because I just finished "Unbroken", I found this memoir a bit vanilla.
Roxana is an Iranian /Asian woman who was living in Iran writing a book about the country. She was interviewing people of various walks of life, when she is arrested and accused by one of her interviewees that she was a spy for the US.
This book is her journal of her captivity and release from prison. The US get s involved, she staged a hunger strike, and her parents come from South Dakota to help.
She is released, and alo
...more
Mai
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over two nights. I couldn't put it down. Saberi does a great job of explaining the cultural, political and religious aspects of Iran in the context of her captivity. It also gave me a new appreciation for the freedoms and rights we have in the United States. ...more
C
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads, nf
A fascinating account of journalist Roxanda Saberi's 100 days in Iranian prison. Written without bitterness or recrimination, Saberi shows a love for the Iranian people and country of Iran while calling out it's corrupt leadership. ...more
leigh booth
May 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
very good so far,,,,,finished this book a while ago,,,,, it was ok, started out good then got not boring but just a little too long,,,?
Beth Pratt
Jun 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but in a way it was hard to read. Not that the writing wasn't good, but just the fatigue induced by ongoing outrage at the injustice of it all. ...more
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Roxana Saberi moved to Iran in 2003 to work as the Iran correspondent for the U.S.-based Feature Story News. She filed reports for organizations such as NPR, BBC, ABC Radio and Fox News and was working on a book about Iranian society when she was arrested on January 31, 2009. Saberi was later sentenced to eight years in prison on a trumped-up charge of espionage. In May 2009, an Iranian court over ...more

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“I envied her for her faith, which had kept her strong and helped her resist the same pressures I had surrendered to … This woman, I realized, loved God so much that she feared disappointing Him more than she feared death.” 1 likes
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