Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Captive: 2,147 Days of Terror in the Colombian Jungle” as Want to Read:
Captive: 2,147 Days of Terror in the Colombian Jungle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Captive: 2,147 Days of Terror in the Colombian Jungle

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  48 reviews
On a fateful day in February 2002, campaign manager Clara Rojas accompanied longtime friend and presidential hopeful Ingrid Betancourt into an area controlled by the powerful leftist guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Armed with machine guns and grenades, the FARC took them hostage and kept them in the jungle for the next six years.


ebook, 256 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Atria Books (first published October 6th 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Captive, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Captive

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  291 ratings  ·  48 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Captive: 2,147 Days of Terror in the Colombian Jungle
Nov 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
Clara tells us near the end of her book how difficult it was to write of her time as a hostage, which entails remembering details about captivity one would rather forget. I completely sympathize with the difficulties, not only of writing a book, but trying to get one's life back, and coming to terms with the lost years--all of it. But I only understand these feelings because I read Ingrid Betancourt's book before I read this one. Ingrid Betancourt's memories of her time in captivity with FARC re ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A quick skim-read of this short book. It's a pedestrian affair compared to Ingrid Bétancourt's Even Silence Has an End. Clara's clumsy schoolgirl prose is not helped by a very poor translation. If a respectable publisher like Simon & Schuster can't afford to pay a professional translator, they could at least pay a competent copy-editor to tidy up the results. I groaned as soon as I read the first paragraph. Sample:
Yes, to thank the blessing that's reunited me with my mother, with my son, Emmanue
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I read the original version of this book in spanish and was enchanted by how beutifully written it was. However, I believe that the description of this book in Goodreads is not true to the book, because it makes it seem like a terrifying story that majorly appeals to pity, when in reality, this story is a testimony of hope, courage and faith. It seems like Rojas wrote this book as a memoir for her son to read, and she does omit a lot of details regarding the context of situations that probably t ...more
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
I expected to find out about about the jungle, being held in captivity and read a tale of survival. This author provided me with these elements. Her storytelling skills are raw...though I imagine that writing this story couldn't have been easy.I think she should have waited to submit this for publication...until she was ready to tell the story using a stronger narrative thread.
Dec 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I was disappointed. When I pick up a memoir, I expect honesty and truth. I don't believe that the author's whole story was given. In my opinion, she worried more about how she came across to people rather than telling what truly happened and how she hoenstly felt.

All in all, I feel like I wasted my time and found it hard to even finish the book.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I am in a bookstore I have a tendency to just wander around until a book jumps out at me. On occasion, I will go to the bookstore with the intention of purchasing a specific book, but most of the time I just like to wander and see what jumps out at me.

That's how I came across the book Captive by Clara Rojas. I was wandering around the bookstore, drinking some wonderfully pomegranate flavored tea when I came across this memoir. I kind of run hot/cold on memoirs, finding some of them to be re
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this book because I cannot begin to fathom camping and hiking through the jungle with the heat and bugs and snakes and mud she describes. Then to be a captive for almost 6 YEARS is just unimaginable. Not being familiar with the situation in those areas or the why of her capture and imprisonment for such a long period, I just don't understand the guerilla tactics, it's not as though they were looking for a ransom. Over time, she was with various guerillas and hostages as well. The book ...more
Tess Tobin
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Clara Rojas wrote this book shortly after she was freed from captivity in the Colombian jungle. Having been kidnapped along with presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt by the FARC in 2002, she recounts her six years as a prisoner. Although this must have been a terrible experience, her story is very superficial and lacks depth and insight into the experience.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing story. I have no words to truly describe it. Finished it in a single day.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an amazing story about an incredibly strong an intelligent woman. Kidnapped and held hostage for six years in the jungles of Columbia, she endured more than anyone could ever know or begin to understand. Her bravery continued after her release in penning this important memoir about her experiences. A quick, engaging read - I finished it in an afternoon.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
CAPTIVE is definitely NOT captivating. I almost hate to say this, out of respect for the author's tremendous ordeal only, but this book is poorly written. Period.

The story jumps around, tends to be sort of generic and glosses over a lot of things, and she doesn't even give (most) her fellow hostages the courteousy of NAMING them. Furthermore, I find it ironic that her fellow hostage Ingrid Betancourt was accused (in the media) of trying to make the situation all about herself and treated her po
Barbara Geffen
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
Well, obviously not the same depth of analysis generated by the Biography of Ingrid Betancourt, and an election not to go down the track of a detailed analysis of captivity and the politics of inter prisoner relations and relationships with the Guards. I got the impression that maybe that was because of a certain degree of co-option by the Guards after having the baby in captivity. Clara said throughout her approach was to withdraw into silence rather than engage with either her fellow prisoners ...more
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: international
I had read the biographies of those who were held with Clara and was interested to hear her side. Clara's book was OK, not bad, not good. I think this was because her story is very restrained and she left a lot of information out that was a key part of her story. For example, Clara got pregnant and had a child in captivity and she chose not to disclose who the father was or their relationship in the book. While I understand wanting to keep this information private it left some pretty huge holes ...more
Paola Ramirez
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Paola by: my mother
I read this book in Spanish a couple of months a go and it put in perspective a lot f things, that happened in my country and that even today sometimes today it happens. When I read the book years, after the kidnapping happened, a lot of the details I remember from that time had fade away. This is a real story everyone should read to understand the reality in Colombia, but at the same time the reader has to have an open mind and understand that all the horrible things that Clara have to through ...more
Ray Pierson
May 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in autobiographical form, the story is interesting and informative. I had thought at one time that Ingrid Betancourt was beloved by Colombians, but I no longer suffer from that delusion. In OUT OF CAPTIVITY two of the three Americans pointed out Betancourt's shortcomings as a fellow captive in particular and a human being in general. Rojas, who was her campaign manager at the time of their kidanapping, was kinder but not by much. Pinchao in MI FUGA HACIA LA LIBERTAD was kindest of all, a ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Very poorly written. In my eyes Clara is very full of herself, how good she is, how kind and forgiving she is, how everybody she's in camp with is treating her bad. I've read more books of the people she was in camp with, like Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle and her story just doesn't show similarity's like the others did. The other books all describe certain situations exactly the same, however hers is completely different, and always in het favour of to pity her. ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a much easier and faster read than Ingrid Betancourts book. She didn't go into as much detail about the endless moving to new camps. But she also didn't answer the two questions I had after reading Betancourts book..."What were the circumstances around her pregnancy in captivity" and "Why didn't the hostages get along with each other" She wrote the book for her son, and I can understand that she wants to be able to explain everything to him when he gets older. She said she thought it wa ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I know some of this must be the translation, but the writing is poor. And it isn't ALL translation : the editorial decision to use a vaguely thematic organizational scheme instead of a chronological narrative really weakens the book, although it does heighten the sense that this is the scattered narrative of someone deeply traumatized. Even aside from the fact that Ms. Rojas declines to tell us anything about the conception of her son -- which, let's be honest, has to be what most of us wanted t ...more
Because I read this book in Spanish, I was helped along by having first read the other two accounts of Rojas' captivity, as chronicled in Ingrid Betancourt's book (Even Silence Has An End) and in that of the three Americans (Out Of Captivity).

Of course, Clara's book gives me a much better sense of her than the other two. What strikes me, particularly, is how humble she sounds, and how determined. This is not quite the same woman Ingrid Betancourt described, and she's much more of a personality t
Stefania Corti
Feb 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read this after Ingrid betancourt's own autobiographic experience. This book is very elementarily written, Clara is vague about her interaction with the other prisoners and her falling friendship with Ingrid, and we are not given any information about the nature of the decision she made to have a child in the jungle. Ingrid's book was a true masterpiece of poetry and literature, this one on the other hand was clearly amateurish
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very impressive story, that's for sure, but the way it was written made it difficult to get into the story, as I did not particularly like the writing style. The translation showed some obvious signs of being translated from the original Spanish, which made for some odd-feeling sentences in the Dutch version. If I were able to read the Spanish original, my rating might have been higher.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wanted to really like the book, as the topic is fascinating and unique. However, I think the translation from Spanish to English left some awkward transitions and mis-translated sentences, and the fact that the author refuses to comment on certain circumstances or discuss the specifics of relationships with other hostages left too many holes in the story.
Kathleen O'Nan
Mar 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
If I had never read Ingrid Betancourt's book about the same horrific events, I might have given this book two stars instead of one. It's impossible to not compare the two books and this one is decidedly inferior. Of course, Rojas' experience was every bit as awful as Betancourt's but she does not have the spark to make it come alive for the reader in the same way as Betancourt could. Our loss.
Poorly written and never explains her pregnancy during captivity. I learned more about her reading the books written by her fellow hostages! I am glad she is free, but don't waste your time with this one!
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
She was strange--but no more so than Ingrid Betancourt! Partly it's culture, I'm sure. And partly the politician's mindset (the world revolves around me). Glad I read all three perspectives--it's an unusual opportunity to do that
Feb 18, 2012 added it
Great tale of survival. However, she's not the best story-teller. Her story speaks for itself and it's captivating and interesting. Makes you appreciate life and also helps you to change your attitude about the way we lead our life. She's quite a character and an exemplar art human!
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If youve read other books on the Colombian political hostages (Ingrid, Luis eladio Perez , etc) this book should be added to your list. Clara Rojas takes you through her horrible experience as a hostage.
Irene Abdou
It is kind of like she went blank on some of the parts of her being in the jungle. She does talk alot about her faith and how it helped her get threw the awful experience but she does not give details of her experiences. It is still a good book to read.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • El juguete rabioso
  • Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)
  • Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3)
  • Crimen y castigo
  • El país que me tocó (Memorias)
  • A Girl From Schindlers List
  • La sangre erguida
  • Jaque al Psicoanalista (El psicoanalista, #2)
  • Violent Delights (White Monarch, #1)
  • Violent Ends (White Monarch, #2)
  • Persona normal
  • Violent Triumphs (White Monarch, #3)
  • Mi Fuga Hacia La Libertad
  • Embraced by Darkness (Riley Jenson Guardian #5)
  • Deadly Desire (Riley Jenson Guardian #7)
  • Tempting Evil (Riley Jenson Guardian #3)
  • Moon Sworn (Riley Jenson Guardian, #9)
See similar books…

Related Articles

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
60 likes · 40 comments
“Antes de que me secuestraran yo vivía esclava del reloj. Trataba de organizar mi tiempo de la mejor manera posible, incluso leía libros sobre ello.
Mi vida estaba programada al segundo. Al final de cada día, cuando regresaba a mi casa agotada tras un día intenso, me acostaba con la sensación de que el tiempo no me alcanzaba para hacer todo lo que quería. Siempre sentía que me quedaba algo por concluir...
... En el secuestro, sin embargo, de repente me encontré con que tenía todo el tiempo del mundo para mí, pero aparentemente no había nada que pudiera hacer para aprovecharlo. Nunca antes en mi vida había sentido tan intensamente esa sensación de pérdida de tiempo que experimenté en los primeros meses de cautiverio. Para mí fue un conflicto existencial atroz, pues tenía la sensación de que la vida se me estaba escapando ante los ojos. Era como si estuviera enterrando mi juventud en aquellas selvas.”
More quotes…